Picture Book Reviews

Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face by Larissa Theule and Kelsey Garrity-Riley (illustrations)

This picture book gives younger readers a very accessible look at some of the struggles women faced in the past (and continue to do so in some parts of the world) where equality between the sexes is concerned. Though the story is lighthearted in tone as befitting the audience, the two or so pages of information at the back give a much deeper look at suffragette issues which will work as the perfect springboard for those kids who want to know more.

I see this book being used in classrooms to supplement lessons in fun ways. The art is pretty and the prose has a vigor to it that works well with the subject and themes under discussion. I enjoyed this one immensely.

My Magical: Unicorn (illustrations by Yujin Shin

Board book, 10 pages
Published June 28th 2018 by Campbell Books
Source: Publisher

For kids who love unicorns, this book is an amazing treat. Even those who don’t will enjoy this little boardbook immensely. The push/pull slide makes the reading experience interactive. The illustrations are bright and attractive. The prose is fun and simple to understand. A perfect bedtime book.

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes by Eva Chen and Derek Desierto (illustrations)

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher

A cute picture book that evokes women from contemporary times as well as women from the past through the shoes they wear. The pb presents an interesting way to look at remarkable figures throughout time and will appeal to girls interested in fashion. The prose is simple and the illustrations vivid. This book could make for a wonderful way to spend time and then move on to craft work–recreating your blank canvas shoes to affect your own personality.

The Song of Spring by Hendrik Jonas

Hardcover, 52 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Prestel Junior
Source: Publisher

I loved this one! The little bird is lonely and wants a friend but he has forgotten the song of spring. After a few false starts, he finally gets it right but by taking the long way, he gains some unexpected friends. The tone is bright and chirpy (forgive the unintended pun) and the illustrations are gold. Kids will have a riot with this one.

New York: Day and Night by Aurelie Pollet & Vincent Bergier

Hardcover, 30 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Prestel Junior
Source: Publisher

The format of this one is interesting. The prose is a bit dry and not very inviting but the visual aspect of this picture book offers a lot to the reader. I believe older readers will benefit more from this as they will be able to analyze the differences between light and shadow but an adult reading this together with their child works too.

The Tallest Tree House by Elly MacKay

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: April 23rd 2019 by Running Press Kids
Source: Publisher

Elly MacKay’s art is out of this world. I enjoy her soft colours and the dreamy nature of the worlds she creatures. The Tallest Tree House is no different. Pip and Mip are fairies competing to see who can build the tallest tree house. One of them plans and the other one doesn’t. Following this, you can see how the book can seem like a parable and get didactic. Fortunately, the pretty art saves it from being too severe in tone. I enjoyed this and so did my niece. The mushroom hair wins everything.

Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Ilaria Campana

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: July 2019 by Running Press Kids
Source: Publisher

This skewed retelling of the fairytale is witty in tone but falters slightly due to its repetitive prose. However, my review is from an adult perspective and kids might think entirely differently. The art is pretty and witty in tone, imparting a whole lot of story on its own. I enjoyed it mostly.

Little Juniper Makes it Big by Aidan Cassie

Hardcover, 40 pages
Expected publication: July 23rd 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher

This is adorable. Juniper, the raccoon, is tired of being small, but no matter what she does, she cannot seem to grow faster. When she meets Clove, a friend who is smaller than her, she sees a solution to her problems because Clove seems to have figured out how to get around (get cookies) despite being small.

Juniper learns some lessons and comes to some realizations all by herself. The book is beautifully told with outstanding art. Kids will love this book, perhaps almost as much as I do.