Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures

Julia Child was extraordinary in many ways. Even so, this biography shows how highly relatable Julia Child was, from her nonchalance about making cooking mistakes on TV to 22929066.jpgher dedication to keep trying until a recipe became perfect.

Julia’s unique personality and voice shine through, and the pacing of the story kept me turning pages. Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures is a great nonfiction read by Erin Hagar with pages of art by Joanna Gotham in between chapters.

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Tell Me a Tattoo Story

A twist on the bedtime story and parental I love you story, Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison TattooStory_coverWEB-245x300McGhee and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler uses a father’s tattoos as the story starters. Told entirely in the voice of the father, we hear about each tattoo: when he was a little boy, when he met his wife, his time as a soldier and the birth of his child. Sweet and honest, this is a lovely read for all ages.

Read here for a behind-the-scenes look at the illustrations.

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School’s First Day of School


Told from the perspective of a school, the first day of school takes on new meaning. At first, it is just the school and the janitor, but when the kids arrive, school figures out what his various features are for: the fountain, the fire alarm, the bulletin board. And the school has feelings, especially noted when there’s a girl who is afraid of school and someone who hates school.

School’s First Day of Schoo by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson is for kids of all ages who will enjoy this school tale, and especially for kindergartener who is beginning school but already has a little experience with school.

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There Is a Tribe of Kids

A child travels through sundry of animals: a smack of jellyfish, a turn of turtles, an PB_Smith_There-is-a-Tribe-of-Kids-300x231.jpgunkindness of ravens and miscellaneous inanimate items: a formation of rocks, a pile of rubble, an ocean of blue until he finds a tribe of kids to call home. The subtle play on words (the line of turtles actually turns and the opening pages show a tribe of kids as in baby goats) heighten the interest in the child’s travels, but it isn’t until the end that we realize his journey is one to find home, where “there WAS a tribe of kids” turns into “there IS a tribe of kids”.

Lane Smith‘s gorgeous illustrations fill in all the blanks of the spare text. There Is a Tribe of Kids is a must-read for all ages.

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1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book

Juana Medina‘s creative counting book starts with “one avocado deer”, which is a photographed avocado with antlers and a deer body inked in. The adorable illustrations 9781101999745.jpeggrow into a colourful and playful salad recipe, complete with a recipe for dressing in the backmatter. The book is super fun, sure to please salad-lovers and entice those who are unsure of the pleasures of veggies.

1 Big Salad will appeal to those who enjoyed Vincent and the Night for its illustrations and Smick for its judicious use of words.

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Worm Weather


Worm Weather is an ode to playing outside, even in rainy, wormy weather. Jean Taft‘s prose is short and poetic, fun to read aloud. There are rhymes, but it never stretches too hard and stays rhythmic and lively throughout. Matt Hunt’s playful illustrations show the joy of splashing and running in the rain.

To celebrate rainy days, find some extension activities about the weather here.


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Rude Cakes


Rude cakes do all sorts of naughty things. They never listen, they take things that don’t belong to them, and they are never sorry. Good thing there are giant cyclopses around because giant cyclopses…you have to read the book to find out.

Hilarious and a great story that’s never didactic about manners yet still manages to drive the etiquette point home. I laugh out loud everytime I read this. I can’t wait for more books from Rowboat Watkins.

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Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

This collection of poems is as fun as it looks, full of clever word play and concrete poetry.WetCement+jacket.jpg Even typography works to make the poems fun, with just the half-circle of the e showing in “Sunset” and one of the o’s floating up in “Balloon”. Beware, there are no cement poems, only concrete.

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poem by Bob Raszka is sure to inspire and enthrall.


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Every Day Birds


Twenty common North American birds each get their own page with a line about their habits and a gorgeous paper cut illustration by Dylan Metrano. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater‘s poem is repeated in a double page spread at the end, and there’s an author’s note and mini field guide included. Every Day Birds is a great nonfiction read aloud, sure to garner the interest of young ones.

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The Nest

The Nest is a haunting and surreal book about a boy named Steve whose newborn brother is born with a host of medical problems that require surgeries and hospitalizations. Throughthe-nest-9781481432320_lg Steve’s dreams and his conversations with the knife man, we see Steve work through his feelings about disability. As the story unfolds, a strange queen wasp slowly burrows into their house and Steve’s thoughts, promising to replace Steve’s baby brother with a perfect baby. This book really gets inside the emotions of the struggling family and shows us how life is about so much more than perfection.

Written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon KlassenThe Nest is a strange and lovely book.

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