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Noticing nature’s cycles

These picture books invite readers to reflect upon the cycles of our environment (i.e., weather patterns, seasons) and to pay close attention to marvels of the natural world. In They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, a girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. The […]

Review of Blue

Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/18    978-1-62672-006-4    $17.99 Where this inventive author-illustrator explored both the palette and politics of the color green in Green (rev. 3/12), Blue finds her sneaking up on us with a story about loss, even if at first we think we […]

Review of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 6/18    978-1-368-00355-1    $17.99 The first day of school is tough enough; imagine you’re a wee Tyrannosaurus rex and it turns out that your classmates are, of all things, human. Penelope Rex does what any nervous dino would […]

Review of A Parade of Elephants

A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-06-266827-1    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-266828-8    $19.89 “Look! Elephants! / One, two, three, four, five. / Five elephants. / Marching. / A parade of elephants!” The sturdy walkers, each rendered in a pastel color with a thick brown outline, stay in the same […]

Review of The Squirrels’ Busy Year

The Squirrels’ Busy Year [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 7/18    978-0-7636-9600-9    $16.99 A pair of squirrels and other residents of their pond-side community interact through four distinct seasons. In winter, the sleeping squirrels pop out quickly for acorns under the watchful eye of […]

Review of Quiet

Quiet by Tomie dePaola; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Simon    32 pp. 10/18    978-1-4814-7754-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7755-0    $10.99 A grandfather, a girl, a boy, and their dog out for a walk notice the busyness of the natural world around them: the bees buzz, the birds fly fast, a dragonfly zooms, all “busy as […]

Creative concepts

Crafting a fresh concept book is no easy task, but the creators of these new picture books introduce fundamental topics in imaginative ways. “Look! Elephants! / One, two, three, four, five…” Five elephants, each rendered in a different pastel color with a thick brown outline, march across the pages of A Parade of Elephants. Counting […]

Review of A Home in the Barn

A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown; illus. by Jerry Pinkney Preschool, Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    32 pp. 9/18    978-0-06-623787-9    $17.99 This cozy (previously unpublished) story from the late, legendary Margaret Wise Brown opens and closes with the same playful rhyme: “Here is the barn / Hear the wind rattle / Open the door / And see all […]

Review of Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/18    978-1-5344-0894-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1    $10.99 Young Lena is totally prepared, and excited to start kindergarten. She’s not nervous…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “friends with everybody” and “a good listener”) […]

Review of The Princess and the Pit Stop

The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger; illus. by Dan Santat Preschool, Primary    Abrams    48 pp. 7/18    978-1-4197-2848-8    $16.99 With one lap to go in this fast-paced mashup of fairy tale and auto race, the Princess finds herself in last place after a pit stop. Undaunted, she once again takes off around the […]