The picture book Fly (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 01/11/2022), written by Brittany J. Thurman and illustrated by Anna Cunha, will definitely have you soaring. When Africa learns there is a Double Dutch Competition (where you show what you’re made of), she sets her mind on becoming a Double Dutch Legend, just like her Nana. Africa’s brother laughs and tells her you can’t do something you’ve never done before. It’s true, Africa has never actually tried to Double Dutch before, but she doesn’t intend to let that stop her. Africa
By reviewing high-quality, culturally-sustaining (and enjoyable) books that affirm and value all children, I hope to encourage children and those young at heart to read more.
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If you read my review of Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Gary Rosen, you know I kind of have a thing for these little marsupials. So how could I resist sharing another possum story? Possum Dreams (Spring House Press 2018), written and illustrated by Julie Sola, is about Henry, a possum with a very big imagination. He looks forward to bedtime (shocking, right?) because his dreams are always full of adventure. In Henry’s dreams, he rides a motorcycle, flies a plane, and even sings on
The new picture book, What is Love? (Chronicle Books Dec. 28, 2021), written by Mac Barnett (New York Times bestselling author) and illustrated by Carson Ellis (Caldecott Honor winner), is recommended for children ages 3-5. Personally, I think it’s one of those picture books that both children and adults will thoroughly enjoy. The boy in What is Love? asks his grandmother an important question, and being wise, she sends him out into the world to find the answer. On the boy’s journey, he meets many people and asks
Have you ever noticed that no matter how much we talk about the importance of diversity, we still judge rather than embrace the differences in others? Maybe it is out of fear or a sense of superiority. I’m not sure of the answer. But when we see the disability first instead of the person, the world becomes a more colorless place for everyone. Unbound: The Life + Art of Judith Scott (Alfred A. Knopf 2021), written by Joyce Scott with Brie Spangler and Melissa Sweet and illustrated by
Loretta Little Looks Back is a moving and historically accurate account of how African Americans fought for the right to vote in Mississippi.
Brave Enough for Two (a Hoot & Olive Story) is Jonathan D. Voss’s debut author-illustrator picture book, and it is definitely a timeless treasure for children of all ages, young and old.
In Lotería (Knopf Books For Young Readers, Sept. 7, 2021), written by Karla Arenas Valenti, and illustrated by Dana Sanmar, Life and Death (who prefers to be called La Catrina) walk into Oaxaca City, Mexico, for their annual game of la Lotería. Before the game can begin, a child must be chosen by chance (or by destiny?) to be the pawn. If Life wins the game, the child will have a long and prosperous life. If Death wins, she will claim the child’s life. If neither win, these old friends will never meet again.
The boy in this picture book really, I mean really, wants a cat. Did I mention that this boy really wants a cat? Finally, on Day 427 of asking his parents for a cat, they say yes! At the rescue shelter, the boy immediately recognizes his cat – the one in the cage labeled “Pookie.” And thank goodness, the boy changes the cat’s name to Maximilian Augustus Xavier and calls him “Max” (a favorite nickname around here!).