All posts in Reading Lists: Picture Books

Discover Your World Picture Book GIVEAWAY!

Discover Your World Picture Book GIVEAWAY!

What does it mean to children to discover the world around them? I’m taking the view that it’s a full body experience from bathing to world religion to the natural world. The commonality: discovering children from around the world and finding similarities. If your kids want to take this path of discovery, I’m jump starting this by giving away two books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to win 2 books, one to each winner. Please leave a comment about your first choice.

Picture Books to Discover Your World

My First Book About the Qur’an: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children by Sara Khan, illustrated by Ali Lodge

The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam and this board book is a great introduction to children of any age who want to learn about the Muslim faith. This is a great book to include in teach kids about world religions. [board book, ages 1 and up]

Beautiful Rainbow World by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet

Daria: World Music for Children sings this song. Now the lyrics make up the test for this beautiful photo-illustrated book to celebrate diversity around the world through images of children at play.

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12 Wonderful Diversity Going to Bed Books & GIVEAWAY!

12 Wonderful Diversity Going to Bed Books & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Carol Gordon Ekster today! She’s no stranger to bedtime stories, having written a few of her own. She shares her list of favorite diversity bedtime books and we are giving away a copy of her newest book, You Know What? Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster, illustrated by Nynke Talsma 

Oliver should go to sleep. But there is so much he wants to tell his mother about: what happened that day at school, the things he read in books, everything he sees around him.
A touching and familiar picture book about (postponing) the ritual of going to sleep. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Diversity Going to Bed Books

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

This is a lovely lyrical and poetic read aloud. Beautiful language and soft gorgeous illustrations showing an African family’s love, make this a wonderful bedtime book to choose. [picture book, for ages 3 and up]

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine, illustrated by Fred Koehler

A lyrical poem uses a flashlight to shed light on the magic and wonder three children experience, one child being African American. At the end we see the children reading classics under a cover with a flashlight and understand that the books offered the adventures highlighted with gorgeous detail by the amazing artist, Fred Koehler. [picture book, for ages4 and up]

Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell

While this is not the typical bedtime story, it has dreams and sleeping, and lovely writing with beautiful illustrations with strong colors. I love that it teaches children to believe in themselves and not give into allowing others to make you feel badly. This takes place in Africa, showing another culture and meeting the needs for diverse books. [picture book, for ages 4 and up]

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My 2017 Caldecott Predictions

My 2018 Caldecott Predictions

Last year, I speculated on the criteria that I think makes a picture book a Caldecott winner and I did pretty well predicting the winners with four of the five! This is what I wrote last year:

Caldecott Picture Books Should Appeal to a Wide Audience

The Caldecott is determined by adults, first and foremost, so the picture book has to appeal to adult sensibilities who then imagine this book for a young audience. I think this broad audience is also a fundamental characteristic for winning a Caldecott. In fact, the broader the better, both in age and in subject matter.

Caldecott Books Should Have a Timeless Appeal

I think the picture book to win a Caldecott should also be able to transcend the vagaries of time in terms of staying relevant far into the future. There’s nothing sadder than an old Caldecott picture book that no one reads anymore, like an anachronistic relic from the past, dug up in a dusty attic to be ridiculed that someone actually read this book and liked it a long, long time ago. That’s where the story comes into play.

Caldecott Books Seamlessly Combine Story with Illustrations

I think it’s easier said than done. The graphic design of the pages which is often in the hands of neither the author or illustrator can make or break a picture book.

Caldecott Books Should Be a Discovery?

This is the outlier point for me. I think a great Caldecott winner is a discovery for a well read audience. It’s easy to give the award over and over again to the likes of say … David Weisner, Jon Klassen, Marla Frazee and others, but isn’t even more exciting to put a lesser known illustrator front and center?

This year, I’m adding another criteria: Important Messages for Children.  I’m thinking that now, more than ever, picture books that impart an important message to kids is higher on the list than ever.

With these points in mind, this is my list for predicting the 2017 Caldecott. In order to make this list, I researched many mock Caldecott lists and posts which gave me 25 books. After reading all these books, I’ve narrowed it down. I’m also favoring Important Messages for Children as part of my selection process.

p.s. My Caldecott/Newbery predictions are here: 2017201620152014, and 2013.

