Picturebooks

Please click on the book title to read the full review.

 

Big Cat, Little Cat

This story captures the bond of friendship and the circle of life with simple text. Cooper’s use of black lines against lots of white space brings the complex subject up front and alive with movement.

 

The Blue Songbird

A little blue songbird just wants to sing like her sisters, but could never manage to sound as lovely as they do. Her mother tells her to go out and find her song, so she leaves her nest to travel to far-off lands and talk to many other birds about how to find her special song.

 

The Bookstore Cat

This charming book will delight cat and word lovers as readers follow along to learn all the adjectives that fit the Bookstore Cat. Inspired by a Victorian parlor game, the Minister’s Cat, the Bookstore Cat is many things, and all of them are accompanied by adorable illustrations.

 

Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

Gary Golio and E. B. Lewis bring the story of blues musician Blind Willie Johnson to life with rolling prose and imaginative watercolors. Inspiring while also somber, this book reminds all readers that even in the darkest moments there is still light.

 

A Different Pond 

Engaging portrait of father, his son and one fishing trip on a crisp autumn morning. Told through the eyes of the author as a young boy, Bao Phi is brought to the United States with his family fleeing Vietnam in 1975. Now residing in Minnesota, one morning they both set out to go fishing for dinner.

 

The Digger and the Flower

A story of three trucks, Crane, Dozer and Digger, who mindlessly build and build until Digger notices a flower in the rubble. Struck by its beauty, Digger takes care of the flower as the other trucks continue to build around him until finally there is no more space to build on except the strip of earth where the flower grows.

 

Egg 

A beginner’s book for your future graphic novel enthusiast. In true Henkes style, this story explores so many emotions that young children encounter when faced with someone different. Henkes achieves this using paneled illustrations.

 

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History 

With signature grace and style, Walter Dean Myers and Floyd Cooper harmoniously depict the life of Frederick Douglass in this picturebook biography. The storyline highlights the turning points in Douglass’s life, from the moment he realizes the value of words and education, to his quest for knowledge, freedom and equal rights for all. 

 

Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day

As an adult, the beautiful illustrations and wordless plot of Good Dog Carl can still entertain me. Good Dog, Carl truly inspired my imagination, and I remember falling asleep many times to plotted adventures I would have if only Carl was my dog.

 

Green Pants 

We all have our favorite something when we’re young—blankie, binky, shirt, pillow—and for Jameson, it’s pants. He loves his green pants so much that he refuses to wear any other color except green.

 

I’m a Duck 

A young duck struggles with his fear of swimming but with encouragement from his wise friends and a touch of practice, he finds he can jump right in! The rhythmic flow of the text makes this story an enjoyable read-aloud choice for young children.

 

Julián Is a Mermaid

When a young boy sees a group of women dressed as mermaids while on the train with his abuela (grandmother), his imagination takes hold. He loves the mermaids and wants to become one himself. He worries what his grandma will think.

 

Mae Among the Stars

A biography of the life of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman who was daring enough to travel in space. When a young Mae discusses a what-do-you-want-to-be assignment from school with her parents, she shares her dream of traveling to space one day.

 

Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports

Not just for sports fans! Phil Bildner’s storytelling genius pulls the reader in with a riveting rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Bildner doesn’t overload the reader with a ton of information, but offers enough to inform the reader about the history of these frenemies.

 

Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance

When Milk and Juice meet, it is love at first sight, and they spend many happy days in the refrigerator together. However, when Juice is taken away to be recycled, their love faces an obstacle, but will not be destroyed.

 

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

When McKinley Morganfield was a young boy, he liked playing in the mud in his backyard in Mississippi so much that his Grandma Della started calling him “Muddy,” and it stuck. Muddy loved nothing more than making music – when he saved up enough money for a used guitar, he started playing his own brand of Mississippi blues, much to Grandma Della’s chagrin.

 

Noisy Night 

With each turn of the page, the reader takes flight in this interactive story about a tall and noisy apartment building in the middle of a city. Beginning with a child unable to sleep as a result of mysterious “La La Las” above his head, to an opera singer interrupted by “ma ma mas”, the story moves up, up, up through each floor of the apartment building until reaching the very top where an old man’s sleep is interrupted by it all.

 

Original Cat, Copy Cat

When Pineapple’s family gets a new cat, his quiet routine gets ruined, and he quickly grows annoyed when Kiwi copies everything he does. To make matters worse, Kiwi ruins everything that Pineapple likes to do.

 

Pandora

Colored pencil and watercolor—such simple and delicate tools—that Victoria Turnbull uses to tell the poignant story of a little fox, Pandora, who journeys through a destitute world, making a home amongst the remaining rubble of what once was. 

 

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth 

This is a colorful and engaging way to introduce young children to the important role the sun plays in the Earth’s water cycle.  Molly Bang teams up again with MIT professor, Penny Chisholm to complete The Sunlight Series, books that explore the sun’s role in the water cycle.

 

See the Stripes 

Don’t let the bright colors and pop-up design fool you, this picturebook contains puzzles that will have even the oldest of readers pouring over the foldable flaps, pull tabs, cut-away windows, and rotating designs within its pages.

 

Wolf in the Snow

Besides a couple of whines, sniffs, howls and barks, this wordless picturebook tells the courageous story of a little girl who gets lost in the snow while walking home from school. She finds and saves a wolf pup who has lost his wolf pack, and together they travel through the unforgiving and blinding snow.