Archive for July 27, 2015

Where Did My Clothes Come From?

Written by Chris Butterworth
Illustrated by Lucia Gaggliotti


Answering the title question, this informative book is surprisingly light and entertaining. The author highlights each piece of clothing most children wear and goes into quite a bit of detail on the origins of the main material used for each. Jeans begin as plants, are harvested by tractors and people, and run through a series of processing steps. Each step is skillfully illustrated, including the maturing bolls and the problems of seed extraction. Readers get a look at spinning machines, looms, cutting presses, the individual jeans pieces, and the seamstresses making the final jeans. The author also talks about flax and hemp. Sweaters are often made of wool, sheared from sheep, washed, dried, spun into yarn, and knitted into garments. Wool also comes from other animals. Silk is especially dear and reserved for party dresses. Manufacturers are experts at raising the moths. Fleece is recycled plastic bottles. Rubber is another plant derivative – with a different process, including tapping, molding, rolling, and pressing. The author gives one last push for recycling at the end.

Second grade readers will learn a lot about the world they live in and practice their literacy skills along the way.

Order on Amazon

  • Where Did My Clothes Come FromTitle: Where Did My Clothes Come From?
  • Author: Chris Butterworth
  • Illustrator: Lucia Gaggliotti
  • Published: Candlewick Press, August 2015
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: K to 3
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Manufacturing, Recycling
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-7750-3
  • Extras: Author’s note, bibliography, index

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

Written by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein
Illustrated by James E. Ransome

With recent challenges to voting rights by some states, it’s important to keep in mind the history of civil rights struggles. The Founding Fathers only guaranteed voting rights for white male landowners over 21. Slowly, the barriers have come down, but not without challenges. In the 1950s, many states were forced to allow blacks to vote, but many found a way around that by making requirements such as the so-called literacy test. Poll judges were allowed to randomly (meaning for blacks only) present potential voters with complicated texts and require them to interpret the text.

In this beautifully and vividly illustrated picture book, the authors tell of a black farmer trying to vote for the first time. When he is turned away, his grandson understands the fervent hope of his granddaddy and vows to vote in his granddaddy’s place one day. With references to the hard work granddaddy does and the loving guidance Granddaddy provides, the reader can identify with the characters and sense the importance of the vote. The tears Granddaddy sheds at being denied his rights is a great touch.

Second grade readers will learn a lot about civil rights history and citizenship. Although this is fiction, it could be anyone’s story.

Buy on Amazon

  • Granddaddys TurnTitle: Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box
  • Author: Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein
  • Illustrator: James E. Ransome
  • Published: Candlewick, 2015
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: 1 to 4
  • Genre: Fiction, History, Diversity
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-6593-7
  • Extras: Author’s Note