Reaching for RainbowsPDF Activity Guide * Activities on Pinterest

Reaching for Rainbows is a color-concept book that helps young children view the world from a different perspective.

Children will meet Amelia, who has a visual disability. Amelia shows her friend Betsy how she experiences colors. In return, Betsy helps Amelia experience a rainbow.

“Nessa Morris has written a charming book with an inspiring message about a visually impaired girl who teaches her friend how to “see” in her world.  I love this theme!  Nessa’s book will certainly encourage children to think and see in a new way.  Very clever ending.  Kudos to the author.” –Patricia Tilton, Children’s Books Heal

Reaching for Rainbows, illustrated by Caroline Lee, was first published on uTales on June 7, 2012. It is now available in paperback from You can also receive an autographed copy via the Support the Blog page, and it’s cheaper to buy directly from my website.

Quilt of States: Piecing Together America
“Michigan” in QUILT OF STATES
Illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks
National Geographic Children’s Books, 2005.

In 2005, National Geographic Children’s Books published Quilt of States: Piecing Together America, which included the article I wrote on Michigan.

Title: Quilt of States: Piecing Together America
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books; First Edition edition (October 11, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0792272854
ISBN-13: 978-0792272854

Find Quilt of States at IndieBound
Find Quilt of States at

From School Library Journal
Grade 3-8–The United States is stitched together chronologically in this stunning book that features a quilted spread for each state. Yorinks enlisted a librarian from each state to contribute a short entry to point up a few significant facts that add to the tapestry of the emerging nation. Readers will learn, for example, that in 1732, James Oglethorpe wanted to establish a refuge for debtors and a slave-free state, but despite his best intentions, Georgia soon began using slave labor. Also, President Abraham Lincoln wanted Nevada to become a state for two reasons–most residents favored the Union and opposed slavery, and Nevada’s silver could help pay for war expenses. A Historical Introduction and A Note from the Author/Illustrator explain the artist’s process in selecting contributors to the book and in choosing appropriate fabrics for each state. An appendix of State Facts includes the date each entered the Union along with state symbols, a fun fact, and its claim to fame. The quilted representations are not only artistically intricate and beautiful, but also informative. A handsome book to linger over and learn from.
–Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist
Gr. 5-8. Yorinks and a posse of librarians and other contributors take a cheery look at the formation of the U.S. Each state, starting from the first, Delaware, and proceeding to Hawaii, the last, gets a double-page spread. Yorinks quilts an image of each state, its capital indicated by a star, surrounded by “conversational prints,” patterned fabrics that reflect the state’s history or products, and a floral with the state flower. A state native or a local librarian writes a paragraph about how the state came into the union, often with a fact or two about the politics involved. Periodically, a map of the entire U.S. up to that historical point appears, quilted of course, delineating the Louisiana Purchase, the Missouri Compromise, and so on. Yorinks notes she never uses an image twice, and engaged readers will see that though cows loom large in many states’ histories, they are all different. Many of the librarians whose writing appears here will be familiar to readers of library literature and reviewing media. Charming in multiple ways.
GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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