I glomped through a pile of picture books recently and here are the results.
Nuts in Space by Elys Dolan: I loved Dolan’s Weasels a LOT, and I knew Ana liked this one. Dolan’s illustrations are complex and full of details for readers to pick up on in a second or third read. There are also lots of sly and fun allusions to classic SF, especially Star Trek and Star Wars. Hugely enjoyable!
Moletown by Torben Kuhlmann: I had heard good things about this one, which is a nearly wordless picture book, so I expected to like it. But I didn’t. There isn’t quite enough substance to hold up to the message, and the message doesn’t seem to have any resolution at all. I actually looked at the whole thing twice to try to see if there was something I was missing. Maybe I still am, but I’m not sure it works.
Tell Me A Dragon by Jackie Morris: This is a pleasant fantasy picture book featuring children in many different settings with their own particular types of dragons. (One dragon lives in the sea, one breathes snowflakes, etc.) I really like Jackie Morris’s illustrations in general, although occasionally the humans seem a little odd to me.
Who Will I Be, Lord? by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by Sean Qualls: A young girl thinks about the different people in her family, from her great-grandparents to herself, and what makes up each of their identities. There’s a lot packed into Micheaux Nelson’s text, from a sense of family history and dynamics, to learning to see the best in people, to the difference between what people say about you and who you really are.
The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say: I wish in a way that the backmatter for this book had been presented first, because reading it first was slightly frustrating for me due to the episodic nature of the story. Having read Say’s afterword, this makes tons of sense, but on a first reading, I think it kept me from purely loving the story. That being said, Say’s memories are woven into a coming of age story that’s pretty powerful.