How better to get ready for Easter than by reading these three picture books about Easter? Each is special and will be loved for different reasons; each is worth reading with children before and after Easter.
‘Tis the season, and there’s a plethora of perfectly pet-a-licious picture books to share with the young animal lovers on your shopping list. The choices range from silly to serious, and everything in between.
“Which One Doesn’t Belong? Playing with Shapes” by math teacher Christopher Danielson is an amazing picture book sure to make those who read it feel great about their math abilities. It’s a no-brainer, because in this wonderful and creative book of math problems, there are no wrong answers!
In “New Kid,” Jerry Craft introduces Jordan Banks, a wanna-be artist and seventh grader who is starting at a new school, a fancy private school. It’s called Riverdale Academy Day School (RAD) and it’s exclusive, prestigious, and filled with mostly rich white kids, all of which Jordan is not. Each new student gets a “guide,” and Jordan is lucky — his guide is Liam, a kid who, while rich and white, really needs a friend.
Shaun Tan creates another thoughtful, insightful, simple-yet-oh-so-complex picture book with “Cicada.” The plot, on one hand, is simple. As Tan writes on the inside cover of the book, “Cicada tell story. Story good. Story simple. Story even human can understand. Tok Tok Tok!”
In “The Curiosities,” author Susan Gloss creates a cast of characters who all come together in the home of Betsy Barrett, a deceased philanthropist, who left instructions to create a residency program, or artist colony, in her Madison, Wisconsin mansion. The main character, Nell Parker, has a PhD in art and the outstanding bills from many failed IVF attempts to have a baby, to compel her to take the job. The artists for the first session have already been chosen, and Nell will run and oversee the program.
With “Love,” author Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Joanne Lew-Vriethoff present images that children will relate to all demonstrating that love has no boundaries, no color barriers, no species barriers, but is all-encompassing.
“Hope” by Matthew Cordell follows his beautiful picture book, “Dream,” which is “a poem of love and the book is a poetic ode in words and pictures to the power of parental care.” “Hope” features lions instead of gorillas, and the voice is one of the grandparents sharing their hopes and dreams and wishes for their grandchild.
“You will meet so many. Many who are like you. Many who are not. Continue looking. Continue seeking. And for the future, there will always be hope.”
“Because” is a perfectly lovely picture book by the prolific children’s author Mo Willems. Though Willems is also an illustrator of note, he turned over that particular duty to Amber Ren for this piece, and the result of their combined talents is a testament to the beauty and power of teamwork as well as a superb rendering of the beauty and power of music — the power to inspire, to change lives, and to add wonder to our universe through our universal language.
It’s not too late to get books for the children on your shopping list. And there are many great children’s books available for every age and every interest. There’s a plethora of wonderful picture books for children who love to read or listen to books.
Nonfiction picture books are perfect devices to provide information to young readers who would not be able to access chapter books, but who hunger for real facts. Included in this group are picture books about historical figures, modern figures, science and nature. Continue reading
“Leo’s Gift,” ostensibly a children’s book but in fact a gift to all who read it — of any age — tells the story of a very young but very gifted boy who learns, quite by accident, of the amazing talent he possesses.
Leo hears his sister practicing piano as her recital day rapidly approaches. She dutifully practices her Mozart piece, but she makes it clear that she would much rather be outside practicing basketball, a sport which she loves and at which she excels. Leo, meanwhile, is entranced by the music; he begs his sister to show him how to make such beautiful sounds. She does so. He takes his turn at the piano and almost immediately is able to perform the Mozart piece impeccably. He is a “natural.”