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May 2018 Picture Book Recap

June 23, 2018

Yeah. We're more than halfway through June.

 

Yeah. I've been holding onto this list for a few weeks.

 

HECK YEAH! We're on summer break and I'm catching up on my posts.

 

This list of books includes so many truly exceptional, unique, and special books, there's no doubt at least one of them is gonna make your summer reading (and upcoming school year anticipation) a little more wonderful. 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!)

 

MAY 2018 Recap (selected picture books):

 

FOR THE OUTCASTS AND THE ROCKERS

 

One of a Kind by Chris Gorman

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Meet a pogo-dancing, punk-rock-loving kid who loves to express himself in his own unique way. His clothes, hairstyle, music, and just the way he hears the world, all set him apart. Not everyone understands him, but he likes being one of a kind--even though it's lonely sometimes. Fortunately, it's a wide world out there, and if he looks around a kid is sure to find other one-of-a-kinds with common interests.

 

 

FOR THOSE SEEKING MORE INCLUSIVE HERO STORIES

 
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack and Stevie Lewis

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place.

 

"Thank you," he told his parents.

 

"I appreciate that you tried, but I'm looking for something special in a partner by my side.

 

"Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn't quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met.

 

While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along.

 

 

FOR WHEN HATE THREATENS TO SHUT OUT LOVE

 
Love Is Love by Michael Genhart and Ken Min 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

When a boy confides in his friend about bullies saying he doesn't have a real family, he discovers that his friend's parents--a mom and a dad--and his two dads are actually very much alike.Dr. Michael Genhart's debut story is the perfect resource to gently discuss discrimination with kids. This sweet and straightforward story shows that gay families and straight families and everything in between are all different kinds of normal. What makes a family real is the love that is shared.

 

 

FOR WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE BUT DON'T WANT ANYONE TO LEAVE

 
I Hate Everyone by Naomi Danis and Cinta Arribas

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

"I hate everyone." In your worst mood, it's a phrase you might want to shout out loud, even if, deep down, you don't really mean it. Set at a birthday party, this disgruntled, first-person story portrays the confusing feelings that sometimes make it impossible to be nice, even--or especially--when everyone else is in a partying mode. A gorgeous, poetic contemplation, sure to elicit a reaction from readers. A worthy successor to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

 

 

FOR FINDING THE FEELING OF HOME IN A NEW PLACE

 

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family's new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well -- a subway train, exciting music... and maybe even a new friend.

 

 

FOR THOSE IN COMPANY AND THOSE WHO LOOK AFTER

 
Iver and Ellsworth by Casey W. Robinson and Melissa Larson 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
From a factory rooftop, Iver and his good friend Ellsworth (a rooftop bear) are content to watch the busy world below. "Everyone's going somewhere," Iver says. "We can see the whole world from up here. That's enough somewhere for me." But after Iver retires, the friends must venture out in search of a new somewhere. Of course, the very best views are those you share with an old pal.
 
FOR FIERCE AND EXPANSIVE IMAGINATIONS
 
Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis and Kaylani Juanita 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it's a princess with magical powers that can--ta-da --overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it's--dun dun duh --a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict--dun dun duh --and resolution--ta-da An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

 

 

FOR FRIENDSHIPS THAT DON'T NEED A WINNER

 

Ping vs. Pong by Mauro Gatti 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
Two edamame beans dream of becoming world table tennis champions. They train night and day until no one is able to defeat them... but who is the better of the two players?A playful and visually engaging book about the joys of sport and team playing. In the end, it's the taking part that counts.
 
 
FOR LEARNING VISUALLY AND COMPARATIVELY
 
Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
A lake turns into an island.
A cozy bay into a secluded cape.
A gulf with sea turtles transforms into a peninsula surrounded by pirate ships.
 
This unique information book for the very young switches between bodies of water and corresponding land masses with the simple turn of a page. Readers will delight as the story of Water Land unfolds and will see just how connected the earth and the water really are.
 
 
FOR BIG THINKERS ASKING BIG QUESTIONS
 
One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything by Ian Lendler, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb 
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
One Day a Dot explores the age-old question: Where did we come from? Where did everything come from?
 