My 2018 Caldecott Predictions

Most Likely to Win Caldecott

After The Fall by Dan Santat

My front runner is Dan Santat’s latest fractured fairy tale/growth-mindset picture book that is both clever and moving. It’s the ambiguous ending that seals the deal for me though. The genius of this story is taking something that is well known and finding a spin that is both inspiring, provocative, and cleverly original. The growth mindset message is right on target as well. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Rooting Hard For These

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

There has been a lot of buzz about this non-fiction picture book all year and the genius of this book is how Jason Chin packs a lot of information in beautifully designed page spreads, making it easy to read and understand. The Grand Canyon is a big place to explore, but Chin takes the reader through a logical progression following the waterways and then climbing out of the gorge to the top. This is really an exceptional non-fiction book with every detail of earth science meets biology with a side of ecology is edited to perfection. [nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]

Mighty Moby by Ed Young and Barbara Lacosta

This picture book is a clever riff off Moby Dick with twists and turns. What is exceptionally clever is that the reader is required to turn the book sideways from page spread to page spread, which gives a sense of movement as if on a rollicking ship. The mixed media artwork is both realistically rendered but also a puzzle to solve. I feel like Ed Young is due for Caldecott recognition and I am hoping it happens for his through this book. [picture book, ages 6 and up]

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10 Books to Encourage a Love of Science in Babies & Toddlers & 8 Signed Book GIVEAWAY

10 Books to Encourage a Love of Science in Babies & Toddlers & 8 Signed Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Ruth Spiro! Ruth’s series, Baby Loves Science, introduces very young children to science concepts. She’s created a list of science-y board books and picture books for babies and toddlers.

We are giving away 8 signed books by Ruth Spiro — two each of her books! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

p.s. I have a list of Funny Science-y Math-y Books for Kids, and Best Science Apps for Kids Ages 4 and Up.

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Babies and toddlers delight in discovering new things every day. Watching a bird fly, building a block tower, and even feeling the sun’s warm rays, they are gathering information on how the world works.  As author of the Baby Loves Science series of board books, my goal is to help create a connection between these familiar experiences and the science behind them.

When selecting books, note that even those not specifically about science can still develop foundational skills that may spark a future interest. I’m happy to share this list of books that may help parents and caregivers turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities for their little ones.

10 Books to Encourage a Love of Science in Babies & Toddlers

10. Space Walk by Salina Yoon

This rhyming story takes readers on a journey into the solar system, with plenty to discover in a lift-the-flap format. There’s something about astronauts and outer space that holds a fascination for kids, and this board book is a perfect age-appropriate introduction. [board book, ages 3 and up]

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Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

I fell in love with Finding Wild when I first read it. It was lauded by a lot of picture book bloggers and Instagramers that I follow, so it caught my eye. I hunted it down at my local book store, and I thought it was such a gem. It captured childhood and adventuring in a sweet, gentle way. It’s the idyllic childhood that we all dream about.

Now, the author and illustrator of Finding Wild are back with another picture books that captures the small joys and adventures of childhood: fort-building. I haven’t read it yet, but I am looking forward to it.

 

Fort-Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin

From the creators of Finding Wild, a new picture book that follows the changing of the seasons and is as cozy as a fort.

Author Megan Wagner Lloyd is here today, sharing her 10 favorite picture books that celebrate working together. It won’t surprise you that her list includes other sweet and gentle adventures of friendships both new and old.

We are giving away 2 signed copies of Fort-Building Time! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

10 Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together

10. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

In this classic picture book, kids build their own pretend town called Roxaboxen. One thing I love about this story is that it shows how the line between work and play can be so fine for kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

9. Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

This sweet new picture book shows a group of neighborhood kids coming together to help Colette find her lost pet. In a darling twist, it doesn’t seem to matter to the kids that Colette never had a pet to begin with—they’re ready to be her friends! [picture book, ages 3 and up]

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6 Picture Books That Teach Word Concepts & GIVEAWAY

6 Picture Books That Teach Word Concepts & GIVEAWAY

I love picture books that teach and these 6 books do not disappoint. From compound words to alliteration to literacy, these books are a fun way to get kids exposed to word concepts.

