New at Peter White Public Library
Picture books are an amazing tool for helping children connect to and understand the world in an accessible format that can take complex ideas and make them relatable for children. Here are some of the new picture books available at Peter White Public Library.
“The Wedding Portrait: The story of a photograph and why sometimes we break the rules”
By Innosanto Nagara, this picture book takes a simple photograph, that of a couple getting married, and uses it to explain why, when and how people sometimes need to break the rules to make change happen. A beautiful book, with stunning illustrations for children interested in civil rights and activism.
“Every Little Letter”
By Deborah Underwood. This is no ordinary alphabet book! The cheerful lowercase letters on the front cover invite the reader into a story that is only loosely about the alphabet. The letters all live in walls built around their city to protect themselves-they were all the same, and they were happy enough with that. But what happens when a little h finds a hole in the wall and meets a little i? Will those walls built to keep the H & h’s safe stay up? Or will the letters come to realize how powerful they are when they come together? This book is great for kids and adults. Kids will love the little, cheerful letters, and will be delighted to realize that as the letters make friends’ with each other, they come together to make words. Parents will enjoy that the story shows how little things can make a difference, how small letters can become big powerful words and that the story will help teach compassion, tolerance and acceptance.
“Not my Idea: A Book About Whiteness”
By Anastasia Higginbotham. This book is a couple years old, but is very timely and relevant right now. The author note says that she wrote this book for her white sons to help them understand their role in dismantling white supremacy and to understand racism. The sparse text and the multi-media collage illustrations are striking and effective. The author is very blunt, but not harsh. Incredible resources for a parent/caregiver to use with their children who may be having questions about race and racism.
“Catch That Chicken”
By Atinuke. Children love to be the best at something! Lami the best and bravest at catching chickens. Even though it means not always listening when grownups tell her to slow down, leading to a painful fall from a tree. What will Lami do when her ankle hurts and she can’t run after the chickens? With a bit of clever thinking, she gets the chickens to come right to her! The illustrations are gorgeous, and Lami is a spunky, delightful child with energy and tenacity. It’s a great story about not giving up and thinking your way around a problem with easy text that young children will understand.
“The Camping Trip”
By Jennifer Mann. Camping is a pretty big deal up here in the U.P., but a first camping trip can be a little scary! In this story city girl Ernestine is going on her first camping trip with her aunt and cousin. With relatable fears (what to pack, darkness in the woods, fish in the lake, homesickness, etc) and the reassurance of loving family to help with those fears, children will be excited to head out in the woods for their own camping trip after they finish this story!
“How to Write a Story”
By Kate Messner. This picture book is a fantastic follow up to Messner’s “How To Read a Story”, perfect for young writers. With clearly titled chapters and instructions, the illustrations match the text perfectly by demonstrating each part of writing a story. By the end of the book, you can read the story the author has been writing along with you. Great illustrations, engaging text and all together a perfect way to get started writing your own story.
By Michael Hall. This is another great picture book that is only partially an alphabet book. The main focus is actually about acceptance and getting along. In this case, an L is swinging, when a V comes and asks if they can play. The L says no, because the V comes from the neighborhood at the end of the alphabet and the L only wants to play with those from their neighborhood. More and more letters arrive, and eventually they start having so much fun that no one cares which neighborhood anyone else is from. Children will realize at the end that it takes letters from all over to make up that important word “LOVE.” Great book with adorable characters and perfect for any child who is struggling with getting along with new friends.
By Eva Eland. The concept of the emotion “Happiness”, with all its various iterations and presentations, is difficult to understand, much less explain to young children! But this picture book does a really admirable job. Happiness is presented as a tangible character that a young child is searching for. When they find it, they discover that sometimes it goes away, or sometimes feels far away, and sometimes it is right there with them. Great book for explaining what happiness is, and why sometimes you aren’t happy-but also reassuring the child that happiness will come back.
“Green on Green”
By Dianne White. This gorgeous picture follows a family through the daily activities of a year, with all its seasons and the glory and beauty of each season. The careful observer will notice that this year is a special one, as they track the progress of the mother’s pregnancy throughout the seasons, and the older sibling’s joy and excitement. Fantastic book about the seasons, and the simple enjoyments of life.
“First Day Critter
By Jory John. This book is absolutely fantastic. The author introducing several animals, all very nervous about starting school. The sloth is afraid he will be late, parrot is worried about annoying everyone because they repeat things a lot, snake can’t figure out how to carry a backpack, roo is worried about being outside mom’s pouch, bunny has so much energy and more. The bus comes, the kids go to school, and come home. Some fears do come true, but friends help overcome. Some fears are just that-fears. By the next day everyone is excited to go back again! Teachers will chuckle because they will recognize a student in every character, and parents and children can use this as a way to talk about possible fears and outcomes of those fear. All wrapped up in a book full of ridiculously cute and relatable characters.
By Jason Pratt. Parents, be prepared-this book will probably make you cry by the end. Featuring a father and son, this book follows the course of the child’s life through adulthood by way of counting three squeezes between father and son. The father is there to support and love his child throughout the years as they both grow and age.
The end pages show the father, now elderly, with his grown son now being the one to give three squeezes to say “I love you.”
— Sarah Rehborg, Youth Services Librarian, Peter White Public Library