Here are some fabulous new picture books we have in the library.
These Hands written by Margaret H. Mason, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
At first this seems to be just the story of a boy and his grandfather. Then it becomes the story of the Wonder Bread Bakery, the union movement, and black people’s struggle for fair treatment. It is beautifully illustrated and powerful in both images and words. It ends perfectly with Joseph showing what his hands can do and Grandpa responding with. “Look at those hands. Those hands can do anything. Anything at all in this whole wide world. Yes, you can.”
Splish Splash Splat! by Rob Scotton
Splat is back in this story of learning how to swim. All the children in his class get into the pool except Scat and Spike. At first “Splat couldn’t keep quiet any longer. 'Water is horrible!’ her blurted, hiding behind Spike. ‘Yes… yes, it’s horrible' said spike, hiding behind Splat. Water is scary … and wet!’ they cried together.“ Eventually they find the courage to get into the water and discover that water is not so horrible after all. When Spike comes over to play afterwards, Splat finds out that Spike isn’t such a bad friend after all.
Check out the free online version here.
Honey Bee Man written by Lela Nargi, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker
Fred has a secret city of bees on the top of his apartment building. They are like a family to him. He loves his hives and imagines the life of his bees as they travel the city in search of pollen. He encourages the young ones on their first flight and welcomes them all home at the end of the day. Based on the true story of John Howe, founder of NYC Beekeeping , It is a delightful book full of all kinds of facts about bees and how honey is made and harvested.
The Only Boy in Ballet Class written by Denise Gruska, illustrated by Amy Wummer
Tucker Dohr loves to dance. He dances his way through his day, “leaping over marbles the cat, … and spin(ing) past his tricky, tricky twin sisters. Unfortunately it isn’t easy being a boy who loves ballet. He gets teased by the other boys who taunt him and jeer “Where’s your tutu? Dancing is for girls!” Even his “Uncle Frank shakes his head, looks at Tucker’s mother, and says, “You ought to put that boy in football.” Eventually Tucker gets a chance to show them all that ballet isn’t just for girls.
You can find out more about the author and the book here.
Tutu’s Aren’t My Style by Linda Skeers
Emma’s uncle sends her a ballerina suit. It isn’t exactly an Emma kind of outfit. She would rather be “catching frogs, roping the cat or digging for pirate treasure.” She gets advice from the mailman, Mrs Giukin, and her brother about how to dance. When she tries to follow their rules, she ends up falling in the petunia patch, the birdbath, and tripping over the garden gnome. Eventually she follows her own rules about dancing and figures out that she can be a ballerina in her own way.
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
I bet when you hear the word daredevil, you don't think of a plump 62 year old woman teacher. This is the fascinating, true story of Annie Edson Taylor who was the first person to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel. At the age of 62, with no means to support herself, Annie knew she would have to do something spectacular to make money, or she would end up in the poorhouse. She decided that if she survived she would become rich and famous. It wasn’t easy to convince people to help her, but she persevered, and to this day, is still the only woman to go over the falls by herself. Chris Van Allsburg has done a beautiful job telling her story. You can see him talking about this book here.
Posted by Cheriee Weichel