I’m giving away four of these picture books to four winners. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

Picture Books That Teach Word Concepts

Halloween ABC by Jannie Ho

I met Jannie Ho in my Community Education Children’s Writing class and she’s the nicest person ever! Her Halloween alphabet book is a not-scary way to learn the letters! [board book, ages 1 and up]

Betty’s Burgled Bakery: An Alliteration Adventure by Travis Nichols

My counters and cupboards were completely cleared of carrot cake, cornbread, and crackers.

This is a considerably crummy crime.

This is a fun adventure that introduces kids to alliteration. The story is told sequentially through alliteration in each alphabet letter. Gumshoe Zoo is the detective of this animal caper. The format of a graphic novel makes this especially engaging to read. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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10 Picture Books Celebrating Korean Culture & 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

10 Picture Books Celebrating Korean Culture & 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author and illustrator Aram Kim! Her newest book, No Kimchi for Me! is something that I can relate to as this is exactly how my oldest daughter, now 17, learned to love kimchi!

No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim

Yoomi hates stinky, spicy kimchi―the pickled cabbage condiment served at Korean meals. So her brothers call her a baby and refuse to play with her. Yoomi is determined to eat kimchi. She tries to disguise it by eating it on a cookie, on pizza, and in ice cream. But that doesn’t work. Then Grandma shows Yoomi how to make kimchi pancakes.

This story about family, food, and a six-year-old “coming of age” has universal themes, and at the same time celebrates Korean culture. A kimchi pancake recipe and other back matter are included. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

As for me, I’m half Japanese and half Chinese American but I married an Korean American. I was introduced to Korean food in college, including kimchi which I really enjoy, to the great amusement of my Korean mother-in-law!

Aram has created a picture book list for anyone who wants to celebrate or learn about Korean culture. I was thrilled that there are actually ten picture books on this topic!

Aram and I are giving away 3 SIGNED copies of No Kimchi for Me! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

p.s. I have a few Korean American book lists here:

Top 10 Korean American Books for Kids

15 Great Korean Folk Tales for Kids

10 Wonderful Picture Books Celebrating Korean Culture

1. My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

The story shows how a little Korean girl who moved to America slowly and gradually opens up and embraces her new home. Narrated by the little girl Yoon, readers can see how she sees and feels the world around her. Gorgeous, and somewhat surreal illustrations are icing on the cake. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

2. Junas Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino

Very sweet and charming story of a girl who deals with her best friend’s sudden departure by going on various imaginary adventures. Soft and beautiful illustrations accompany the text seamlessly. Very heartwarming and satisfying ending. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

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6 Halloween Picture Books & 4 Book GIVEAWAY

7 Halloween Picture Books & 4 Book GIVEAWAY

Halloween is around the corner! I’m getting ready by giving away four of these fun Halloween picture books to four winners. Please fill out Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

What are you favorite Halloween books to read with your kids? Thanks for sharing!

7 Fun Halloween Picture Books

Halloween ABC by Jannie Ho

An alphabet book with Jannie Ho’s charming and not scary illustrations. Use this board book to introduce toddlers to the concept of Halloween. You might get costume ideas from this book too! [board book, ages 1 and up]

Fingers for Halloween by Brandt Lewis, illustrated by Cori Doerrfield

I’ve always loved reading this kind of finger wiggling interactive board book to my kids when they were little. They delighted in getting physically involved with a book. The rhyming text makes this a fun way to teach kids counting from one to five. [interactive board book, ages 1 and up]

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Josh Funk’s Top 10 Fractured Fairy Tales & GIVEAWAY

Josh Funk’s Top 10 Fractured Fairy Tales & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Josh Funk! We are are giving away his newest picture book, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, and … surprise! This is his FIRST non-rhyming picture book. I mention that because Josh is gifted in the art of rhyming. I learned that when I attended his seminar at The Writer’s Loft: To Rhyme or Not Rhyme.

It was hugely helpful as my first book coming out through Lee and Low Books is a rhyming picture book. As I struggled over the edits, I remembered Josh Funk’s advice: the meter or stressed syllables are more important than keeping the exact count of syllables consistent. It’s about how easy the book is to read aloud!

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