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June 2018 Picture Book Recap

July 1, 2018

Summer Break! WOOHOO!

 

Time to finally give some attention to that TBR pile (or... maybe... make it even taller!).

 

I read so many books from June and had quite a difficult time narrowing down this list. Two titles that I loved which were intentionally left off are WE DON'T EAT OUR CLASSMATES by Ryan T. Higgins and HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG by Jen Betton. Each were previously featured on this site and I encourage you to click on these corresponding images to check them out.

 This month's recap includes fun with microbes,  exploring the deep unknown, an incredible immigrant story, some of the most beautiful art I've seen so far this year in picture books. 

 

Many of these books come from small publishers and may not have made their way to your local book store or public library yet. Talk to your local bookseller or librarian and request them. That's an easy way to make sure even more readers have the opportunity to meet these stories!

I wonder if you read and loved any of these? And I wonder which books weren't included on my list for one reason or another that definitely made it onto yours. (Be sure to share in the comments below!)

 

JUNE 2018 Recap (selected picture books):

 

FOR EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN THROUGH POETIC NARRATIVE STORYTELLING AND BREATHTAKING WATERCOLOR VISTAS

 

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock and Katherine Roy (LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

The suspenseful, little-known true story of two determined pioneers who made the first dive into the deep ocean.

 

On June 6, 1930, engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Beebe dove into the ocean inside a hollow metal ball of their own invention called the Bathysphere.They knew dozens of things might go wrong. A tiny leak could shoot pressurized water straight through the men like bullets A single spark could cause their oxygen tanks to explode No one had ever dived lower than a few hundred feet...and come back. But Otis and Will were determined to become the first people to see what the deep ocean looks like.This suspenseful story from acclaimed author Barb Rosenstock with mesmerizing watercolors by award-winning artist Katherine Roy will put you right in the middle of the spine-tingling, record-setting journey down, down into the deep.

 

 

FOR PERSISTING AND EXCELLING AMID INSURMOUNTABLE OBSTACLES

 
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker and Dow Phumiruk (HENRY HOLT & COMPANY) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

The bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the film Hidden Figures.

 

You've likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 moon landing. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned safely home?As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe.From Katherine's early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, this is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history.

 

 

FOR LEADING THROUGH DEDICATION, TRADITION, AND LOVE

 
The 5 O'Clock Band by Troy Andrews and Bryan Collier (ABRAMS) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

In this companion to the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning Trombone Shorty, join a scrappy young musician named Shorty on a tour of his beloved New Orleans. After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and soak up inspiration. Along the way he'll meet street musicians, a favorite restaurant owner, and the famous Mardi Gras Indians. Each has some NOLA-bred wisdom to share with Shorty about being an artist, a leader, and a friend. In The 5 O'Clock Band, Troy Andrews has crafted another unforgettable love letter to New Orleans illustrated by the incomparable Bryan Collier.

 

 

FOR THE WONDERS OF THE SEA AND FOR BEING A PART OF IT ALL

 
Off & Away by Cale Atkinson (DISNEY-HYPERION) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own.

 

With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picture book is a treasure.

 

 

FOR THE FEAR WE BUILD UP IN ANTICIPATION OF NEW THINGS

 

Saturday Is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum (CANDLEWICK PRESS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

New things can be scary -- but as one endearing little girl discovers, it's perfectly fine to take your time.

 

Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it's loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it's OK to sit by the edge if she doesn't want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomachache again, but with Mary's gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl's confidence grows -- until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomachache at all In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.

 

 

FOR COMPANY, GOOD AND BAD

 
Seven Bad Cats by Moe Bonneau (SOURCEBOOKS JABBERWOCKY)  
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
There once were seven very BAD cats...
 
Seven cats anywhere are probably too many. Seven BAD cats, all in one boat, is asking for trouble...
 
When a band of very bad cats stow away on a little girl's boat she knows she's in for a bumpy ride. But when they take their antics too far they just might ruin her whole trip
 
FOR INSPIRING PATRIOTISM THROUGH AN IMMIGRANT VOICE
 
God Bless America: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin by Adah Nuchi and Rob Polivka (DISNEY-HYPERION)  
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
An inspiring portrait of an immigrant and the gift he gave his new home.Persecuted as Jews, Izzy Baline and his family emigrated from Russia to New York, where he fell in love with his new country. He heard music everywhere and was full to bursting with his own. Izzy's thump-two-three, ting-a-ling, whee tunes soon brought him acclaim as the sought-after songwriter Irving Berlin. He ignited the imaginations of fellow countrymen and women with his Broadway and Hollywood numbers, crafting tunes that have become classics we still sing today.But when darker times came and the nation went to war, it was time for Irving to compose a new kind of song: A boom-rah-rah song.A big brass belter.A loud heart-melter.A song for America.And so "God Bless America" was born, the heart swelling standard that Americans have returned to again and again after its 1918 composition.This is the tale of how a former refugee gave America one of its most celebrated patriotic songs. With stirring, rhythmic text by Adah Nuchi and delightful, energetic art by Rob Polivka, readers will be ready to hum along to this exuberant picture book.

 

 

FOR BACKYARD EXPLORING AND OBSERVING

 

100 Bugs!: A Counting Book by Kate Narita and Suzanne Kaufman (FARRAR STRAUS GIROUX) 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
How many bugs can you count? From walking sticks to spittlebugs, dragonflies to katydids, discovering 10 bugs at a time, you just might see 100 bugs!
 
Little explorers will learn 10 different ways to count to 10, using 10 different kinds of bugs, and get all the way to 100 by the end of their adventure. With Suzanne Kaufman’s bright, whimsical illustrations and Kate Narita’s clever rhyming text, 100 Bugs! is part look-and-find, part learning experience, and all kinds of fun.
 
