Thursday, July 5, 2012

Picture Book Praise: ISABELLA: GIRL ON THE GO by Jennifer Fosberry

Author: Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrator: Mike Litwin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Number of Pages: 32
Source of Book: Hardcover from publisher at ALA
The precocious, purple-haired traveler spends the day playing with her dad as she pretends everyday things (like the sandbox) are extraordinary places (like the desert and the pyramids of Egypt). Isabella ends the day in her own home-sweet-home, the most wonderful place to be.
I have not read MY NAME IS NOT ISABELLA, but I've heard good things about this purple-haired girl, so when I saw that Jennifer Fosberry would be signing copies of this sequel, ISABELLA: GIRL ON THE GO, at the Sourcebooks booth at ALA, I knew I had to go check it out. I'm so glad that I did. Isabella is a fun, sassy, and smart young girl. As her father keeps asking her to help with the various chores on their list for the day, Isabella continually says she's not in the place he thinks, but in some special place around the globe that is somehow related to the ordinary place she's standing in her backyard.

Jennifer Fosberry has created picture books which have stories kids can laugh about, but also include social studies related terms and ideas that are incorporated throughout-this time with significant global locations. Even better, especially for use with older kids, is the glossary at the back that includes extensive detailed explanation of each of the places that is mentioned in the story. The illustrations are endearingly adorable as well, and further highlight the strength of the relationship between Isabella and her father in this story. He has unending patience for her imagination and plays along each time she switches to a different place she claims to be. I appreciated that the father is willing to let her be creative and helps show how important creativity can be to learning.

I will share this with my nieces and nephews, but can also see using it in the classroom as a jumping off point for students to create their own stories modeled after Isabella highlighting important places around the world that they've learned about in social studies class.

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