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February 2019 Picture Book Recap

March 21, 2019

Oh my word! What a start to the year!

 

Here's what stuck out to me from the JANUARY 2019 picture book releases that crossed my desk.

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!)

 

 

FEBRUARY 2019 Recap (selected picture books):

 

The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs

by Fiona Robinson (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

 

A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins--the first person to ever publish a book of photographyAfter losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799–1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens—a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.

 

 

Carter Reads the Newspaper

by Deborah Hopkinson and Don Tate (Peachtree Publishing Company)

 

"Carter G. Woodson didn't just read history. He changed it." As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people.

 

Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day. When he was still a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines. There he met a man named Oliver Jones, and Oliver did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them. "My interest in penetrating the past of my people was deepened," Carter wrote. His journey would take him many more years, traveling around the world and transforming the way people thought about history.

 

From an award-winning team of author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Don Tate, this first-ever picture book biography of Carter G. Woodson emphasizes the importance of pursuing curiosity and encouraging a hunger for knowledge of stories and histories that have not been told. Illustrations also feature brief biological sketches of important figures from African and African-American history.

 

 

The Crab Alphabet Book
by Jerry Pallotta and Tom Leonard (Charlesbridge)
 
With his signature humor and amazing facts, best-selling author Jerry Pallotta offers a decapod for every letter of the alphabet.Meet dozens of crustaceans--and a few bonus animals--with engaging text and a laugh-out-loud narrative, from A (Arrow Crab) to E (exoskeleton) to I (Imocaris, a kind of fossil scientists believe to be the first crab on earth) to Z (Zebra Hermit Crabs, which have a hard covering on their legs and claws, but their body is soft). Readers of all ages will be entertained (and learning!) with every page turn.

 

 

A Friend for Henry

by Jenn Bailey and Mika Song (Chronicle Books)

 

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.

 

 

The Full House and the Empty House

by LK James (Ripple Grove Press)

 

The Full House and the Empty House are very good friends— when they dance they admire in each other the qualities they lack within themselves. Even though the houses are different on the inside, it doesn't reflect how they feel on the outside. The bathroom of the full house was full of many bathroom-y things. There was a big bathtub with gold clawed feet, a sink shaped like a seashell, a hairbrush and comb made of bone, and cakes of lilac soap. In the bathroom of the empty house was just a toilet and a sink. In the evening when the two houses grew tired of dancing, they would rest on the hillside and look out at the world together.

 

 

Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story

by Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

 

Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend.

 

 

The Good Egg

by Jory John and Pete Oswald (HarperCollins) ,

 

From the bestselling creators of The Bad Seed, a timely story about not having to be Grade A perfect!

 

Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed.

 

But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten.

 

As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect.

 

So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…

 

Dynamic duo Jory John and Pete Oswald hatch a funny and charming story that reminds us of the importance of balance, self-care, and accepting those who we love (even if they are sometimes a bit rotten).

 

Perfect for reading aloud and shared story time!

 

 

Look Up with Me: Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Life Among the Stars

by Jennifer Berne and Lorraine Nam, with introduction by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Katherine Tegen Books)

 

With an introduction from Neil DeGrasse Tyson about the importance of kid-like curiosity, this lyrical picture book biography on the beloved astrophysicist and host of Cosmos is the perfect gift for young astronomers and fans of all ages.

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson was born curious. And the secrets of a billion galaxies lay there—waiting for him to explore its cosmic mysteries. He just had to look up. Up beyond the city lights, up at the shining stars, up through the Milky Way, and past the veil of the night sky.

 

Follow young Neil's journey as he discovers the wonders of space, the thrill of science, and the joy in sharing the beauty of our amazing universe. Read his favorite mind-blowing facts and learn what mysteries are left to solve.

 

From On a Beam of Light author Jennifer Berne and debut paper illustrator Lorraine Nam comes the inspiring true tale of Neil's life and how he became a world-famous astrophysicist.

 

The future of discovery lays with you. Look up with Neil and begin your own journey into the cosmos.

 

 

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

by Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth (Lee & Low Books) ,

 

Growing up in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai loved books and school. But in 2009, the Taliban came to power and closed all schools for girls. Malala, just eleven years old, began to speak and blog about the right of all children to receive an education.

 

Soon fighting broke out and Malala's family fled the Swat Valley. After the fighting ceased, they returned home, and Malala continued to speak out. That's when she was shot by a Taliban gunman, but her life-threatening injury only strengthened Malala's resolve. In 2013, just nine months after being attacked, Malala addressed the United Nations about the right of every child to receive an education, and in 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At age seventeen, she was the youngest person ever to receive this honor.

 

This book is more than a biography of a brave, outspoken girl who continues to fight for the millions of children worldwide who are not able to go to school. It is also a testament to the power of education to change the world for girls and boys everywhere.

