Meet Michelle Cuevas!
Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either… until the day he pops free and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. And as he enjoys his first colorful day--singing, dancing, and playing--other shadows watch him, and they become brave too. The frog's shadow takes the shape of a prince, the dragonfly's shadow that of a dragon. Even the rock's shadow gets in on the excitement. But what will become of the timid beings their shadows have left behind? Will they finally be inspired to find their own daring?Reminiscent of the classic story of Peter Pan, both in its use of shadows and celebration of imagination, SMOOT is the perfect representation of the desire we all have to “sing canary-yellow songs” and “dance in wildflower red.” This remarkable picture book’s uplifting message is sure to inspire readers to break free from the mold and live their lives to the fullest.Smith’s stunning illustrations, which are a seamless complement to Cuevas’s poetic verses, beg to be shared in read-aloud settings and during bedtimes routines. Offering a light-hearted and important lesson about the value of imagination, being brave, and following your dreams, SMOOT has all of the makings of a modern fairy tale and is bound to become a read-aloud favorite.Meet The Care and Feeding of a Pet Shadow!When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything it touches, which is challenging to say the least – but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around including, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It's not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she needs to face her grief head on.Successfully combining science-fiction and the raw emotions of grief, THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A PET BLACK HOLE is a story that will stand out to readers in terms of both its ingenuity and poignancy. In the same way that Pixar’s Inside Out personified its protagonist’s emotions, the representation of Stella’s grief in the form of a very real black hole that follows her home allows for equally moving, comedic, and memorable moments in Cuevas’s latest novel.In addition to opening up opportunities to discuss grief and emotion, teachers and parents will also be fans of the real scientific elements that Cuevas has incorporated into this story. While many elements of the book are fantastical, Cuevas has included real physics and astronomy components which will allow this book to be incorporated into STEM-themed lesson plans.
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