There’s a huge pile of picture books on my desk. Here are a few of them I think you’ll enjoy. Follow me on Twitter @annavalley for #PictureBookPile; I share even more books there!
Bad Guy by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by Mike Yamada, Simon & Schuster
Older brother thinks he is a Bad Guy.. a pirate, a mad inventor, a capturer of superheroes… until younger sister Alice finds a book at the library and foils his plans. Fun Girl Power twist at the end turns the story on its head. Digital retro-style artwork captures the sibling adventures in a bright, fun presentation which includes panels and wordless spreads.
Zebra on the go by Jill Nogales, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha, Peachtree
In this rhymed story, a zebra accidentally steps on the lion’s toes, and mayhem ensues. Lion chases zebra all over town, and when lion needs zebra’s help, it is given. The illustrations are detailed watercolor and gouache, and kids will enjoy watching for bears in tutus, finding the zebra, and spotting the antics of monkeys. Makes a fun read-aloud with the lilting text.
If you were the moon by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim, Millbrook Press
Oh, the moon just sits there in the sky doing nothing, right? Wrong! This book has simple text accompanied by a paragraph of moon facts. For instance: If you were the moon you would: “Hover near your mother” – this page has a short paragraph of how the moon was once part of Earth. Jaime Kim’s acrylic and digital paintings keep the story moving along, and will engage young readers. What a great way to add some science into your storytime.
Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley, illustrated by Tracy Subisak, Roaring Brook Press
Shawn is obsessed with sharks. He owns 127 books about sharks, watches shark videos, wears a shark costume, and chases kids at school with his chomping shark mouth. When the class is assigned predator reports, Shawn is quite dismayed to get seal, while the girl he’s been annoying gets shark. Nice tension is set up with this story, and the ending is satisfying. Subisak’s cartoon-inspired pencil artwork is just right for the story, with a variety of spreads featuring full-bleed, then white space, then cartoon-like panels. Shawn in his shark suit and his cat in a fish suit are delightful details to add to this story.
The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Smamantha Cotterill, Schwartz & Wade
This story is loosely based on a Talmudic story of planting trees for future generations. In this one, a young girl’s neighbour, Honey, is a gardener, and the girl enjoys watching and helping. When Honey moves away, the girl wants to plant an apple tree, and does so with the help of Honey. The new family that moves in needs a bit of gardening help, and so the girl steps in. The pen, ink, and watercolour illustrations are sunny and have a nice fluid line. Nice addition to summer garden storytimes.
Water’s Children by Angele Delaunois, illustrated by Gerard Frischeteau, Pajama Press
Travel the world in this book about water – each page takes us to a different country, where we learn what water means. A brief description of how water is seen by a child ends in a poetic line, such as “For me, water is a perfect crystal of snow”. Excellent resource book for grades 1-3, perfect discussion starter for talking about one of the world’s most important resources, one that keeps us all alive, water.
My pictures after the storm by Eric Veille, Gecko Press
Grab this one for writing prompts or drawing lessons. Each spread shows a set of pictures, then the same drawings, after… a storm, lunch, the hairdresser, and more. Kids will love spotting the differences, and will likely be inspired to create their own before and after. You could also use this one to develop science skills such as observation and prediction. NOTE: There is a Santa Claus in the book (after the surprise), so if that is verboten at school, you could perhaps skip that page in class.