 

 

My Mommy Medicine

by Edwidge Danticat and Shannon Wright (Roaring Brook Press)

 

My Mommy Medicine is a picture book about the comfort and love a mama offers when her child isn't feeling well, from renowned author Edwidge Danticat.

 

Whenever I am sick,

Or just feel kind of gloomy or sad,

I can always count on my Mommy Medicine.

 

When a child wakes up feeling sick, she is treated to a good dose of Mommy Medicine. Her remedy includes a yummy cup of hot chocolate; a cozy, bubble-filled bath time; and unlimited snuggles and cuddles. Mommy Medicine can heal all woes and make any day the BEST day!

 

Award-winning memoirist Edwidge Danticat's rich and lyrical text envelops the reader in the security of a mother's love, and debut artist Shannon Wright's vibrant art infuses the story with even more warmth.

 

 

Poop or Get Off the Potty!

by Margaret McNamara and Allison Black (Henry Holt and Co)

 

When Mason and Mia were babies, they pooped a lot—always in their diapers.

 

Now that they're big kids, it's time to use the potty. But what is the potty for?

 

Naps? NO.

 

Books? NO.

 

Playing the drums? No, no, no!

 

Mason and Mia look ahead to official big-kid territory in Poop or Get off the Potty!, this hilarious, instructive story from with special emphasis on that momentous toddler milestone: pooping in the potty!

 

 

Say Something

by Peter H. Reynolds (Orchard Books)

 

The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea... say something! If you see an injustice... say something!

 

In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are... what you are thinking... and what you believe. And how you'll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!

 

 

Titanosaur: Discovering the World's Largest Dinosaur

by Dr. Diego Pol, Dr. Jose Luis Carballido, and Florencia Gigena (Scholastic Press)

 

Get ready to meet the Titanosaur -- the biggest, heaviest creature to ever walk the Earth!

 

This book tells the story of the discovery of this new dinosaur from the mouths of the paleontologists who led the dig! From its discovery by a local herder, to the organization and completion of the excavation, this riveting story will have readers on the edge of their seats, and the beautifully painted illustrations will mesmerize. The final spread will open up into a gatefold showing a photograph of the full Titanosaur skeleton on display at the museum. Chock-full of back matter like a glossary and extra information and photographs from the dig, and an inside jacket poster of the Titanosaur, kids of all ages will devour this book.

 

 

Under My Hijab

by Hena Khan and Aaliya Jaleel (Lee & Low Books)

 

Grandma's hijab clasps under her chin. Auntie pins hers up with a whimsical brooch. Jenna puts a sun hat over hers when she hikes. Iman wears a sports hijab for tae kwon do. As a young girl observes the women in her life and how each covers her hair a different way, she dreams of the possibilities in her own future and how she might express her personality through her hijab.

 

With cheerful rhyming text by acclaimed author Hena Khan, and charming illustrations from talented newcomer Aaliya Jaleel, Under My Hijab provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers, and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them.

 

 

The Whole Wide World and Me

by Toni Yuly (Candlewick)  

 

A bold, joyful picture book for the very young shows that the natural world is full of wonders — and each of us is a small part of that.

 

Like a flower in a field . . .

Like a cloud in the sky . . .

So am I.

 

Just as a pebble is part of a mountain, just as a wave is part of the sea, so, too, is every one of us part of something bigger. With bright collage illustrations and a simple, lyrical text, acclaimed author-illustrator Toni Yuly invites readers to celebrate our relationship to the natural world.

 

 

Wilma's Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller (Big Words series)

by Doreen Rappaport and Linda Kukuk (Disney-Hyperion) ,

 

As a child in Oklahoma, Wilma Mankiller experienced the Cherokee practice of Gadugi, helping each other, even when times were hard for everyone. But in 1956, the federal government uprooted her family and moved them to California, wrenching them from their home, friends, and traditions. Separated from her community and everything she knew, Wilma felt utterly lost until she found refuge in the Indian Center in San Francisco. There, she worked to build and develop the local Native community and championed Native political activists. She took her two children to visit tribal communities in the state, and as she introduced them to the traditions of their heritage, she felt a longing for home.

 

Returning to Oklahoma with her daughters, Wilma took part in Cherokee government. Despite many obstacles, from resistance to female leadership to a life-threatening accident, Wilma's courageous dedication to serving her people led to her election as the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. As leader and advocate, she reinvigorated her constituency by empowering them to identify and solve community problems.

 

This beautiful addition to the Big Words series will inspire future leaders to persevere in empathy and thoughtful problem-solving, reaching beyond themselves to help those around them. Moving prose by award-winning author Doreen Rappaport is interwoven with Wilma's own words in this expertly researched biography, illustrated with warmth and vivacity by Linda Kukuk.

*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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