Two kids living in neighboring buildings never wave to each other because they have nothing in common, although separately, they love watching the old man with his marvelous dog. They both notice the day when something changed: “Neither had ever seen an old man cry. Or heard a name called so sadly it flies through your window and lands on your chest.” In parallel searches, they both go looking for the dog, and when they find him, they also find that they need each other to guide him home to the old man. Finally, they have something in common: friendship.
After a snooze, Bear looks skyward, where a little dot grows into a floating red moon on a silver string. Bear is delighted to have company and shares his life with the moon. But one day, he squeezes too hard and the moon bursts, leaving only scraps of red. Distraught, Bear blames himself. With time, he finds a transcendent source of love and comfort. Filled with exquisite language and whimsical illustrations, this is a tender and subtly-humorous story of friendship, loss, and self-forgiveness.
What happens to the birds that don’t fly south for the winter? Snow Birds introduces us to these resilient birds through verse bursting with sound and soft, striking illustrations. This book could be a delight for any season, but is especially a treasure for the winter months, revealing how life and beauty can endure through the harshest conditions.
Half a flower, half a vase, half a rug, half a face. Even half a cat! Everything in this strange room is only one half, but this book is a whole work of art. Ellis’s charming illustrations are captivating alongside fun, simple rhymes. This sweet and quiet book is perfect for snuggling in at bedtime (especially for all cat lovers).
The adventurous, joyful, confident Black narrator of this book leads us in one powerful affirmation after another. “I am every good thing that makes the world go round...I am brave. I am hope. I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.” Each page is filled with beautiful, lively portraits and empowering text. As a teacher, I would read this to students in elementary, middle, and high school to remind them that they are, “a star-filled sky of solutions.” A vital and relevant picture book you’ll want to share.
The Fan Brothers have done it again with this quirky picture book. Barnabus, who is half elephant and half mouse, was created to be the perfect pet. Instead, he is kept in a glass jar on a shelf with all the other failed pets. With illustrations ranging from hauntingly beautiful to bright and cheery, this imaginative book teaches readers that in a world obsessed with perfection, it’s ok to be imperfect.
Animals have a lot to teach us about how to be good creatures. A weasel can teach forgiveness, an octopus to find common ground, a dog to trust in tomorrow. Full of bright illustrations, good lessons, and even better creatures, this touching book is perfect for young animal lovers, and a wonderful invitation for readers of all ages to learn from the world around us.
This epistolary picture book from beloved author/illustrator Sophie Blackall tells aliens everything they need to know before visiting Earth. Full of facts about the diversity of people, plants, and animals that inhabit our planet alongside gorgeous illustrations, this is a perfect read-aloud for curious kids.
A meditation on the natural world spans a day and you might be the only human around to witness it. Hone your senses through rainstorm, setting sun and rising moon admidst an ancient starry sky. Listen to the elements and feel the vibrancy in every skyscape. Deeply textural illustrations are windows to one remote place in time, each shedding new light on the visible spectrum. Here is a poetic invitation to lose ourselves in a lush, reflective world. Settle in.
In all seasons, Deer likes to gather ingredients from the forest to bake sweet treats for his neighbors. One day, his recipe book goes missing, and mysterious footprints are found near his house. Follow the trail to enjoy a whimsical woodland story about generosity, friendship, and the power of a shared meal. This book will make you want to cozy up in the kitchen and bake with loved ones!
We watched homeless encampments crop up in south Minneapolis this summer. We see our neighbors in need. Day-to-day survival for so many balances on a knife-edge. Drawing from her own weekly commitment to provide a nourishing meal, Jillian Tamaki serves up just the soul-stirring story for this moment. In one little kitchen, an eclectic crew comes together with superhuman energy to feed bellies and fill hearts.
On Lina’s winter walk to her grandmother’s to make warak enab, she listens closely to all the ways she can hear snow: boots crunch, shovels scrape, and a blanket of white wraps the neighborhood in silence. This book celebrates everyday moments: cooking in a warm kitchen with family, the cold quiet of snowy days, and all that we can discover when we take time to listen.
A stranger arrives one day pulling a big suitcase. When the other animals ask him about it, he explains that there’s a teacup inside. When pressed he adds: also a table, a chair, and a little kitchen in a cabin. Their curiosity turns into disbelief and suspicion; after the exhausted traveler falls asleep, the animals break open the suitcase. I won’t give away the ending, but when he wakes up, the stranger can’t believe what the others have done. A beautifully spare tale about immigration, remorse, and reparation.
Kalia’s grandmother was born on the other side of the world, across a wide ocean, where, “she once looked into the gleaming eyes of a tiger.” All the grandchildren love to hear their beloved grandmother’s stories of bravery and resilience. The book moves from the jungles of Laos to life in the United States. Captivating, with gorgeous illustrations so beautiful they could be framed.
Swift Fox is filled with nervous butterflies as she meets her extended family for the first time. What if they don’t like her? What if she doesn’t fit in? Everyone has those concerns sometimes, and Thomas has crafted a beautiful story about embracing yourself. Alongside McKibbin’s rich colorful illustrations, we learn about Swift Fox’s Mi’kmaq heritage as she struggles to embrace it and join a bigger family.
Black Lives Matter. An uncontroversial statement. An uncontroversial statement?!? While the world struggles with that, this poetic work fosters conversations concerning racial injustice for all families. For Black families, this buoyant book offers an affirmation of community support along with ancestral and familial love that does not require permission from society to be granted. What an empowering book for our times!