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November/December 2018 Picture Book Recap

January 7, 2019

Happy new year!

 

This Picture Book Recap series was something new I tried in 2018 as a means of staying on top of my TBR pile as well as giving a quick nod to those titles I couldn't stop thinking about from month to month (You can see the whole series using this link). Many of you have written back to say that you've found these titles at your local library or book store and have, in turn, continued to share them with others. I'd be hard-pressed to find a better example of why I love this kidlit community so much. 

 

I'm going to continue this series into the new year, although I'll probably streamline it a little. My #onelitleword for 2019 is REPLENISH, and I hope to find ways to make sure that whatever I'm sharing on this blog beyond the podcast is also helping to add energy to my life. I'm grateful that this Picture Book Recap series seems to be doing exactly that.

 

So on that note, here's what stuck out to me from the NOVEMBER and DECEMBER 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!)

 

 

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 Recap (selected picture books):

 

Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World

by Gary Golio and Rudy Gutierrez (HENRY HOLT AND CO.)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Discover the childhood story of Carlos Santana in Gary Golio's Sound of the Heart, Song of the World, featuring illustrations by Rudy Gutierrez, the internationally celebrated artist who created the iconic Carlos Santana Shaman CD cover.

 

Carlos Santana grew up surrounded by music. His father, a beloved mariachi performer, teaches his son how to play the violin when he is only six years old. But when Carlos discovers American blues, he is captivated by the raw honesty of the music. Unable to think of anything else, he loses all interest in the violin. When Carlos finally receives his first guitar, his whole life begins to change.

 

From his early exposure to mariachi to his successful fusing of rock, blues, jazz, and Latin influences, here is the childhood story of a legendary musician.

 

 

P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

by Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, and Maria Beddia (SOURCEBOOKS JABBERWOCKY)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Let's get real--the English language is bizarre. A might be for apple, but it's also for aisle and aeons. Why does the word "gnat" start with a G but the word "knot" doesn't start with an N? It doesn't always make sense, but don't let these rule-breaking silent letters defeat you.

 

This whimsical, funky book from Raj Haldar (aka rapper Lushlife) turns the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, poking fun at the most mischievous words in the English language and demonstrating how to pronounce them. Fun and informative for word nerds of all ages

 

 

The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings

by Richard Byrne (HENRY HOLT AND CO.)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

The chalks are drawing flowers on the chalkboard, but someone keeps stealing their artwork! Who could the thief be? Fortunately, Sergeant Blue is on the case and determined to solve the crime. It's a fun and funny read-aloud mystery with a colorful cast of characters, from This book just ate my dog! author-illustrator Richard Byrne.

 

 

The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

by Marissa Moss and Jeremy Holmes (ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS.)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

From award-winning author Marissa Moss comes the first children’s book about Allan Pinkerton, one of America’s greatest detectives. Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln, but few know anything about the spy who saved him! Allan Pinkerton’s life changed when he helped the Chicago Police Department track down a group of counterfeiters. From there, he became the first police detective in Chicago and established the country’s most successful detective agency. He went on to solve more than 300 murders and recover millions of dollars in stolen money. However, his greatest contribution was protecting Abraham Lincoln on the way to his 1861 inauguration. Though assassins attempted to murder Lincoln en route, Pinkerton foiled their plot and brought the president safely to the capital. The Eye That Never Sleeps is illustrated with a contemporary cartoon style, mixing art and text in a way that appeals to readers of all ages. The book includes a bibliography and a timeline.

 

 

Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts

by Leah Tinari (ALADDIN)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Fine artist Leah Tinari’s stunning, spellbinding portraits honor the groundbreaking achievements and indelible impact of twenty-four extraordinary American women. These women’s dreams were without boundaries; their accomplishments limitless in their reach and lasting power.

 

Tinari’s list is comprised of trailblazers, whose vision, grit, and guts paved the way not only for the generations to come, but for Tinari’s own artistic journey. These women include Louisa May Alcott, Rachel Carson, Julia Child, Shirley Chisholm, Ellen Degeneres, Ray Eames, Eve Ensler, Carrie Fisher, Dian Fossey, Aretha Franklin, Betsey Johnson, Carol Kaye, Yuri Kochiyama, Liz Lambert, Lozen, Shirley Muldowney, Tracey Norman, Annie Oakley, Georgia O’Keefe, Dolly Parton, Kimberly Pierce, Gilda Radner, Sojourner Truth, and Abby Wambach.

 

Their contributions to the arts, education, science, politics, civil rights, fashion, design, technology, and sports are enduring and noteworthy. Courage, perseverance, brilliance, and passion were the guiding, groundbreaking principles for these diverse women who span the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

 

 

My Heart Is a Compass

by Deborah Marcero (LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Rose's heart is set on discovering something that's never been found. She just doesn't know where to find it. So she sets off on a wondrous journey, bounding from one spectacular world to the next. Her only guides are a set of maps drawn from her own imagination and her heart's desire to explore new and exciting worlds.

 

In this moving story of a trailblazing spirit, Rose follows her compass, and explores her creativity in a one-of-a-kind search through a collection of intricate maps that readers will love to get lost in.

