February 2022 Newsletter

Reading Allowed’s Virtual
Open House
February 24, 2022
7:00 – 7:30 pm EST
Please join us for this free event that’s open to the public. Our special guests will be Ameer Baraka – TV and film actor, author, and tireless dyslexia advocate and Renee Chenault Fattah – Executive Director of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, lawyer, award-winning television news anchor, and filmmaker.
Best of all, this event is free to attend!
An Author Comes to Visit!
Reading Allowed recently sponsored a visiting author event! General George G. Meade School welcomed Tina Wells, children’s author of the Mackenzie Blue Series. She discussed her new book, Honest June. She also took the time to answer questions from all of the wonderfully inquisitive students.
Raising her Voice
Reading Allowed
On March 23, 2022, Angela Marks will be speaking on a panel with other colleagues on the topic of what makes an effective leader. This online event is hosted by The Volunteer Executive Consultants of RSVP. Selected panelists are Executive Directors from the Greater Philadelphia Area representing a variety of nonprofits who will share thoughts and advice for how to inspire and motivate other organizations to maximize potential, through both good and more challenging times such as COVID-19. 
Volunteer Executive Consultants (VEC), a program of RSVP, provides managerial consulting and educational services to existing and potential nonprofits in the Philadelphia region at no charge. VEC’s highly-skilled volunteers have been offering these services to the nonprofit community for more than 30 years.  
Reading Allowed’s Kids Love Wordle Too!
Thanks to Ms. Katie these kids are learning a lot and perhaps they don’t even realize it because there’s so much fun to be had!
“If the students haven’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” and “If the teachers haven’t learned, the trainer hasn’t trained.”
— Siegfried Engelmann
Reading Allowed tutors recently gathered to share updates and ways they can collaborate to provide the best instruction for our students. Reading Allowed tutors are dedicated to remaining at the forefront of the science of reading. Thank you to Pam Kastner at PaTTAN for providing such incredible resources.
February Book Recommendations
Derrick Barnes (Author)
Gordon C. James (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
A barbershop is a magical place where our narrator is treated like a prince as soon as the robe drapes around his shoulders. He waits as the clippers
move slow and steady until his haircut is complete. One look in the mirror, and he feels like himself again, cool as ever and ready to conquer the world.
Nancy Redd (Author)
Nneka Myers (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
As bedtime nears, each family member begins preparing their hair for bed. Brother tightens his locks, sister combs her hair into a wrap, and grandma
places her hair into rollers. As mom finishes preparing our little narrator for bed, she can’t seem to find her bedtime bonnet.
Samara Cole Doyon (Author)
Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Filled with beautifully diverse shades of brown and joyful coils, curls, and locks, this is an ode to the beauty of being Black. Using nature to paint a
picture of the memories of the seasons, this text shows the beautiful brown of summer sandcastles to amber brown honey from the beehive.
Angela Joy (Author)
Ekua Holmes (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
A child reflects on what it means to be Black. From black braids in her best friend’s hair to black shiny shoes and black eyed peas. This is an exploration
of Blackness from a child’s perspective.
Mary-Joan Gerson (Author)
Carla Golembe (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Long ago, anyone who was hungry could pluck what they needed from the sky but the sky gets tired and angry at the people who are wasting his bounty. The story has a positive message about the importance of not taking things for granted and good stewardship of the planet.
Baba Wagué Diakité (Author, Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This is a fun retelling of the same story that inspired the much-loved classic, Caps for Sale. The theme of a monkey (or monkeys) tricking a hatseller appears in many cultures. This story is set in Mali. There is also great background information about the style of hats in the book. Author Baba Wagué Diakité has several other wonderful books.
Pete Seeger (Author)
Michael Hays (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Teachers’ Pick!
American folk singer and storyteller Pete Seeger adapted the African folktale of Abiyoyo. When a giant comes to town it is only the sound of the ukelele that can calm him. It’s fun to listen to Pete Seeger sing the tale.You can watch the Reading Rainbow video of Seeger and Levar Burton. (Be prepared for some serious 1986 wardrobe choices!)
