Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ category

My Favorite September Picture Book Choices

October 7, 2021

Below are some of the books I read during the month of September that piqued my interest.

Beatrice Was a Tree written and illustrated by Joyce Hesselberth, Greenwillow Books, 2021

Not wanting to go to bed, Beatrice stays outside. She imagines herself to be a tree that changes during the four seasons. She stretches her branches, feels the warmth of the sun, provides homes for animals, sheds her leaves, and, after a snowy winter, she blossoms once again. The magic of imagination is broken when Mom calls, “Beatrice, Bed! Now!” This book is filled with whimsical illustrations and lyrical text that will delight readers who appreciate nature. 

Mel Fell written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor, Balzer + Bray, 2021

I love this book because of its unique format. It’s not your usual book as you follow Mel who wants to learn to fly. But before she flies…”Mel fell.” Readers follow Mel as she falls down, down, down past the critters in the tree who try to help her. Mel and the book take a turn (literally) as she plunges into the water. Make sure you follow the directions on how to turn the book to find out if Mel ever learns to fly. This book is sure to entertain readers!

Are You a Cheeseburger? written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo, Katherine Tegen Books, 2021

Grub, a raccoon, and Seed, a seed, meet in a garbage can. Grub is convinced if Seed grows, cheeseburgers will blossom. Grub plants Seed and the two spend every night talking to each other and describing what is going on above ground and below ground. When Seed finally sprouts, they celebrate. Grub makes sure to water Seed every day as he longs for the promise of delicious cheeseburgers that will soon appear. But when Seed blossoms as a flower – not a cheeseburger plant – Grub is quiet. What is he thinking? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I love the uniqueness of this delicious book and the unusual friendship that evolves.

Mucky Truck written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Elisa Ferro, Henry Holt and Co., 2021

Kids will love this rollicking story about a little truck, a crane, a digger, and a forklift that get stuck in the muck until the firetruck comes to get them out. Onomatopoeia and rhymes will keep kids engaged along with an unexpected messy ending.

The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round written by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu, Orchard Books, 2021

This is a delightful story of a Chinese family coming together to prepare for their evening dinner. Readers will have fun joining in with the rhythmic text that goes along with the familiar song, “The Wheels on the Bus.” 

The Longest Storm written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, mineditionUS, 2021

Stuck in their house with no place to go, a single father and his children slowly learn how to reconnect with one another to become a supportive family unit once again. A definite must-read!

Norman Didn’t Do it! written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins, Disney-Hyperion, 2021

A humorous picture book about learning to share your best friend with others and accepting new friends.

Bright Star written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Neal Porter Books, 2021

A beautifully illustrated book about love, honor, and respect.

If any of these books are of interest to you and your family, make sure to check them out and enjoy!

Winner to the Giveaway and Shark Week!

July 15, 2021

The winner of Janie Reinart’s beautiful book, When Water Makes Mud:  A Story of Refugee Children is…

Janet Celek!

Congratulations, Janet!

It’s Shark Week!

Chomp! Sink your teeth into these books!

Sharks for Kids by David McGuire, Rockridge Press, 2020

So Cool! Sharks by Crispin Boyer, National Geographic Kids, 2019

The Ultimate Book of Sharks by Brian Skerry, National Geographic for Kids, 2018

Sharks: Teeth to Tail written by Jaye Garnett and illustrated by Beatrice Tinarelli, Cottage Door Press, 2021

Shark Lady written by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns, Sourcebooks Explore, 2017

PB Review: When Water Makes Mud

June 24, 2021

When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children written by Janie Reinart and illustrated by Morgan Taylor, Blue Whale Press, 2021

This is a beautiful book about two young girls who are in a refugee camp They arrived there with nothing but their dreams. The older sister sees the sadness in her little sister. So, she picks up a stick to make something from nothing. She uses it to draw pictures from home. The little sister smiles, but happiness fades quickly. The older sister continues to find things to cheer up her sister – pebbles to make a puzzle, a bag to make a balloon… Each time, the little sister is happy, but then sadness takes its place. Until…water makes mud. The older sister sculpts a doll out of the mud. The mud baby becomes a precious toy for the little sister. As the days pass the two add more mud toys and dream. Janie Reinart’s lyrical text and Morgan Taylor’s captivating illustrations will evoke emotions that will melt your heart.

