Here’s another group of picture books to keep your summer reading basket full!
Little Butterfly by Laura Logan, Balzer + Bray
This is a wordless book, so unless you are an expert in sharing those at storytime, this one is probably best one-on-one. But it is a lovely little story about a girl who helps a butterfly. Peek under the dust jacket for a nice little surprise. Share with kids who have big imaginations.
The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi, illustrated by Shahar Kober, Mighty Media
A modern twist on an old tale, this little dumpling feels ugly until it sees others just like it. The twist comes not with the play-on-words of “dumpling”, but in the fact that dumpling, aided by a friendly cockroach, discovers that being different is actually quite OK. Add a bit of diversity into your storytimes with this one. Fun illustrations, lots of good vocabulary, and it will make your listeners think.
A Fire Truck Named Red by Randall de Seve, Illustratd by Bob Staake, Farrar Strauss Giroux
I have to admit—I have never really been a fan of digital illustrations. But Bob Staake has changed the way I feel about that. His book, Bluebird, changed it for me. The story told in that wordless book made me really dig deeper and look at what he had done with digital art. I still struggle with some digital art, but when Staake illustrates a book, I know I am going to be wowed, even if it takes me several readings to get there. This one is like that. It is a seemingly simple story of a boy who wants a flashy fire truck but gets an old one. Grandpa tells him stories, which then ignite his imagination. Good story. But Staake makes the magic happen. In a spread where the boy is drawn, literally, into the story – into a sepia-toned world where the story is the magic, Staake hooked me. Share it with kids, who will love the story, and look deeper at the illustrations, which might make you, too, into a believer.
I Love You More and More by Nicky Benson, illustrated by Jonny Lambert., Tiger Tales
While a bit saccharine for my personal tastes, I am including this one because it will make a good choice for baby storytimes. Parents with newborns will enjoy the sentiment and any time I can convince someone to read to a baby, I’ll do it. Sweet book.
Arctic White by Danna Smith, illustrated by Lee White, Henry Holt & Co.
Those of us in the North know that there are so many colours of white. This book celebrates those colours, and gives us a glimpse into the frosty world of the Arctic. But it is the other colours—those of the Northern Lights – that make this book shine. I’m a sucker for books about the Northern Lights, which I am fascinated by and hope to see one day. Pair with Painted Skies by Carolyn Mallory.
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti, Henry Holt & Co.
Superheroes never seem to go out of style, and this romp with Captain Magma and Lava Boy will delight the action-figure lovers in us all. The bright gouache paintings fit perfectly with the tone of the story, and a fitting end page, with our two superheroes covered up and asleep, is just right.
Follow Me by Ellie Sandaff, Margaret K. McElderry
This is a good choice for toddler storytimes for several reasons. There’s a nice refrain of Follow Me, follow me, follow me. There’s some fun vocabulary. And those striped tails—they are so much fun, on each page. Could be a great introduction to patterns, too. And lemur—that’s a fun word to say. This one is just plain fun.
More-igami by Dori Kleber, illustrated by G.Brian Karas, Candlewick Press
This little guy, Joey, loves things that are folded. Like tacos, maps, accordions. When he is introduced to origami, his little mind is obsessed. He begins to fold everything, and that starts to annoy his family. Resolution comes when a restaurant owner lets him fold napkins. I love this one for the diversity depicted in the illustrations— the child, the community, and the introduction of culture to a young reader – all are a perfect fit. It even includes instructions for a beginner origami fold.