A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Elizabeth K. Cooper (And Everything Nice: The Story of Sugar, Spice and Flavoring), Nancy Ekholm Burkert (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).
- In 1959, Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba. Read The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzales, Flight to Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez, and My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood by Rosemary Wells and Secundino Fernandez, illustrated by Peter Ferguson.
- Itâ€™s Pancake Day. Read If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond, Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola, Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle, The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriehoff.
February has been designated National Childrenâ€™s Dental Health Monthâ€”to increase awareness and stress the importance of regular dental care. In 2010 New York Times bestselling author Raina Telgemeier published a graphic memoir, ideal for ten- to fourteen-year olds called Smile. In 214 pages Telgemeier presents the struggles of her protagonist, Raina, who has two front teeth knocked out in sixth grade. This means lots of time at the dentist, undergoing a variety of procedures and problemsâ€”in total, four and a half years of treatment.
In this honest and straightforward book, examining the struggles of growing up and dealing with identify, Raina shares all her concernsâ€”getting crushes, finding new friends, and slowly beginning to understand her place in a new school. In the end she finds the solution to her problems: â€śI threw my passion into things I enjoyed, rather than feeling sorry for myself. I realized that I had been letting the way I looked on the outside affect how I felt on the inside. But the more I focused on my interests, the more it brought out things I liked about myself.â€ť
Few writers have given better advice to young readers. Because Raina uses the most popular format of the day, the graphic novel, to tell this story, she has already won over her audience by the time she delivers these lines. Readers come to love Raina, cheer her along, and even learn a great deal about what happens in the dentist chair and what various dental procedures entail. For anyone who has had to undergo extensive dental work, whether braces or reconstructive surgery, this book is almost a necessity.
Since publication, Smile has been wildly popular with young readers. John Schumacher, Librarian at the Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois, witnessed a fifth grader put the book in a friendâ€™s hand, guide her to the circulation desk, and say, â€śYou must check this out now and tell me your thoughts in the morning!â€ť An interactive website has also been widely used by fifth and sixth graders. Some read Smile as a memoir; others simply find themselves fascinated by a story that rings so true to their own experiences. Outside of being easy to comprehend and a very fresh and honest look at common dilemmas among children and teens, Smile has been created by someone who remembers, in exacting detail, the concerns of fifth through eighth graders. In the end, whether you are an adult or child, after finishing this book you will find yourself smiling along with the protagonist.
Originally posted February 16, 2011. Updated for .