The publisher’s profits from the sale of this book are being donated to UNICEF. I highly recommend adding this book to your home library.

Picture Books I Enjoyed Reading

June 3, 2021

These are a few of the books I picked up at my local library that I found enjoyable. Do any of these interest you?

Find Fergus written and illustrated by Mike Boldt, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2020

Fergus is a silly bear. He doesn’t know where to find a good place to hide. He hides behind a skinny tree. He hides in a crowd of bunnies. He hides among elephants and moose. With a little practice, Fergus finally finds a perfect place to hide. Can you find Fergus?

Avacado Asks: What Am I? written and illustrated by Momoko Abe, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2021

When a little girl at a grocery store asks if an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable, Avocado suddenly doesn’t know where he belongs in the store. Is he a fruit? A Vegetable? An herb, a fish, cheese, egg…? He is feeling lost and lonely until Tomato helps Avocado understand the many things he is good at being. Avocado and Tomato agree being themselves is good enough!

Zonia’s Rain Forest written and illustrated by Juana Martinez Neal, Candlewick, 2021

This beautifully illustrated book is about a young Asháninka girl who lives in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest. She happily greets her animal friends each day until the day she sees something she has never seen before. Trees in the rain forest are being cut down. The little girl knows the forest needs help, and she vows to protect it. This book is a call to action to help save the Amazon rain forest.

Mars! Earthlings Welcome written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Stevie Lewis, Henry Holt and Co., 2021

Stacy McAnulty has added another delightful book to her universe series. This time readers learn about Mars. This kid-friendly book is filled with wordplay, humor, and lots of information. How about a trip to Mars?

DOWN UNDER THE PIER: A Perfect Summer Picture Book

June 11, 2020

Pier

Down Under the Pier begins with four children at an amusement park that overlooks the ocean. There’s a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, carousel, games, cotton candy, and a day filled with fun. But as the day moves into the evening and money has been spent, there is another adventure to be discovered. At low tide, there is a magical world down under the pier. No money required. It’s a world of sand, sea spray, waves, and a treasure trove of ocean creatures. Mussels, barnacles, sea stars, and anemones cling to the pilings of the pier. In the shallow waters of low tide are tiny crabs, seashells, kelp, and seaweed. Nell Cross Beckerman weaves a lyrical story about a day at an oceanside amusement park and the natural beauty and wonder of the ocean found down under the pier. Readers will delight in Rachell Sumpter’s colorful illustrations particularly those under the pier. This is the perfect summer book to be enjoyed by all!

Brown Sugar Babe – A Delicious Picture Book

May 14, 2020

sugar

Brown Sugar Babe is written by Charlotte Watson Sherman and illustrated by Akem, Boyds Mills Press, 2020.

This is a beautiful story of a small child who doesn’t like the color of her brown skin. “I’m pink.” She declares. The lyrical text flows throughout the story as the child’s mother tries to convince her “brown sugar babe” to embrace all the wonderful attributes of the color brown. The author, Charlotte Watson Sherman, uses a variety of techniques to tell her story. Metaphors  “…your hair, a crown of brown curls…” Comparisons:  “Brown is silent—  a raisin crinkling in the sun…” Rhyme:  “Bubbling brown sugar babe, honeyed and bright as marmalade.” Akem‘s magical illustrations are lush with rich earth tones of brown, yellow, red, and orange in double-page spreads.  Brown Sugar Babe is a delicious story of a mother’s love and a child’s acceptance that makes for a tasty read aloud to be shared again and again.