Starting with one tiny dot and continuing through the Big Bang to the rise of human societies, the story of our universe is told in simple and vivid terms. But the biggest question of all cannot be answered: Where did that one dot come from?
 
One Day a Dot is a beautiful and vibrant picture book that uses the visual motif of circles as to guide young readers through the stages of life on Earth.
 
 
FOR DISCOVERERS AND THE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN OR NAMED
 
Hello, My Name Is . . .: How Adorabilis Got His Name by Marisa Polansky and Joey Chou
 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Inspired by a true event! In the summer of 2015, an adorable new species of octopus was discovered on the ocean floor―this picture book story imagines how this cute creature got his name.

 

Deep down in the water lives an octopus small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. But he doesn’t have a name! Anglerfish is named for his hook like an angler, Mimic Octopus for her ability to change shape and color, and Giant Squid is GIANT! But this little guy doesn’t have the same abilities as the other creatures. What could his name be? With Marisa Polansky's sweet text and Joey Chou's dynamic illustrations, Hello, My Name Is... imagines how the cutest creature in the sea got his name. The story includes a note from a scientist about the naming process and more information about Adorabilis.

 
 
FOR THE BRILLIANCE OF NEW SIGHTS AND DISCOVERIES
 
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe
 
AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND
 
All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs--with hammer and glue, and grafts of newly grown coral--are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer in this brilliant tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.
 
 
FOR A LOVE LOST AND ALL THAT COMES BEFORE IT
 
A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

This year's summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride. But a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl's grief. There, at the edge of a vast ocean beneath an infinite sky, she uncovers, alongside the reader, a profound and joyous truth. In his first picture book following the conclusion of his best-selling Journey trilogy, Aaron Becker achieves a tremendous feat, connecting the private, personal loss of one child to a cycle spanning millennia -- and delivering a stunningly layered tale that demands to be pored over again and again.

 

 

FOR THE CRASHING WAVES OF GRIEF AND THE COMFORTING WAVES OF HEALING

 
One Wave at a Time: A Story about Grief and Healing by Holly Thompson and Ashley Crowley
 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

After his father dies, Kai experiences all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, guilt. Sometimes they crash and mix together. Other times, there are no emotions at all--just flatness. As Kai and his family adjust to life without Dad, the waves still roll in. But with the help of friends and one another, they learn to cope--and, eventually, heal. A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.

 

 

FOR THE ROOTED, AMID CHANGE AND TURMOIL

 
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

A lavish new picture book from Caldecott-winner Sophie Blackall that will transport readers to the seaside in timeless, nautical splendor!

 

Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp's wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.

 

Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall.

 

 

FOR NECESSITY AND INGENUITY IN ALL PLACES

 
Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet by Elizabeth Suneby and Rebecca Green 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

It's monsoon season in Bangladesh, which means Iqbal's mother must cook the family's meals indoors, over an open fire. The smoke from the fire makes breathing difficult for his mother and baby sister, and it's even making them sick. Hearing them coughing at night worries Iqbal. So when he learns that his school's upcoming science fair has the theme of sustainability, Iqbal comes up with the perfect idea for his entry: he'll design a stove that doesn't produce smoke With help from his teacher, Iqbal learns all about solar energy cooking, which uses heat from the sun to cook --- ingenious! Has Iqbal found a way to win first prize in the science fair while providing cleaner air and better health for his family at the same time?

 

Award-winning author Elizabeth Suneby's thoroughly researched and inspiring story introduces young children to the problems associated with open-flame cooking in the developing world, as well as background information on sustainable technology. Part of the CitizenKid collection, this book uses the common experience of a science fair project to help children recognize that they, too, can help make the world a better place through innovative thinking and creative problem solving. The artwork by Rebecca Green, filled with details of everyday life in a Bangladesh village, beautifully evokes a sense of place and culture. Iqbal offers a perfect example for the character education subject of initiative. End matter includes information about clean cookstoves, a DIY solar cooker activity and a glossary.

*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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