I am hoping that along with a regular Noteworthy and Nourishing post that I began last week that I can do the same for the stacks of picture books that I read. Some will be new releases, some upcoming releases and others will be older books that I have recently discovered, listed in alphabetical order.
Author: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Neal Porter Books
Riddles with rich vocabulary all revolving about nature, one page provides the poetic riddle, with the following page providing the answer. I love the way Antoinette Portis reveals a new way to look at things with her words and the illustrations. Many may think that this book is one for younger readers, but I know the #classroombookaday teachers will look at the author’s craft of the language used to evoke beauty and a new perspective.
Author: Fan Brothers
Release Date: Sept. 1 -20
Waaaay beneath the surface of the Perfect Pets store where children can buy genetically engineered pets lives Barnabus, a Failed Project. Half mouse and half elephant, Barnabus dreams of the world above that his friend Pip the cockroach has shared with Before they are recycled by the people in green suits, the other Failed Projects band together to escape.
As with all other Fan Brother books, the illustrations alone are worth the purchase. This one packs an extra punch with its message of following your dreams and staying true to yourself. A definite book to add to your classroom and libraries.
Author: Jonathan D. Voss
Publisher:Henry Holt and Co.
A delightful story about friendship, where Olive likes her adventures in books and Hoot the stuffed Owl prefers to experience his outside. Stunning illustrations, with some memorable lines such as, “As long I’m here and you’re there, and here and there aren’t very far apart, we can never be lost.” make this book the perfect older published find.
Author & Illustrator: Nelly Buchet & Andrea Zuill
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Release Date: April 28/20
Almost wordless, this is the story of two families coming together and figuring things out. Andrea Zuills’s subtle details in the illustrations capture so many emotions – one example is how the woman is standing on her tiptoes to hug the man upon arrival. The captured expressions on the animals are priceless and recognized by dog and cat owners. I loved this unique way to talk about becoming a blended family and will allow readers to share their experiences using an animal character.
Author: Katrina Moore
Illustrations: Xindi Yan
Publisher: little bee books
Release Date: April 7/20
A story about a granddaughter meeting her grandfather for the first time, I love how BOTH of the characters overcome their language and cultural differences and begin to bond with one another. The expressions on Yeh-Yeh are spot on of what appears to be a cantankerous senior, and yet he is trying to get to know his granddaughter. Lots of ways to unpack this story and appreciate the recipe at the back so readers can experience how Daisy and Yeh-Yeh finally connected.
Author: Charlene Chua
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Date: Sept. 1/20
A cat coughs up a hairball and proceeds to say to the girl that he is not feeling well. The girl asks if the cat would like a hug, and he replies, yes. Animal after animal – come asking for a hug until a unicorn comes by and she asks if it too would like a hug and replies, no, I’m good. The little girl continues to be accosted by various animals for a hug until she finally has had enough and yells. A humorous looking at boundaries and personal space, asking for something and being okay to reply No. Lots of variety of animals and expressive illustrations will make this one a fun read-aloud.
Author & Illustrator: Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James
Publisher: Nancy Paulson Books
Release Date: Sept. 1/20
A beautiful, beautiful book that inspires and provides hope. Our narrator expresses all the good things he is including the times when he has fallen, been there for others who needed a hug and the reality of how others see him and call him names. The illustrations that capture the fun, the sad and the love are breath-taking. It is hard to come up with something new and original about this book as people more eloquent than I have expressed the power of this book. No other way to say it, read this book and then share it.
Author & Illustratoe: A.E. Ali & Rachele Jomepour Bell
Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 30/20
A kindergarten class bonds, by sharing their favourite day over the school year. The choices of the favourite days often reflect different cultures, and there are opportunities lost to provide more information about the individual days and the pronunciations. I was pleased to see days that also included non-cultural days, so it is inclusive. There is a family that celebrates science, and so they talk about March 14 and Pi. This book shows another way to build relationships year-round, not just with the students in the class but to include families as well.
Author: Sarah Kurpiel
Release Date: May 12/20
I found out about this book through my TL friend Megan and who also personally can relate to the story as two of her pack are huskies. Maple is a husky who is often mistaken for a wolf and then begins to question her own identity. Confusion about who you are, how you fit in and trying to be someone you are not are common themes, and everyone will be able to relate to this story. Also important to note is the power wheelchair used in the book is the author representing herself, reaffirming everyone needs to see themselves in books.
Author & Illustrator: Miranda Paul & Ebony Glenn
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: July 7/20
Another excellent way to share the many ways one can speak up. The book told in rhyme shared a variety of situations when you need to find your voice and speak up. I liked that it included mental health, the environment but also not following the pack when you know it is not the right thing and leading others away from a possible choice by offering an alternative. The back matter in this book is helpful by sharing ways for quieter individuals to have a voice without having to be the center of attention along with kids who spoke up to lead change.
So ten of my favourite picture books read this past month. I’d love to hear of your favourite finds this month in the comments.