Picture Book Round-Up #6

Back with another picture book round-up! Some recent releases, funny and thoughtful!

Boobies by Nancy Vo

Okay, this was adorable and funny and probably incredibly needed. A book about boobies, literally. Blue footed ones, sure, but not really–because birds don’t have boobies. This book–which works well for kids under 5–is all about what boobies are, why we have them, what animals have odd numbers of them, how long artists have depicted boobies, etc. It’s done REALLY well and it’s really funny and definitely going to have kids giggling the whole time, but learning so much.

Sky Color by Peter H Reynolds

Reynolds does it again, with a sweet, understated tale about a young artist learning you don’t need blue to paint the sky and to slow down and look around her. The simple lined illustrations really pop when Reynolds bursts color onto the page, though I always find his prose lovely in the moment and mostly forgettable long term.

Chia and the Fox Man by Barbara J Atwater and Ethan J Atwater, illustrated by Mindy Dwyer

This is a fun folkloric/mythology tale of an Alaskan Native boy and his encounter with the Fox Man. It’s a fun way to talk about a different kind of folktale, and the illustrations–especially of the snow and ice—are stunning. Definitely bring this out year round and not just during Native American Heritage Month.

13 Stories About Ayana by Amy Schwartz

This is a cute vignette-style story book–13 of them, you guessed it–about a young Black girl doing different things. Getting a hamster, going on vacation, taking the bus. It’s sweet, sparsely illustrated (not full-page, but it works). What I really appreciated was that both parents got a chance to have these strong engagements, as well as friends–we didn’t really focus on school, but we got to see hobbies (gardening, piano) and just a wee bit of reckless fun.

Forest: Finn and Skips’ Rainforest Adventure by Brendan Kearney

This is a mildly pedantic but warmly illustrated climate change narrative about the dangers of deforestation. The full-page illustrations as they head into the forest and discover the chaos, and then lead the animals to safety, is beautiful, and the adventure elements are enjoyable, but the end feels a bit pedantic by incorporating the “next steps” into the story versus backmatter.

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