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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Possum Dreams

Possum Dreams: Let Your Imagination Soar!

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

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What is Love

What is Love?

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

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Unbound the life and art of Judith Scott

Unbound: The Life + Art of Judith Scott

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

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Lotería – a Game of Destiny

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.

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Negative Cat

Love this NEGATIVE Cat

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!).

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Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Koala Lou, I DO Love You!

Koala Lou (Clarion Books 1988), written by Mem Fox and illustrated by the late Pamela Lofts, tells the story of baby Koala Lou, “so soft and round that all who saw her loved her.”  But her mother loves her the most, telling her hundreds of times a day, “Koala Lou, I DO love you!” Koala Lou is the oldest, and as the family grows, her mother has less time to tell Koala Lou how much she loves her.  Koala Lou, hoping to regain her mother’s notice, decides to win

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