 

 

I Just Like You

by Suzanne Bloom (BOYDS MILLS PRESS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

With a subtle message of tolerance and acceptance, this irresistibly sweet book features animal friends who like each other despite--and because of--their differences. An elephant and a cat might look different from each other, a lemur and a stork might enjoy different activities, and a lion and a mouse might have different hairstyles, but all the animals value and appreciate one another, as shown by exuberant scenes of playing together. The short, simple text will hold the attention of young children and the artwork includes clever and funny details for them to look for as they listen. I Just Like You also models the ways young children make friends, with simple conversation starters of sharing opinions and trading compliments.

 

 

You and Me, Me and You: Brothers

by Miguel Tanco (CHRONICLE BOOKS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

The beauty of the brotherly bond is on display in this touching tribute to a special sibling relationship. Whimsical illustrations capture the highlights of brotherhood: building sandcastles, flying a kite, making mischief, and cherishing childhood moments together. Bright pops of Pantone orange bestow each illustrated spread with charm, and a cloth spine adds a delightful specialness. At once a sweet picture book for young children and a treasured gift for parents, this heartfelt testament to the inimitable brotherly bond goes straight to the heart.

 

 

I Do Not Like Books Anymore!

by Daisy Hirst (CANDLEWICK)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Natalie and Alphonse REALLY like books. Picture books with Dad, scary stories with Mom, and especially stories they remember or make up themselves. So when it’s time for Natalie to learn to read, she thinks it will be exciting — she can have all the stories in the world now, and even read them to Alphonse. But when Natalie gets her first reading book, the letters look like squiggles and it isn’t even a good story; it’s just about a cat that can sit. “I do not like books anymore!” Natalie declares. But she still wants to make upstories. With Alphonse’s help, can she find a way to turn a love of telling stories into a love of reading stories? With her one-of-a-kind voice and wonderfully droll artwork, Daisy Hirst captures the familiar frustration of struggling to learn something new — and the particular pride that comes when you finally succeed.

 

 

Dreamland

by Noah Klocek (CANDLEWICK)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Amelie loves everything about bedtime: wrapping up in her favorite blanket, listening to bedtime stories, and most of all, dreaming. But finding her dreams is not always easy, and she often has to set out in search of them. As Amelie ventures into the surreal world that lingers behind her closed eyes, she overcomes cold toes, too-bright moonshine, tangled blankets, hidden shadows, and ticking clocks to finally uncover her favorite dreams. From illustrator and production designer Noah Klocek comes a breathtaking depiction of a half-asleep landscape sure to lure readers into a dreamland of their own.

 

 

The Cars and Trucks Book

by Todd Parr (LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Some trucks help on the farm.

Some trucks help in the city.

Some cars like to drive in the snow.

And some cars like to drive to the beach.

All cars and trucks LOVE to be on the ROAD!

 

Todd Parr brings his trademark bright colors and bold lines to his new book about cars, trucks, and the occasional bus. In a fun collection of silly images, Todd explores all of the ways vehicles have an impact on our daily lives, while weaving in messages about positivity, the environment, and safety. Readers will laugh along with the whole four-wheeled gang!

 

 

The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs

by Mark Sperring and Maddie Frost (LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS) 

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

From ducklings to seal pups, from bunnies to cubs, the littlest things give the loveliest hugs.

 

In this tender celebration of love, you'll find the sweetest bug hug, the cutest fox cuddle, and the gentlest elephant embrace you've ever seen. Playful poetry and bright illustrations of adorable baby animals will inspire cozy time from morning to night, all the way to bedtime.

 

 

Woke Baby

by Mahogany L. Browne and Theodore Taylor III (ROARING BROOK PRESS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Woke babies are up early. Woke babies raise their fists in the air. Woke babies cry out for justice. Woke babies grow up to change the world.

 

This lyrical and empowering book is both a celebration of what it means to be a baby and what it means to be woke. With bright playful art, Woke Baby is an anthem of hope in a world where the only limit to a skyscraper is more blue.

 

 

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes

by Eva Chen and Derek Desierto (FEIWEL & FRIENDS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

Juno Valentine’s favorite shoes don’t light up. They don’t have wheels. They are, to be perfectly honest, the tiniest bit boring. But they’re still her favorite muddy-puddle-jumping, everyday-is-an-adventure shoes. One day, when they go missing, Juno discovers something amazing: a magical room filled with every kind of shoe she could possibly imagine!

 

Juno embarks on an epic journey through time and space, stepping into the shoes of female icons from Frida Kahlo and Cleopatra to Lady Gaga and Serena Williams. Each pair of shoes Juno tries brings a brand new adventure—and a step towards understanding that her very own shoes might be the best shoes of all.

 

Parents and children alike will adore Instagram superstar Eva Chen's precocious debut picture book Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes—a story that’s equal parts fashion fairy-tale and guide to girl power—and fall in love with the brilliantly spirited Juno Valentine.

 

 

Love, Z

by Jessie Sima (SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS)  

 

AMAZON  |  INDIEBOUND

 

When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice—and back home again, where love was hiding all along.

*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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