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April 2018 Picture Book Recap

May 9, 2018

Read any good books in April? I sure did. 

 

This eclectic set of stories includes one that will inspire, many that will elicit giggles, and more than I few I think you'll want to read over and over. 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!)

 

APRIL 2018 Recap (selected picture books):

 

FOR WORDLESS UPSTANDERS

 

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoeet

 

This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

 

 

FOR THE HELPERS

 
The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul

 

When devastating news rattles a young girl's community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers--the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead . . . and then another, and another.Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.

 

 

FOR WHEN YOU HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE BUT DON'T KNOW HOW

 
Tim's Goodbye by Steven Salerno 

 

Margot is sad because her beloved pet, Tim, has died.

 

She and her friends band together to give him a proper sendoff. Melinda brings her French horn. Vincent brings balloons. Otto wears his best hat. When all gather together, they celebrate Tim's beautiful, simple life as they send him on a surprising farewell journey to a special place above the mountains and beyond the clouds.

 

And Margot has a feeling that Tim is happy once again.

 

 

FOR EXPLORERS FINDING THEIR OWN PATH

 
Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx by Joe Todd-Stanton

 

Many years have passed since the tale of Arthur and the Golden Rope, and Arthur is now a world-famous adventurer. If only his daughter Marcy shared his enthusiasm for exploration...

 

Determined to bring out Marcy's adventurous side, Arthur sets off to Egypt to bring back the legendary Book of Thoth. When Arthur doesn't return, Marcy must follow in his footsteps. Can she overcome her fears and rescue her father from the clutches of the great Sphinx?

 

 

FOR THOSE LONGING TO SEE WHAT'S BEYOND THE FENCE

 

The Great Chicken Escape By Nikki McClure 

 

Good morning, Chickens. Chickens run Chickens roam. Chickens go home. Chickens, good night.

 

This simple and spare picture book about four chickens fleeing their coop for the day in the Alaska wild features Nikki McClure's signature cut-paper artwork and a beautiful die-cut cover.

 

 

FOR LATE-NIGHT DANCE PARTIERS

 
Zoogie Boogie Fever!: An Animal Dance Book By Sujean Rim 
 
What do the animals at the zoo do when the gates close at night? They boogie until dawn This bouncy, funny read-aloud is filled with an assortment of animals dancing to their own beat and celebrating their individuality. See the flamingos do the fandango, the elephants cha-cha-cha, and the little penguins break-dance as they all avoid being discovered by the zookeeper, and then turn the page to see everyone come together in one unforgettable conga line Kids will be dancing and moving as they read along with Sujean Rim's irresistible cast of animal characters that fills every page. It all culminates in a surprise orientation shift that reveals an unforgettable finale.
 
 
FOR TRIED AND TRUE FRIENDSHIPS
Fox & Chick :The Party: And Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier 
 
Fox and Chick don't always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captu
 
res the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends. The luminous watercolor images showcased in comic-book panel form will entice emerging readers, while the spare text and airiness of the images make this early chapter book accessible to a picture book audience as well.

 

 

FOR A DIFFERENT TAKE ON A FAMILIAR TALE

 

Red by Jed Alexander 
 
Red is on her way through the woods to visit Grandmother when she meets the Big Bad Wolf. What are that Wolf and all of those woodland creatures up to? This version of the classic folktale ends a bit differently. A delightful surprise awaits Red and readers in this wordless picture book featuring newcomer Jed Alexander's exquisite two-color illustrations.
 
 
FOR THOSE GROWING UP AND DREAMING BIG
 
When I Am Big by Maria Dek
 
A Walk in the Forest introduced the enormously talented Maria Dek, and When I Am Big is a beguiling follow up to her first success. Charming illustrations and text encourage young children to explore what they can do as they grow up. The adventurous child imagines "I will tie my shoes all by myself, make 3 knots with big bows"; to eat twenty pizzas in one sitting, or walk animals, eight at a time, while teaching them tricks. When I Am Big is also an unconventional counting book, as it goes all the way to twenty-five. The result is a book that nourishes a child's curiosity, confidence, and delight in the world's wonders. 
 
