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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
Immerse yourself in the world of Peter Nimble, a blind orphan who is also the most amazing thief in the world. His life changes forever when he steals a box filled with magical eyes. Great for older kids who want a fantastical adventure. Try the audiobook as a way to make car trips fly by.
Oh, Tyrannosaurus! All the other dinosaurs have their classroom rules down, but no matter how hard he tries, Tyrannosaurus just can't seem to get it right. The illustrations are bright and delightful and the text flows nicely (just practice those dinosaur names beforehand!). Both kids and adults will be able to relate to Tyrannosaurus's tale of wrecking and redemption.
This is the tale of Cece Bell's own childhood, growing up deaf after an illness. This graphic novel tells of her struggles to make friends and fit in, something all kids can relate to. After Cece discovers her school hearing aid allows her to eavesdrop on teachers anywhere in the building, she starts to see herself as a superhero, El Deafo, with a superpower. This is a wonderful story about self-acceptance and true friendship.
Is There Really a Human Race?
"Is there really a human race?" a little boy asks his mom. He ponders this question in the most literal sense. If so, when does it start, how does it end, and who wins? This book utilizes a child's innocent question and depicts the "human race" through fun illustrations and great rhyming throughout. As the child asks questions, he learns that winning isn’t everything, but contributing to the human race is a wonderful thing!
-Tina, Beacon Hill
Hank Finds an Egg
There are 75 more words in this review than there are in Hank Finds an Egg, a charming story that puts the picture back in picture book. Inquisitive Hank is a handmade stuffed bear who stumbles upon a fallen egg while walking through the forest one day. His journey to care for and eventually return the egg is told entirely through photographs. It is almost nauseating in its adorableness.
-Michael, Lake City
Hermelin the Detective Mouse
Hermelin is a smart and resourceful mouse who lives on Offley Street. He can read and is an excellent typist! He is also a detective which is very handy because there are some mysterious happenings afoot. Hermelin saves the day again and again by leaving typed notes for his neighbors. Everyone wants to thank Hermelin in person, but will they accept a mouse detective? Find out in this wonderfully illustrated story about acceptance and friendship.
It’s an Orange Aardvark!
In this exciting addition to color concept books, Hall creates a hilarious misadventure using some surprising characters: carpenter ants! With each bright burst of color, the ants think they are in more danger, but children will quickly catch on to what is really happening. The leading nature of the text makes this a perfect read aloud. The attention to detail, from tiny hard hats to pajama-wearing, bulldozer-driving aardvarks, is remarkable for such simple, lovely illustrations.
-Nathalie, High Point
Whimsical and colorful pastel drawings of benevolent monsters illustrate experiences of friendship. Artist Mies van Hout’s stylistically expressionist illustrations playfully denote emotions in combination with single words of text, such as “play,” “trust,” and “tease.” Full of movement and energy, these images are sure to delight both parents and children. From Dutch publisher Lemniscaat.
Paul Meets Bernadette
Charming and gorgeous, Paul Meets Bernadette is a picture book that will appeal to both children and caregivers. A goldfish named Paul lives contentedly in his bowl until the day a new goldfish, Bernadette, drops in with a rich imagination and playful way of seeing the world.
A Snicker of Magic
You know that fantastic feeling of being sucked into another world? I found it in Midnight Gulch, Tennessee. Felicity Pickle and her family arrive there and discover the town has an unusual past: it used to be full of magic. Felicity must now use her special word collecting ability to help bring the magic back before it is too late. Full of quirky characters and magical realism, this book is a real treat.
The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water
Little crocodile knows he should love water, and he is lonely not being able to play with his brothers and sisters, so (with new swim ring on) he determines to make the best of it. Turns out, there is a VERY good reason why little crocodile doesn’t like water! I love this story about celebrating how we are all different.
- Christiane, Queen Anne
Welcome to Mamoko
The immersive illustrations in this wordless seek-and-find book from Poland leave Waldo in the dust. Follow the interwoven stories of nineteen animals and one alien as they solve mysteries, fall in love, and lose their apples on the way to the town carnival.
