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March 2018 Picture Book Recap

April 4, 2018

Some of the books that published this month are ones I hold very, very close to my heart. There are books about family, of learning where you come from, and looking toward the future. There are books about gaining knowledge and of stewardship for this earth. And there are so many beautiful books about strong, wonderful, intelligent girls. Time and again I read stories to my daughter this month and felt how blessed we are to be reading stories that feature such amazing representations of girls and women of all ages and skin tones. 

 

Here's a collection of the books I can't stop thinking about from March. 

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!)

 

MARCH 2018 Recap (selected picture books):

Astronaut Annie by Suzanne Slade and Nicole Tadgell

 

Career Day is approaching, and Annie can't wait to show her family what she's planning to be when she grows up. But, she must keep it a secret until Friday So curious family members each ask Annie for a clue. Convinced that she'll be a news reporter like he once was, Grandpop gives her his old camera and notebook to use for her presentation. Grandma is sure Annie wants to be a champion baker like her, so she offers a mixing bowl and oven mitts to Annie. Hopeful she'll become the mountain climber he aspired to be, Dad gives Annie an old backpack. Mom presents Annie with a pair of high-top sneakers to pursue Mom's favorite sport in high school -- basketball.Grateful for each gift, Annie cleverly finds a way to use them all to create her Career Day costume. When the big day arrives, Annie finally reveals her out-of-this-world dream to everyone.

 

The Adventures of Wrong Man and Power Girl! by C. Alexander London and Frank Morrison
 

All he wants is to be a hero, but he's the hero no one wants This heartwarming story shows that dads can be superheroes--as long as they have their daughters by their side to do the real rescuing.

 

When trouble is brewing, Wrong Man is there to make it worse. When someone needs help, Wrong Man does just the opposite of what's needed. And when situations go awry, Wrong Man helps them go awry-er. Luckily, Wrong Man's daughter is there to really save the day.

 

In this comic-book inspired picture book, our hero accidentally melts stinky cheese all over the city, lets sharks loose, and turns one big meteor into many little ones. But all Wrong Man wants to do is help -- and try to help he does, until he finally gets it right. He may be laden with mishaps, but Wrong Man is also full of heart. And in this fun- and adventure-filled book, readers can celebrate love and imagination even as they laugh at the silliness of it all.

 

Islandborn by Junot Diaz and Leo Espinosa 
 
Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.
 
So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island--she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories--joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening--Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: "Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you."
 
Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination's boundless ability to connect us--to our families, to our past and to ourselves.

 

I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

 

A gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another--from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

 

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

 

Anybody's Game: Kathryn Johnston, the First Girl to Play Little League Baseball by Heather Lang and Cecilia Puglesi

 

In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname "Tubby." She made the team--and changed Little League Baseball forever. An inspiring and suspenseful story about what it means to want something so badly you'll break the rules to do it--and how breaking the rules can lead to change.

 

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and Felicita Sala

 

Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets.... While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere--she even brought a crocodile to school.

 

When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children's tea parties--with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.

 

With a lively text and vibrant illustrations, scientist and writer Patricia Valdez and illustrator Felicita Sala bring to life Joan Procter's inspiring story of passion and determination.

 

Salamander Sky by Katy Farber and Meg Sodano

 

Every spring in the eastern region of the United States, warmer nights with steady rain bring the migration of thousands of spotted salamanders to ponds and pools, often across busy roads. These crossings are magical, and secretive--most people don't even know they happen. Salamander Sky features a mother and daughter who go out on a rainy night to help the salamanders cross the road safely. This dramatic, full-color, picture book introduces readers to the elusive spotted salamanders and the perilous nighttime journey they take each spring. Amphibians worldwide desperately need protection. This book is a valuable tool for getting children engaged in conservation.

 

 

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and Sara Ogilvie

 

A feisty tale of determination, ingenuity, and friendship, Pip Jones' U.S. debut is sure to capture the imaginations of aspiring young inventors.Izzy Gizmo's inventions are marvelous, magnificent . . . and often malfunction. But when she finds a crow with a broken wing, she has to help Izzy tries again and again to build a new pair of wings, but nothing is working. Can Izzy overcome her failures? Or is her friend destined to live as a crow who can't fly?

 

From author Pip Jones, this inspiring story of perseverance in the face of failure showcases a sweet friendship illustrated with bright, zany art of from the acclaimed Sara Ogilvie.

 

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen and Rilla Alexander

 

What to do if a rather insistent bear squats on your porch today? Followed in short order by a shaggy squirrel, a spraying skunk, a playful possum, and a bevy of forest critters large and small? This hilarious cumulative tale of reluctant hospitality and generous inclusivity will leave readers chanting, "OKAY. OKAY YOU CAN STAY." But watch out That porch is starting to sway. . . .

 

Jane Yolen's uproarious chant-aloud story is brought to life by Rilla Alexander's dazzling retro-hip illustrations in an exuberant collaboration sure to take its place alongside such cumulative classics as This is the House that Jack Built and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.

 

Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

 

Hello, Hello Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world--and ultimately paints a story of connection.

 

Brendan Wenzel's joyous, rhythmic text and exuberant art encourage readers to delight in nature's infinite differences and to look for--and marvel at--its gorgeous similarities. It all starts with a simple "Hello."

 

How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios

 

From the computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code comes this lively and funny story introducing kids to computer coding concepts.

 

All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they're going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever With renowned computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk and Sara Palacios use humor, relatable situations, and bright artwork to introduce kids to the fun of coding.

 

I Am Famous by Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie, and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

 

Kiely knows she is famous The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It's exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather's birthday. When she messes it up, she's worried she's lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.

 

The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier and Sonia Sanchez

 

Ruby's mind is always full of ideas.

 

One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something. She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn't know how to build.

 

"Then I'll learn," she says.

 

And she does.

 

When she creates a dazzling fort that they all want to play in, it is Ruby who has the last laugh.

 

With sprightly text and winsome pictures, this modern spin on the timeless favorite The Little Red Hen celebrates the pluck and ingenuity of young creators everywhere.

 

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

 

From the author and illustrator of the bestselling Not Quite Narwhal comes a sweet and funny story about remembering where you belong, no matter how far you roam, or what you're wearing when you get there.

 

Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There's just one thing missing--party hats.

 

But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead--real penguins Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she's not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats ) in time for her special day?

 

Who Was That? by Olivier Tallec

 

The This fresh, visually sophisticated follow-up to Who Done It? and Who What Where? tackles the topic of memory, as each page asks the reader to remember a detail about the characters featured on the page before. With die-cuts, clever folds, and imaginative illustrations, this book requires the sharpest readers' keen attention The call to action on every page makes this a wonderful lap read or read-aloud, and kids of all ages will love the memory games.

 

 

AND FINALLY... the book our 3-year-old daughter has requested we read every night since we got it:

Guess Which Hand by Hans Wilhelm and Ilaria Guarducci

 

Kids know the drill: Two hands are closed, and there's something hidden in one palm. Which hand is it? This novelty board book brings the classic guessing game to life in a playful new way Children turn an interactive "wheel" to hide a variety of objects (a bone, fish, ladybug, flower, and more) under flaps (hands, paws, hats, seashells, ears) on every spread. All that's left is to wager a guess and lift the flap for the reveal.

*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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