Early Learning BLAST’s Selected Giveaway Books

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The Early Learning Bringing Libraries and Schools Together (BLAST) program gives a specially selected book each month to every Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) classroom we visit. We choose these books according to the Pittsburgh Public School’s Pre-K Curriculum, and strive to be inclusive in terms of gender, race, topic and culture. The book selection includes age appropriate, engaging fiction and nonfiction that is relevant to and engages the children. The following is a running list of the books Early Learning BLAST has selected and provided to HSSAP classrooms since Pittsburgh Public Schools implemented their new Pre-K curriculum.

Be Who You Are

This picture book encourages kids to be proud of what makes them unique, where they come from, and how they express themselves and see the world

Best in Snow

Discover the wonderful world of snow with this companion to the celebrated Raindrops Roll !

With gorgeous photo illustrations, award-winning author April Pulley Sayre sheds sparkly new light on the wonders of snow. From the beauty of snow blanketing the forest and falling on animals’ fur and feathers to the fascinating winter water cycle, this nonfiction picture book celebrates snowfall and the amazing science behind it

The Book of Mistakes

One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.
The weird cat-cow-frog thing? Well, it made an excellent bush.
And the inky smudges . . . they look as though they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.

As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest omistakeso can be the source of the brightest ideas-and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.

City Shapes

A young girl walks through the bustling city, while a pigeon flies above, both spotting hidden shapes at every turn.

Grandma's Purse

Spend the day with Mimi and her granddaughter in this charming picture book about the magic found in Mimi’s favorite accessory, perfect for readers who love How to Babysit a Grandma !

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!

Hello, Hello

In this brilliant follow up to the Caldecott Honour-winning They All Saw a Cat , bestselling author Brendan Wenzel presents a chain of animals of dazzling variety. Each one is different from the last, yet each is also linked by at least one common trait: some obvious, some more subtle. As colours and patterns mix and mingle, and as paws and snouts meet, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world – and ultimately paints a story of connection. Joyous, rhythmic text and Wenzel’s exuberant art encourage readers of all kinds to delight in nature’s infinite differences, and to look for – and marvel at – its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple ‘Hello.’

Llama Llama Loves to Read

Llama Llama learns at school.
Counting, writing, reading, rules.
Friends and school — there’s nothing better.
Llama learning all the letters!

Anna Dewdney’s beloved Llama Llama is growing up and learning to read! Throughout the school day , the teacher helps Llama Llama and the other children practice their letters, shows word cards, reads stories, and brings them to the library where they can all choose a favorite book. By the end of the day, Llama Llama is recognizing words and can’t wait to show Mama Llama that he’s becoming a reader!

My Cousin Momo

When Momo the flying squirrel arrives for a much-anticipated visit with his cousins, they think Momo is no fun until they try doing things his way.

Nothing Rhymes With Orange

We all know nothing rhymes with orange. But how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out! When a parade of fruit gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are – and the song happens to rhyme – Orange can’t help but feel like it’s impossible for him to ever fit in. But when one particularly intuitive Apple notices how Orange is feeling, the entire English language begins to become a bit more inclusive.

Round

If you look closely, you will find that the world is bursting, swelling, budding, and ripening with round things awaiting discovery–like eggs about to hatch, sunflowers stretching toward the sun, or planets slowly spinning together for billions of years. Whimsical and imaginative, this poetic ode to all that is round and full of wonder by the Newbery Honor-winning author and poet Joyce Sidman, with illustrations by the two-time New York Best Illustrated Book award recipient Taeeun Yoo, inspires curiosity and wonder for this (round) little earth we call home.

Snow Sisters: Two Sisters, One Snowy Day

Just like snowflakes, no two sisters are alike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together to make the perfect snow day! A heartwarming sibling story from the illustrator of That’s Me Loving You .

When snowflakes fall, two sisters react very differently. One is excited and the other is wary. The first sister spends the morning outdoors, playing until she’s all tuckered out. Meanwhile, the second sister stays indoors, becoming ever more curious about the drifts outside. Soon, they switch places, and spend the second half of the day retracing each other’s footsteps. But each sister puts her own unique spin on activities like sledding, baking and building.

So Many Feet

High feet, slow feet, fast feet, snow feet! So Many Feet introduces young children to the great diversity in the natural world, using feet as an accessible point of entry. The playful, rhyming main text offers some information, but is mostly fun to read aloud. The secondary text offers more facts about each animal and what makes its feet so unique. The book ends by asking children whether their feet can do all the things animals’ feet can do.

Thunder Boy Jr.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name…a name that is sure to light up the sky.

Windows

Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.

Before your city goes to sleep, you might head out for a walk, your dog at your side as you go out the door and into the almost-night. Anything can happen on such a walk: you might pass a cat, or a friend, or even an early raccoon. And as you go down your street and around the corner, the windows around you light up one by one until you are walking through a maze of paper lanterns, each one granting you a brief, glowing snapshot of your neighbors as families come together and folks settle in for the night. With a setting that feels both specific and universal and a story full of homages to The Snowy Day, Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale have created a singular book — at once about the idea of home and the magic of curiosity, but also about how a sense of safety and belonging is something to which every child is entitled.