Lo! It is the time for bringing back old features. Remember how I used to talk about picture books and early readers occasionally?
Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe and S.D. Schindler: This is a funny little book, and I’m not entirely sure who will enjoy it (other than me as a child, who would have adored it). I really liked the illustrations and the humor of the story, and it would be great for homeschooling families, I bet.
Chukfi Rabbit’s Big Bad Bellyache by Greg Rodgers and Leslie Stall Widener: This is a really fun story from a Choctaw storyteller and author. I personally wasn’t in love with the illustrations, but they did fit the story and as Debbie Reese says, they provide clues that this is a Choctaw story. A great book if you’re looking for a funny and diverse tale.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson: A sweet story of a boy and his Nana. I loved the cadence of the language–I could really hear the dialogue between grandmother and grandson. It occasionally got a bit wordy, but for the right kid this wouldn’t be a problem. Robinson’s colorful and vibrant illustrations are a great match for the words.
Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre: Nice non-fiction which also I think tells a clear enough story to draw in readers who don’t normally gravitate towards Facts. April Pulley Sayre’s photographs are clear and eye-catching. I really enjoyed reading this one.
First Snow by Peter McCarty: Pedro has never seen snow before, so it’s up to his classmates to help him navigate the wintry world. In the end, they all enjoy a good sled-ride. I like McCarty’s books, generally speaking, and this one is nice too. There’s a gentleness to it that I imagine would be reassuring to a nervous reader.
The Dinner That Cooked Itself by Kenard Pak, illustrated by J.C. Hsyu: I really enjoy a good folk tale, and this is a nice one that I hadn’t heard of before. Hsyu’s illustrations and Pak’s text work really well together. Probably best for slightly older kids, because it’s occasionally a little dense, this is definitely one to look for.
Where’s Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max: This is a nice little story, of a family playing hide and go seek, and the dad’s (possibly willful) obtuseness. But I’m mentioning it specifically because it doesn’t default to white, and in fact shows a biracial family. I really enjoyed the illustrations, which are simple without being boring.
Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino: Beautiful story and beautiful illustrations. I loved the simple acceptance of the magical realism and the resolution. Hoshino’s illustrations are perfect. This is a great one for the kid who’s lost a best friend and has to deal with that sadness.