More new books are flying off the shelves in our Children’s Library. Here’s a quick round up of some recent favorites.
The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez
I’m breaking away from my usual reviews of animal-related books with this one, but it’s so good. Of course, it’s from noted author Jacqueline Woodson, so you know you’re going to love it. The Day You Begin is overflowing with hope and wonder, and yet packed with those hurts that children experience when they feel they don’t belong. But words, beautiful lyrical, flowing words and meaningful, simple illustrations combine to create a welcoming book that tells children that even when there are others who don’t look or sound or eat like you, that maybe, just maybe, when you begin you can fit into the world.
I Walk with Vanessa – Kerascoet
This is a wordless book about bullying. The illustrations are so simple, yet I loved the expressions the children exhibit - you know exactly what they’re feeling. Despite the lack of words, you could engage in a lot of discussion with the child or children you’re reading this to. All kids know how hard it feels when you’re singled out but also how good it is when someone comes alongside as a friend and helper. This would be a great book to use with older kids too, when talking about bullying.
Run Wild – David Covell
I like this book for the sentiment and the abstract, but eye-catching illustrations. This book is all about the wonders of running wild through the mud and grass and sand and shore. It’s about the freedom and exhilaration of just being out exploring and even getting bumps and bruises. As an environmental educator, I appreciate that message because I feel children aren’t allowed to be outside as much as they should be. Read this book to a child and then find a place where you can be outside, together, experiencing nature. It’ll be good for both of you.
Good Rosie – Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss
This is a dog book, so of course I picked it up. It’s about Rosie who wants a friend, but isn’t sure how to make one. What I find interesting about this book is its length – it reads a bit like a chapter book because it’s divided into nine parts. It has 36 pages of text and illustration, so it’s definitely longer than the average picture book. The story is cute and useful for talking about friendship, loneliness and how to be a friend. The pictures of the dogs are engaging – you might just want to find a Rosie of your own.
My Pet Wants a Pet
This is a great book about wanting a pet, because really, doesn’t everyone want a pet? Personally, I lobbied long and hard for a baby musk ox, but my parents were unreasonably against that idea. The illustrations and pet/owner pairs makes you want to keep turning the page to find out how this cascade of animals will end.
Weather Girls - Aki
Weather Girls is a sweet rhyming book about young ladies ready to get outdoors in any weather, in all seasons. The illustrations of the girls are adorable and they make exploring the world around them look so much fun - and it is! This is a powerful book to share with the girls in your life, especially ones that might be timid about experiencing life outside.
There have been so many wonderful books flowing through our cataloging department into eager hands in the children's library. My list is a lot longer this these top choices, but you'll have to wait until my next post to learn about more great picture books.