 

 

 

Sea Glass Summer

December 12, 2019

If you’re like many of us who have been inundated with snow, sleet, wind, and rain, this may be the book that will lift your winter spirits.

sea glass

Sea Glass Summer written by Michelle Houts and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline tells a story of how a young boy called Thomas spends the summer at his grandmother’s island cottage. She gifts Thomas with a magnifying glass that was his grandfather’s. Each day, Thomas and his grandmother search the beach for treasures left behind by the sea. His grandmother finds a piece of sea glass which she hands to Thomas, saying “…after being broken, tossed in the saltwater and sand, the pieces turn smooth and cloudy.” She adds, “…your grandfather used to say that each piece of sea glass has a story all its own.” That night, with his sea glass nearby, Thomas dreams of a ship from long ago as seen in Ibatoullines’ realistic illustrations. As the ship is christened with a bottle of champagne, pieces of the bottle fall into the ocean. Sea glass days and sea glass night dreams make up Thomas’ summer. At the end of the summer as Thomas and his grandmother are ferrying off the island, Thomas drops his grandfather’s magnifying glass and pieces fall into the sea. The story fast forwards to many years later when a young girl who is visiting a family island cottage shows her Papaw Tom a piece of sea glass she found. He carefully examines it and says, “…each piece of sea glass has a story of its own.” That night with her sea glass nearby, she dreams of a boy named Thomas.

I’m fascinated by this story because our family loves hunting for sea glass on the beaches of New England. Bagram Ibatoulline’s realistic illustrations are beautifully rendered, and Michelle Houts’ story inspires imaginative thinking. The author and illustrator weave a story of family, history, and the art of sea glass. Make sure to check this out!

Nothing Wee about Me!

December 5, 2019

wee

Nothing Wee About Me! is written by Kim Chaffee (author of Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon) and illustrated by Laura Bobbiesi. In this imaginative tale, a wee girl named Liesel uses Grandma Rose’s soup ladle to wish for magical adventures. With her trusty ladle, Liesel confronts a pirate, a fire-breathing dragon, rescues a prince, and uses her ingenuity to save a town from an erupting volcano. She does all this just in time to return Grandma Rose’s ladle and enjoy a bowl of Grandma’s Sunday soup. Liesel proves there is nothing WEE about her in this romp through the world of imagination! Readers will enjoy Liesel’s adventures and Laura Bobbiesi’s charming illustrations rendered in soft pastels. There is nothing wee about this book!

 

 

Goblins, and Ghouls, and Ghosts, Oh My!

October 17, 2019

Halloween is quickly approaching. Get your family in the mood for some yummy treats with these BOOks.

Picture Books

monster academy

Monster Academy written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by John McKinley, The Blue Sky Press, 2018.

Creepy

Creepy Pair of Underwear! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.

Pigs

Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, Beach Lane Books, 2017.

pomegranite

The Pomegranate Witch written by Denise Doyen and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Chronicle, 2017.

stumpkin

Stumpkin written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018.

old lady

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything written by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd, HarperCollins, 2019.

teeny tiny

A Teeny Tiny Halloween written by Lauren L. Wohl and illustrated by Henry Cole, Persnickety Press, 2016.

Board Books

blue truck

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016.

Bat

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat! written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee, Cartwheel Books, 2017.

mouse

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, Balzer + Bray, 2019.

 

 

 

Sea Cow or Manatee?

October 10, 2019

Is it a sea cow or a manatee? Find out when you read This Is a Sea Cow written and illustrated by Cassandra Federman.

sea cow

A second grader is given a homework assignment to write about a marine mammal she likes. The student chooses a sea cow and proceeds to write facts and draw illustrations. She begins by comparing the sea cow to a land cow. Cassandra Federman’s clever illustrations show the sea cow – who prefers to be called a manatee – using speech bubbles to clarify the facts written by the student. With each page turn, readers see the sea cow’s hilarious personality come to life as the sea cow continues to dispute some of the facts and comparisons the second-grade student is writing and drawing.

This book bursts with clever commentary, interesting facts, and some fascinating back matter. Cassandra Federman has created a delightfully funny book that will hook readers from the beginning.


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