 
FOR WHEN INTERRUPTING STORIES MAKES THEM EVEN BETTER
 
Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins 
 
Once upon a time there was a book about . . .
MONSTERS 
No.
SPACE ALIENS?
Nope . . . a BUNNY 
A GIANT SCARY TRUCK-EATING BUNNY? ?
Um . . . well, maybe it was a tiny bit big.

 

From the curious mind of Rowboat Watkins comes a ginormously imaginative story that is as funny as it is philosophical. How big is Big Bunny? And how will this story end? Delightfully meta and humorously subversive, Big Bunny will take its place as the next go-to story about stories.
 
 
FOR GOING TO GREAT LENGTHS FOR THE ONES WE LOVE
 
I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi 
 

Yumi and her grandmother have the same great idea: They want to see each other. So they each head out to do just that, only to completely miss each other along the way No problem--they'll just head back home and wait for the other to return. The trouble is that they have the same great idea--again--resulting in the ultimate missed connection Will this duo ever find each other? Leave it to bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi to spin an action-packed story that sweetly, and humorously, celebrates the powerful grandparent-child bond.

 
 
FOR FINDING HELP IN UNEXPECTED PLACES
 
Who Will Bell the Cat? by Patricia C. McKissack and Christopher Cyr
 
A cat enters a barn and terrorizes a community of mice. Smart Mouse and Friend Mouse think they have solved the problem when they make a collar with a bell for the cat. But who will put the collar on the cat? Wee Mouse, Tiny Mouse, and Teeny Mouse nearly meet their demise in the first attempt. The Rat Pack offers to do it for a fee, but quickly surrenders. Then Smart Mouse and Friend Mouse figure out a way to get a human to help them.
 
 
FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE PURSUIT
 
The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc 

 

The best-selling The Lion and the Bird featured the enchanting stories and art of Canadian children's book author Marianne Dubuc. The Fish and the Cat is a playful story of pursuit between a cat and pet fish that starts in the house, moves through the neighborhood, and ends in the sky with a chase around the stars and the moon. This wordless picture book, full of action and humor, encourages children to create their own stories and adventures.

 

 

FOR YOUNG LEARNERS WITH AN OBSERVANT EYE

 
Sweet Shapes by Juana Medina
 

From the mastermind behind 1 Big Salad and ABC Pasta comes the latest culinary concept book: sweet shapes--a feast for the eyes

 

In this delicious forest, the bears are made of rectangular brownies, the goldfinches are triangles of lemon tart, and the butterflies are oval jelly beans. What child could resist learning shapes from such delectable creatures as these? Collage artist Juana Medina has outdone herself with this array of tooth-achingly sweet animal desserts that come in all shapes and sizes.

 

 

FOR SCIENTIFIC THINKERS AND DISCOVERERS

 
Terrific Tongues! by Maria Gianferrari and Jia Liu

 

This fascinating and whimsical nonfiction picture book uses humorous comparisons and playful artwork to teach children the unusual ways that a variety of animals--from woodpeckers to snakes to bats--use their tongues to find food, eat, and clean themselves.

 

In this nonfiction picture book, kids will learn about the woodpecker, which uses its tongue to burrow for insects under tree bark; the okapi, which can wash its face and ears with its tongue; and the octopus, which uses its tongue to drill holes in shells. Through debut illustrator Jia Liu's bright, playful collage artwork, readers can imagine what it would be like to have a tongue like a sword, like a straw, or like a party blower, among many other silly and illuminating comparisons. The back matter expands on each animal tongue's unique abilities and includes information about other fun tongues, too.

 

 

FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR FRIEND

 
This Story Is for You by Greg Pizzoli 

 

A simple "It's nice to know you" holds so much power in this tender picture book by acclaimed author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli. Finding value in others as a matter of course, the narrator accepts and appreciates difference as the foundation of a life-long friendship. This Story Is for You celebrates moments of kindness throughout, from the small to the grand in a heartwarming tale of human connection.

 

The warm, comforting text shares the tone of a Ruth Krauss classic and is balanced by Greg's energetic color palette and signature visual humor. This book is sure to be a special read for parents, children, and their friends for years to come.

*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 

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