With a palette of black, white and yellow, Nikki McClure portrays intricate and varied ways to stay “in”, until halfway through the book, our main character wants to go “out”. But this character doesn’t want to go out in the regular ways–she wants to go out in the rain and at night. A gorgeous fold-out page spread shows “every kind of owl” and in the back matter, McClure gives a detailed guide of thirty-five owls, which she admits are not “every kind of owl”; rather they are her favorites.
In by Nikke McClure is a book to read again and again.
Each page in Grace Hansen‘s Animal Facts to Make You Smile! has one unique and strange fact about an animal with a close-up photograph to match. Some of the facts are laugh-out-loud; all are true and will boost any child’s trivia knowledge, and may spark an interest to research that animal further. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series by ABDO Kids.
14 Cows For America is about Kimeli’s journey back home to Kenya after being in New York City on September 11, 2001. He speaks to his Maasai elders and they choose to give fourteen cows, the symbol of life, to America to bring healing: “Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.”
14 Cows For America, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez and written by Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah is an important, peaceful book about compassion and healing. The note in the back from Kimeli gives more background on what this gift of cows means, and how the herd continues to multiply, perpetuating the symbol of hope.
This nonfiction picture book has twenty-five page long biographies (X is a unique tribute to all those “women whose names we don’t know”) about historic women, including many less often lauded historical figures such as Dolores Huerta, The Grimke Sisters, Patti Smith and Ursula LeGuin. The biographies span two centuries, and some of those profiled are still living.
Read Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, in one sitting, or read it out loud in a classroom or at home, one page a day.
Every page of The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, illustrated by Rosana Faria and translated by Elisa Amado, is black with a short line of white print. Each line is also in Braille, and the pictures are raised like Braille in order for the reader to touch and imagine, using all of the senses but sight to envision a colour.
Use this book to start a conversation on the senses and visual impairment.
Books that have a limited vocabulary for early readers are usually rather drab. Smick, by Doreen Cronin and expertly illustrated by Juana Medina, entertains us with expressive illustrations, unexpected textures (it looks like Smick’s stick is a photo of a real stick, and Smick’s unlikely friend is an enhanced feather) and lots of energy (all in under 40 words–most of which end in -ick).