 
FOR ALL-AROUND-TOWN PEOPLE WATCHING WITH A TWIST 
 
Letter Town: A Seek-And-Find Alphabet Adventure by Darren Farrell (ORCHARD BOOKS) 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
Follow Bus Driver B through the jam-packed pages full of letters at work and play in a town unlike any other. From Avenue A to Zoo Z, there's always something to spot and see in Letter Town. Each bus stop reveals a new part of the town, while the bouncy rhyming narrative uncovers sneaky Detective D's mission to capture Robber R, who is causing mischief throughout the neighborhoods. And don't forget to be on the lookout for more hilarious letter characters and creatures on every page.
 
In Letter Town, author-illustrator Darren Farrell takes up the rhyming seek-and-find mantle, applying his own singular charm and humor through the vast and varied wonders of the alphabet. Also included is a reverse jacket alphabet poster for little ones to proudly display and exercise their own letter-seeking and writing abilities.
 
 
FOR THE MAJESTY AND THE WAITING
 
Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari and Brian Floca (ROARING BROOK PRESS)  
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
Early morning and a ruffle of feathers,
 
A shadow gliding through the backyard.
 
High above your house Father Hawk circles, sharp eyes searching for prey. From the front porch, you watch.
 
Swoosh
 
He dives after chipmunks, crows, sparrows, squirrels.
 
Screech
 
The sun sets low in the sky.
 
What's for dinner?
 
A father red-tailed hawk hunts prey for his family in a suburban neighborhood in this thrilling, fierce, and gorgeous nonfiction picture book illustrated by Caldecott medalist Brian Floca.
 
 
FOR FRIENDS AND WHAT WE MEAN TO ONE ANOTHER
 
Vernon Is on His Way: Small Stories by Philip C. Stead (ROARING BROOK PRESS) 
 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

"It is a very nice day," said Vernon.

Porcupine agreed. "I do not remember a day as nice as this."

"Except for maybe yesterday," offered Skunk.

 

Vernon, Skunk, and Porcupine are back The stars of Philip C. Stead's acclaimed Home for Bird have returned in three enchanting new stories, Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, each brimming with the tenderness and wry humor that made their first appearance such a delight.

 
 
FOR GETTING TO KNOW THE HIDDEN, MICROSCOPIC WORLDS WE INTERACT WITH DAILY
 
Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost (ROARING BROOK PRESS) Roaring Book Press
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
Min is a microbe. She is small.
Very small.
 
In fact, so small that you'd need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure to amazing places she's never seen before--like the icy glaciers of your tooth or the twisted, tangled jungle of your shirt.
 
The perfect book for anyone who wants to take a closer look at the world.
 
 
FOR NUANCED SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN EARNEST STORIES
 
Mabel and Sam at Home by Linda Urban and Hadley Hooper (CHRONICLE BOOKS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

At the new house, there were movers and shouting and boxes and blankets. There were many places a girl like Mabel and a boy like Sam could be tripped over or smooshed or trod upon. There was one safe place where they would not. And that is how Mabel became a Sea Captain. In this three-part picture book of moving house and imaginative play, Mabel and Sam sail the high seas of their new home; tour the intriguing museum of their living room; journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds; and discover how far afield--and how close to home--imagination can take them.

 

 

FOR THE LIGHT IN BABY AND ALL THROUGHOUT BABY'S WORLD

 
What Is Light? by Markette Sheppard and Cathy Ann Johnson (AGATE BOLDEN) 
 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Light can be so many things The twinkle of a faraway star, a firefly captured in a jar, a mother's love, a turtle dove . . .

 

Lyrical text and crisp, cheerful illustrations illuminate What Is Light?, each page revealing the sparkle found in a child's simple but extraordinary world. Young readers will enjoy discovering the special glow in everything from nature to the smiles of loved ones. The light revealed on the final page makes a fitting finale for this sweet, bright tale.

 

This board book edition is the perfect size for little hands.

 

 

FOR THOSE WHO SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT THEIR TURN

 
Not Yet Zebra by Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf (FABER & FABER CHILDREN'S) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

An alphabet book with a difference.

 

Annie wants to paint an alphabet using her animals, but Zebra simply can't wait until the end for his time to shine. Sneakiness, silly costumes and plain pushiness doesn't get him anywhere - but he has to learn to wait his turn This zany picture book is so much more than an alphabet book - it introduces manners and patience to the littlest readers in a gentle and fun way. Lou Kuenzler's text and Julia Woolf 's illustrations brilliantly combine with hilarious effect, and bring the alphabet to life in a totally new and inventive way.

 

 

FOR REPRESENTATION AND INCLUSION WITH FAMILIAR FACES

 
Peg + Cat: The Eid Al-Adha Adventure by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson (CANDLEWICK PRESS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

What happens when you take from where there's more and give to where there's less? While visiting friends Yasmina and Amir, Peg and Cat learn some surprising things about a holiday tradition

 

.It's Eid al-Adha, a very special holiday for Yasmina and Amir, who invite their friends Peg and Cat to check it out. After they all rock out with some singing, it's time to head to the celebration, where there's so much food waiting Amir explains that an important part of celebrating Eid al-Adha is dividing the meat into three equal parts, one third to be shared with someone who has less. But with all three bowls of meatballs holding different amounts, they've got a BIG PROBLEM Thanks to a balancing scale, a trip to a soup kitchen, and an unexpected visit to a housebound neighbor, Peg and Cat learn all about the concept of taking from where there's more and giving to where there's less. Even Cat discovers how awesome giving can be. Eid Mubarak

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