Wait by Antoinette Portis is about a boy who sees many interesting sights while his mother holds his hand and wants to hurry. For a young child, stopping to watch portis_waitconstruction or pet a dog is a valuable use of time and this book reminds the reader of those little moments we need to take to enjoy everyday life. The illustrations show the story: the mother is hurrying to catch a train, and every time they stop, it makes them a bit later. In the end, however, the child and mother agree to wait and watch the beauty of a double rainbow.

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Vincent and the Night

c7aef85e96ced5b3-ScreenShot2015-04-16at84442Vincent doesn’t want to sleep, and so he unravels the night. Shown via photographs of Vincent with black drawings on a white background, Vincent and the Night by Adele Emerson is an interesting and entertaining exploration of what a baby thinks up when he is not sleeping at night.

Reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon because of its imaginative drawings that change from page to page, Vincent and the Night is sure to charm all ages.

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Make Lemonade

When fourteen-year-old LaVaughn finds a babysitting job in order to earn money for college (and no one in her whole building has ever been to college), she ends up taking care of Jilly and Jeremy, the children of a seventeen-year-old mother trying to make ends meet without welfare help. Through LaVaughn, we see the dirty apartment and the undisciplined kids, but webk_make also see the love of a mother and the desire to make things work better. For anyone who has experienced poverty or worked with those in need, this book will ring true. It explores how we take advantage of others, how we think we help and how sometimes we just don’t know what we need to know.

In the center of Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff, we hear the story about making lemonade so different from the trite statement people throw around– that sometimes its not life that hands you lemons, sometimes its people who harm you and steal from you and through sheer strength, you can feed your children lemonade.

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The World in a Second

At any given second, different events are taking place around the world. The World in a World in a second-2Second shows a snapshot of twenty-three different places, one on each page: Coro, Venezuela; Khalkis, Greece; Cartaxo, Portugal; Baltic Sea; East London, South Africa and more. This is a large book, better for admiring the action-packed illustrations by Isabel Minhós Martins and Bernardo P. Carvalho (translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann).

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Lost in the Sun

Trent is navigating his life of middle school, friendship and perceptions, and in the middle of it all, makes friends with a girl who has a different story every time about the origins of the scar on her face. Mostly, Trent is dealing with the accidental death of a boy in his smallindex~~element108 town which Trent thinks he caused. The characters are layered, the plot is interesting, and Lisa Graff lets us into Trent’s heart of hearts even when he himself doesn’t know exactly what’s there.

The book jacket says this is “a story of true friendship“, which it is, but it’s also a story of family and not always liking your dad and learning to deal with people without blowing up. The best part is the ending, where the story is wrapped up, yet some things are the same, just like real life.

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No, No, Kitten!

Kittens are not all sugar and spice and sleeping on fluffy pillows, and No, No, Kitten! gets this exactly right. Kitten wants to do all sorts of non-kitteny things, including having a No No Kitten 1631puppy, and Kitten’s little girl owner keeps telling her, “No, no!” Does Kitten listen? Of course not, proving that Kitten can indeed blast off to Jupiter.

Shelley Moore Thomas and Lori Nichols have created a fun and imaginative read aloud picture book that explores themes of persistence and creativity.

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My Pen

9781423103714A lovely ode to imagination and creative expression, My Pen takes us on a journey of all the things a pen can do: sail to Africa, see with x-ray vision, ride dinosaurs and much, much more. Christopher Myers‘s pen and ink illustrations are incredibly detailed and beautiful.

This picture book works well for all ages, especially because of its themes of artistic exploration.

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