When Moon tires of his “lifetime in darkness” and wishes to swap places with Sun, Sun wisely challenges him to take one, last, close look at all things night-ish before making such an irrevocable step. Turns out, nighttime is pretty darn cool. It’s a gorgeous book to share with ages 2 and up.
…weirdly wonderful ocean dwellers
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea, by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin published in 2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Just who is the most amazing creature in the sea? That’s for you to judge after being introduced to this fascinating set of contestants.
From the Box Jellyfish — a brainless creature with 24 eyes and millions of highly toxic stingers — to the Ocean Sunfish — a fish as heavy as a rhinoceros! Plus creatures with names like Wolffish and Vampire Squid! Every one of these fellows offers plenty of reasons to recommend itself for your vote. Brief, vivid descriptions combined with Spirin’s amazing artwork tantalize readers age 4 or 5 and up.
…an unfortunate incident between Beatrix Potter and a guinea pig
Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Charlotte Voake Available Feb. 2016 from Schwartz & Wade Books
This one’s not available yet, but put it on your Valentine’s wish lists.
It seems that while young Beatrix loved animals, and loved to paint animals, she did not necessarily have a green thumb when it came to caring for them. When she borrows a neighbor’s guinea pig, disaster strikes.
Read this charming tale, based on a true incident, and you will learn something new about Miss Potter and get some golden advice to boot. A lovely, informative Author’s Note is included, and the illustrations are by Charlotte Voake. Enough said. A gem for Potter-lovers, ages 4 and up.
…Jane Addams’ compassionate work
The House that Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams, by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Kathryn Brown published in 2015 by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Company
I have been missing a good children’s bio of Jane Addams, and here comes this gem.
From childhood, Addams was determined to live “right in the midst of horrid little houses” in order to better care for those in need. In 1889, her dream began in earnest when she purchased Hull House in Chicago. This beautifully-written introduction to a woman of compassion begs to be shared with kids ages 5 and up. Friendly, warm illustrations embrace us on every page. Highly recommended.
…about magic words
Please, Mr. Panda, written and illustrated by Steve Antony originally published in the UK in 2014; first American edition published in 2015 by Scholastic Press
Panda has a trayful of scrumptious, tantalizing doughnuts. He’s offering them to folks he meets, one after another.
But when they respond with, “Give me the pink one!” or “I want them all!” Panda changes his mind. What’s the magic word Panda is looking for? I bet you can guess. A simple, bright, and funny politeness exercise for ages 2 and up.
…about the happiness of sharing
Bernice Gets Carried Away, written and illustrated by Hannah E. Harrison published in 2015 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Bernice is having a miserable day. She’s at a festive party, but everything’s going wrong. She’s the only one with no frosting rose on her piece of cake. The only one to get prune-grapefruit soda rather than strawberry-melon.
When Bernice decides to grab some happiness for herself, she gets way more than she bargained for! Her clever and kind solution wins the day for all her friends, as well as herself. Delightful story, with Hannah Harrison’s trademark darling animals and brrring!-bright colors.
…about a hermit of a bear and his pesky neighbors
Those Pesky Rabbits, written and illustrated by Ciara Flood published in 2015 by little bee books
Bear is quite happy living a quiet life on his own.
When a perky family of rabbits moves in next door, though, his serenity is over! Will Bear be able to resist the intrusions of his sociable neighbors? Or will they win his heart? It’s a similar flavor to the Bear and Mouse stories from Bonny Becker — charming, funny, and heartwarming. Just right for ages 2 and up.
…about a poet named e.e. cummings
Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings, by Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo published in 2015 by Enchanted Lion Book
So…do you know what the e.e. stands for?!
Or when and how he got his start in poetry?
Did you know young Cummings had a snug treehouse or that he started his freshman year at Harvard before he turned 17?!
Check out this snappy, vivid, brief biography leading us from Cummings’ rich childhood, through his experiences during World War I, his connections with the avant-garde, and the groundbreaking experimentation he brought to poetry. Strikingly illustrated by the talented Kris DiGiacomo, this one’s for ages 7 or 8 and up. I hope it garners some awards.
…about animals and counting and the number 8
8, An Animal Alphabet, written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper published in 2015 by Orchard Books
I love Elisha Cooper’s watercolor work.
Here he turns his talents to an alphabet-counting mashup. Each letter gets a pageful of animals, and on every page, one of those animal appears eight times.
Why 8? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out! Lots of fun plus gobs of new animals to meet and interesting facts about them in the back pages. Ages 2 and up.
…about a search for the right underwear
Polar Bear’s Underwear, by Tupera Tupera originally published in Japan in 2012; first American edition in 2015 by Chronicle Books
Oh dear! Polar Bear can’t find his underwear! Never fear, Mouse will help him.
Is it this snazzy, stripey pair?
Nope. Those belong to zebra.
Cheerful, die-cut pages reveal quite a zingy batch of undies as this duo search for the missing pair. Where will it be?! Would you like to wear a pair of jolly undies, too?! Which are your favorite?
It’s quite the summer for underwear books, I guess. If you have small fry in the Graduating From Diapers stage, perhaps this funny, sunny Japanese import will suit you to a tee!