Celia Barker Lottridge (Author)
Ian Wallace (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
There has been a drought and the animals are hungry. Without enough grass, they turn to a tree filled with fruit too high to reach. In order to obtain the fruit, they must learn the name of the tree, which only the lion knows. 
Barbara Knutson (Author/Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
A guinea fowl determinedly helps her friend the cow evade the jaws of a hungry lion and in return. The cow returns the favor by bestowing on the bird the gift of camouflage. I love how devoted the cow and fowl are to each other. Their strong friendship means they would do anything, however foolish to help each other.
Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This story from Cameroon follows the tale of a young girl. Ma’antah’s intelligence and cleverness earn her the village’s admiration but she is envied by the foolish king. The King brings Ma’antah to stay at the palace so he can keep an eye on her, and ultimately get rid of her. But brave Ma’antah is too clever and outwits him at every turn.
 Matt de la Peña (Author)
 Loren Long  (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This beautiful story reminds us that love can be found all around if we just stop for a moment to absorb and appreciate the many forms it takes. It’s a great way to reframe Valentine’s Day as being more about what we feel and transmit to our fellow humans than about how many paper hearts and chocolates we give or receive.
Jay Fleck (Author)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This book is about Tilly, an elephant, who sees Tank on the horizon and at first thinks the green machine is another elephant. The story reveals the joys of unlikely friendships and teaches tolerance and kindness as first steps to making the world better.
Burt Bacharach (Author)
Hal David (Author)
Mary Kate McDevitt (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The 1965 song you’ve surely heard asks us to appreciate each other — everyone, no matter whom. A valentine to the idea of overlooking no one and each person mattering.
Paris Rosenthal  (Author)
Holly Hatam  (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This book by the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter, Paris, encourages the little girl in your life (or any child in your life, really) to be fully and confidently themselves, whatever that means.
Elvis Presley (Author)
Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Presley’s hit 1956 love song becomes the basis for this picture book that’s almost certain to become a classic for children and the people who love and care for them. Pairing lyrics like “I’ll be yours through all the years / Till the end of time” with illustrations in which children will see themselves reflected.
Carter Higgins (Author)
Lucy Ruth Cummins (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
If you know a kid who doesn’t go in for hearts and flowers and Cupid and all that mushy stuff, this is the book to show them that showing you care doesn’t always fit into a red-and-pink template.
Diane Adams (Author)
Claire Keane (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This is a sweet tale of love given and love returned — conveyed through a growing friendship between a little girl and a duckling. Children will love the tender and funny moments, while adults will prize the opportunity to talk about how sometimes loving something means knowing when to let it go.
Catherine Stier (Author)
Lynne Avril (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Six children take turns explaining the election process as if they were running for president–discussing their decision to run, campaigning, primaries and conventions, debating, being interviewed, meeting the public, voting, and being sworn in on Inauguration Day.
Kelly DiPucchio  (Author)
LeUyen Pham  (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first, and she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate for the school’s mock election. But soon she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the “best man for the job”–and seems to have captured all the male votes–but Grace concentrates on being the best person.
Doreen Cronin  (Author)
Betsy Lewin (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Duck doesn’t like the chores that Farmer Brown gives him, so Duck holds an election. Upon ousting his opponent and becoming head of the farm, he realizes his new job is hard work. He decides to leave the farm and campaign for governor — which, he learns upon winning, is also hard.
Sharna Jackson (Author)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Perfect for the younger audience, this truly wonderful illustrated biography shines a light on the work of 26 contemporary Black visual artists from varied national origins. Mediums include painting sculpture and drawing to ceramics, installation art, and sound art. Great for kids 9-12. The hardcover version makes a great gift!
Carole Boston Weatherford (Author)
Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This book, ideal for children 8-12 is a powerful story of the willful destruction of an African American business district known as “Black Wall Street” which took place at the start of the 20th century. What happened was largely not discussed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and finishes with a call for a better future. A great read.
 Bakari Sellers (Author)
 Reggie Brown  (Illustrator)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
From New York Times bestselling author, Bakari Sellers, this narrative tells the story of a dad who leads two children through a park featuring ethereal representations of Black icons. This picture book is about learning about and looking up to heroes. Destined to be classic, this lovely story is a tribute to the family and community that help make us who we are and proudly celebrates the village it takes to raise a child.
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