- Robin, Central
If I Had a Raptor
A girl finds a box with a sign saying “Free Raptors” and she takes one home. Her raptor behaves like a kitten: snuggling in the laundry, running around like crazy all night, and sharpening her claws on the furniture. I loved the illustrations. The main character is an adorable little African-American girl (yay, more diversity in picture books!) and the raptor is a charming blue dinosaur. Children will want their own raptor after reading this!
-Christiane, Queen Anne
This Day in June
Finally a fantastic picture book all about the Pride parade! It’s lovely, brightly colored, simple enough for even the youngest kids, but with intricate illustrations that engage the older ones. There’s even a learning section in the back, if you want to know more about what part of the parade inspired each image. There is so much joy radiating out of it, I’m surprised we can keep it on the shelf!
Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit
A charming story about a moose that is too big for his book. He wiggles in backwards, stoops down low, but he just does not fit inside! Then he and his chipmunk friend come up with a creative solution, which will delight the young readers in your life.
- Rachel, Capitol Hill
Each of the kids in Rafael's class has received an identical kit of supplies and instructions for building a go-cart. But when Rafael teams up with his dreamy neighbor Maya, the story literally takes off. With an overt nod to breaking out of the mold and doing things your own way, this book is a delightful tale of two kids who are definitely Going Places!
In this wordless story, a dog discovers an umbrella leaning against the base of a tree and is suddenly whisked away by a gust of wind. The apprehensive canine is carried away on an adventure. Engaging images illustrate the dog’s emotions as the umbrella travels over deserts, oceans, jungles, and the North Pole, at last returning safely home. Once replaced, the umbrella is inspected by a cat, most likely the next unsuspecting explorer!
Welcome to Your Awesome Robot
When one has an empty cardboard box, one has a robot…with a little work first! In this adorable instruction manual for the younger set, children learn all of the key components to a great robot: motion, vision, input/output devices, and labels. Everything in the book can be done in real life, especially with grown-up assistance. Perfect for a rainy day!
-Nathalie, High Point
If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
Do questions like “How big is the Milky Way galaxy?” ever boggle your mind? Smith simplifies astronomy, biology and other sciences into relatable terms. For example, imagine key inventions of the last 1000 years on a timeline represented by a 12-inch ruler: where does the printing press show up, or the first newspaper? How about airplanes, television, or nuclear power? This book will encourage dialogue between all ages, teaching useful trivia in the process.
Octopus has a fan club – three seahorses that just won’t leave her alone. She’s feeling shy, so she goes off looking for peace and quiet, meeting many other sea creatures along the way. This is a beautifully illustrated and gentle story about deciding that the friends who irritate you are still your friends.
Look! A Book!
Bob Staake's illustrations are goofy and absurd, lending themselves perfectly to this hilarious seek-and-find book where penguins ride in teacups with baseball bats, and moose scientists oversee robot assembly lines. There are die-cut pages that offer a sneak peek into what comes next and a rhyming scheme that is sure to delight. Look! A Book! is picture book perfection.
Magpie Windwitch is an unusual faerie. She hunts snags (devils) with a bunch of crows resembling cheroot smoking, fussy, maiden uncles. When she discovers that the mannies (humans) have foolishly unloosed a darkness more powerful than any snag, she pursues it, aided at times by a flightless faerie prince, various imps, her childhood friend (more than just another faerie), and other surprising allies. The world Taylor has created is fresh and different and interestingly complex.
Jack finds Early Auden, another student at his new boarding school, a little unusual. No, very unusual. Nevertheless, the two unlikely friends launch themselves on an epic journey along the Appalachian Trail in search of a brother who has been reported killed on the battlefields of World War II. Pirates, bears, and secrets tangle and weave together in this story of friendship, family, and one irrational number.
If I Built a House
You might recognize Van Dusen's retro artwork from the Mercy Watson series. With a similar throw-back style, his picture books combine plucky, playful drawings with fun read-aloud rhymes. This is a fun story about a boy who dreams really big. Also try the Mr. Magee books!