Friday's Favorites

I'm going through withdrawal with my wonderful local library closed. Here is a list of some of my recent loves, you may notice a pattern here.

Home is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard, Illus. by Chris Sasaki is about what makes a house a home.
Home Is a Window

Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler is poignantly beautiful, and also shows that love and family can help make any house a home. I particularly love the wonder of nature here.

Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler
The House that Once Was by Julie Fogliano, Illus by Lane Smith looks at a vacant house with a sense of wonder and imagination.
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Some of my most recent favorites for:
House Held up by a Trees by Ted Kooser, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
This book is simply beautiful, poetic, lyrical, haunting....
 House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser
The Bell Rang by James Ransome is  poignant.
 The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome
Hum and Swish by Matt Myers is proof that quiet, introverted books can have a loud impact.

Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee is clever and just plain fun.
 The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
Do You Believe in Unicorns?  B.D. Murguia is a cheerful read full of wonder.


And I Loved
 Open in Case of Emergency by Richard Fairgay was funny and mysterious, loads to love here.




 I've been reading and reading and reading. Here are some 2019 favorites (so far) for voice...

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

We are Grateful Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell is a look at gratefulness through the seasons.

Before She Was Harriet 

Lesa Cline-Ransome has written such a lyrical, unconventional biography in Before She was Harriet. 


There are so many books that touch the heart. Here are a couple of my current favorites. 

Drawn Together 

In Drawn Together by Minh Le a grandson finds a way to connect with his grandfather.

The Remember Balloons

  This beautifully done story is a great one to share with anyone dealing with dementia in their family. Have your tissues handy for The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros 


In meta-fiction, the book talks about itself. There are many wonderfully funny picture books being published that use meta-fiction well.


In Papa Bear's Page Fright by Wade Bradford, Papa gets nervous when he realizes he is in a book.

In Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman we see what happens when a well-meaning chicken runs amok in an illustrator's workspace.

Throughout Where Is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley, the reader helps search for a very visible bear.

Tender Topics

Picture books offer wonderful opportunities to address tender topics in age appropriate ways. Here are a few of my newest favorites:

Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings is a touching story about a relationship with a Grandpa who doesn't remember.

A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts is about starting a new life in a strange land.

The Rabbit Listened by Cora Doerrfeld is a tender look at loss and comforting others.



Cumulative Texts

These are one of my favorite formats. The repetition makes it great for early readers, or even non-readers will learn the sequence. God examples are There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly and The House that Jack Built. The texts "accumulate" as the build toward the end.

The Full Moon at the Napping House; Hardcover; Author - Audrey Wood
 Full Moon at Napping House by Audrey Wood, Illus. by Don Wood
This is a lovely sequel to Napping House.

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In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van, Illus. by April Chu
This quiet, stunningly illustrated book is more of a circular text, building on itself and making it predictable for young listeners.

 Non-fiction I Love

Many of my picture book ideas involve nature and they often have non-fiction notes at the end. I find reviewing the newest in NF books to be helpful, especially those geared toward the very young. There are some beauties out there. Here are a few of my latest favorites.

An Egg Is Quiet
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston, Illust. by Sylvia Long
This book reads on several levels, the reader can go in to depth or read this simpler lyrical text accompanied by stellar pictures.
Plants Can't Sit Still by Rebecca Hirsch, Illus. by Mia Posada
A beautifully illustrated book that looks at plants from a different viewpoint with a narrow focus on how they and their seeds move.

Image result for a rock can be by laura purdie salas 
A Rock Can Be... by Laurie Purdie Salas, Illus. by Violeta Dabija. 
There are several "...can be..." books. They are all stunningly poetic and wonderfully illustrated and look at the world sideways.

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Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre.
 This book celebrates snow with lovely photographs and science. All of her books are worth checking out when reviewing NF for young readers.


 Mentor Texts-Diary/Letter format

I'd been looking for mentor texts written in the form of letters or diary entries when I stumbled upon these jewels. They each use the unique format to give their characters a strong voice. Charmingly illustrated, they are fun reads that might work well with writing activities at home or in school. The two diaries have also inspired sequels.

Image result for dear dragon josh funk
Dear Dragon by Josh Funk, Illus. by Rodolfo Montalvo
Image result for good night bat good morning squirrel
Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel! By Paul Meisel

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Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin, Illus. by Harry Bliss
Image result for diary of a wombat
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French, Illus. by Bruce Whately

I Can't Wait!!