Gingerbread for Liberty by Mara Rockliff and Vincent X. Kirsch: I loved the illustrations for this one, and it’s a nice example of age appropriate non-fiction. I did definitely get the sense that the story was simplified, but it was still a good one.
Finding Spring by Carin Berger: I love the gorgeous paper art, and I feel like I haven’t seen many new & fresh spring-themed books recently, so this one is a nice addition. It’s a sweet story too.
Sparky by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans: I love this one mostly for the completely dead-pan delivery of the increasingly silly story. I’m also fond of the art and the expressions–or non-expressions–on Sparky’s face.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson: I really appreciated this one, which tells the story of Josephine Baker in a creative & passionate way that’s also clearly researched and aware of the complexities of Baker’s life but which is geared towards a child audience. Christian Robinson’s dynamic paints are a perfect match for Powell’s rhythmic text.
A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall: This is a neat book, especially for the historically minded child (and even for kids who are not, food is always interesting). I loved Blackall’s illustrations and the way the changing methods are shown. I did feel that the story skated over complexities once or twice (particularly in the choice to point out the use of organic cream), but overall this is a fun and engaging way to think about what changes and what stays the same.
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw: I’ve been really liking McQuinn and Beardshaw’s picture books, which take everyday stories and activities but center them around a black family in a way that is sadly all too rare. These are great for including diversity in normal storytime themes.
One Plastic Bag: I liked this one primarily because it shows a locally-based grassroots movement, as opposed to a Western savior rushing in to fix the poor people who can’t help themselves. I really appreciated that. I also felt that the text showed why people wanted to use plastic bags in a non-judgmental way.
Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam: I first heard about this one via Betsy Bird’s review. I tend to like cut paper illustrations, and these are beautiful and fresh, with a three-dimensional element. I also liked the story, with its gentle morals and sense of wonder.