What it’s about: A young boy and his grandma taking the bus through their city.
What made me pick it up: I actually got a few pages into this a year or so ago but didn’t get to finish it. When I saw it available in our Overdrive collection I checked it out.
My favorite things: This has vibrant illustrations and a powerful message of community. I liked the grandmother’s openness to all the people around them and how that rubbed off on her grandson. It is a simple, beautiful story.
Who it’s great for: Littles who want things they can’t afford. Anyone who seeking a story of community. Readers who try to find beauty wherever they look.
What it’s about: A picture book about a child who promises to use her indoor voice and not make a mess if only she can bring her circus into the library.
What made me pick it up: I was looking for new books with faces on them for #bookfacefriday when I saw this and grabbed it off a cart to read because libraries.
My favorite things: This is hilarious! I totally understand the spunk of the main character and all of her sincere, if misguided, attempts to make a circus library friendly. Turns out the library isn’t the best place for a circus, but I loved the message of how reading stories is a good alternative. It also has vibrant illustrations.
Who it’s great for: Fans of libraries or circuses. Children who have great, if ill-advised, ideas.
What it’s about: The is a celebration of America, its diversity, and its flag.
What made me pick it up: I really like this illustrator, Kadir Nelson — he didHenry’s Freedom Box and If You Plant a Seed— although I didn’t realize that until I got the book. It must have been reviewed well somewhere or sounded intriguing, so I placed a hold on it.
My favorite things: The illustrations are beautiful! Combined with the spare prose this is a powerful book. It really conveys the message of the American flag across history and throughout the vastness of the country, its people, and its customs. I enjoyed such a simple, yet positive, message.
Who it’s great for: Anyone who needs a small reminder of why America is great, especially when it might not feel that way. Readers who enjoy great illustrations and want to feel briefly that they are in an art gallery while reading a book.
What it’s about: A little pea who must finish dinner before he can have dessert.
What made me pick it up: Amy Krouse Rosenthal was a prolific author with a distinctive style but I don’t feel like I’ve sampled enough of her work. So I checked this out.
My favorite things: The illustrations are great. It’s like a more mature and subdued Veggie Tales. It was the story that I enjoyed most though. This pea doesn’t like what’s for dinner, and has to force himself to choke it down, even though dinner is CANDY! I enjoyed so much that it tips common child-hates-dinner experience on its head. In the end (spoiler!) Little Pea finishes his candy so he can have his favorite dessert – spinach!
Who it’s great for: Littles who don’t like what’s for dinner or have trouble eating their veggies. Parents who want a brief, humorous story to read.
What it’s about: A boy is set adrift on an ocean with only his backpack and his teacup of dirt from home.
What made me pick it up: It was on a list of books for children about refugees and the illustrations looked amazing.
My favorite things: I was not mistaken. These illustrations are, exactly as they are described in the cover blurb, stunning. The story of a boy adrift looking for a new land with only the things he can carry is very moving and simply told so that even young children will understand. It reminded me strongly of a children’s version of The Life of Pi, but this focused much more on hope.
Who it’s great for: Fans of beautiful illustration. Parents who want to talk about refugees with their children.
Pick up a copy at Amazon (affiliate link) or are your local library.
What it’s about: A picture book of poems written in the style of famous poets to celebrate those poets’ work.
What made me pick it up: I had read two of Alexander’s other books and enjoyed them so when I saw he was releasing this project I put my name on the list.
My favorite things: The illustrations in here are amazingly vibrant, not surprisingly since Ekua Holmes’ first illustration project was given a Caldecott Honor in 2016. These images manage to channel each poet just as much as the writing does. And the writing is quite good. I wasn’t familiar with all the poets but the ones I was, I can say for certain that these tribute poems are well done and match the style.
Who it’s great for: Young readers who want to know more about poetry and poets. Fans of exquisite illustrations.
Get a copy of this book at Amazon (affiliate link) or your local library.