Here are some quick reviews of picturebooks!
Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
This one is, perhaps my favourite, out of the lot I’m reviewing today. The art is beautiful, the prose piquant, and the overall effect dazzling. The book exists in pulses, beating especially at important moments in a childhood such as a birthday. I enjoyed this immensely as an adult so I dare say children may find it amazing.
I Got It! by David Wiesner
David Wiesner’s art is formidable. He imbues it with so much expression and emotion that the pictures speak without words. This wordless picturebook will resonate with those who love baseball or those who have known the thrill of a game–that is, everybody. Children, especially, will empathize with the protagonist’s struggle to get the ball. The art is superb. Do I even need to say that? It’s David Wiesner!
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
I may be biased but anyone will tell you, I believe, that this book is absolutely gorgeous. This will be a wonderful gift for a little Muslim boy or girl and special as well to those outside of the Muslim community. It offers a glimpse at the inner spaces within a Muslim child’s life. The shapes aside, the prose is beautiful–gentle with just the right amount of sentiment. And the art is superlative. I love how vibrant and alive all the pages are. Get it for your kids! Or yourself!
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala
The nonfictional picturebook focuses on Joan Procter who lived an amazing, though brief, life. Her achievements are nothing short of inspiring and what she managed to do despite having the odds stacked against her have a lesson in them. It was strange reading about her as she died when she was the same age as I am right now. The history contained in this picturebook is abbreviated out of necessity but I reckon it is a good place to start for those interested in Joan and the work she did.
The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe
From one nonfictional picturebook to another. The Brilliant Deep focuses on Ken Nedimyer and his efforts to rebuild the world’s coral reefs. Specifically, it follows him as a child and focuses on the reasons he chose to work on what he does. The picturebook is more dense than others I have read in the genre; it contains a lot of information and imparts the lessons it does without being didactic. The art is beautiful. I appreciate the two or more pages containing more information in the back which tells kids how they may help rebuild coral reefs and resources for further reading. This would be a good book for a science class.
Dr. Seuss’s 100 First Words by Dr. Seuss
Bright, cheerful, and engaging. The title pretty much gives away what this book is all about. My 2 year old nephew has a blast with this one.