Picture Book

Firebird written by Misty Copeland

Firebird book cover: chose an african american ballerina in mid leap“even birds must learn to fly
like me, you’ll grow steady in grace
spread an arabesque of wings
and climb”

Misty Copeland is the first African American female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater. In her first picture book, a young girl looks at a successful ballerina, intimidated by thoughts that she can never be as great. The successful ballerina, in turn, assures the novice that with work, she can be great, too. After all, weren’t we all beginners once?

Beautifully illustrated with torn paper and paint collages, reading this title is an inspiring visual dance. Firebird is suitable for every age of dreamer, most highly recommended for those just beginning their journey in a specific passion.

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Brittany, Kids World

Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewart

Mummy Cat by ewart book cover shows a mummified cat coming out of a decorative box"A cat who moves without a breath: a mummy cat, who's passed through death."

Mummy Cat loved his owner Hat-shup-set more than anything else. However that was all in the past. Currently, Mummy Cat is a mummy himself, roaming alone in the pyramid where his human was laid to rest. Recounting fond memories of what's really important in life and the bond they shared, Mummy Cat waits for his lonely time to be over.

Mummy Cat is a book that approaches the harsh topic of death in a gentle and educational manner. Told through historical fact (with a twist of fiction) it tells a beautiful story about love and friendship that’s easy to identify with. While not its’ intended purpose, Mummy Cat is also an opportunity to open a dialog between parent and child about the basic concepts of this life-changing event that affects us all.  A brief overview in the back reveals how mummies were made and their importance in ancient Egyptian culture, along with a hieroglyph search and guide. Mummy Cat is a multifaceted book for several reasons, and a sweet tale for any age to enjoy.

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Naomi, Kids World

Shake to Assemble by Calliope Glass

Shake to Assemble book cover: Hulk holding up title words"Let's assemble the rest of the team."

With that invitation, the reader is encouraged to tap, shake, and scream at the book to draw out each of the seven Avenger team members in turn. This interactive book is the perfect treat for young superhero fans- who will most likely giggle as they poke and tickle Dr. Banner in order to get him mad enough to change into the Hulk. This title works will work best for one-on-one sharing or in very small groups so that everyone can take a turn.

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Celeste, Kids World

Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison

Bernice Gets Carried Away book cover: cat in a pink dress has a grumpy face"It was a horrible, dreary day, and it suited Bernice's mood just fine.

Bernice is at a birthday party, and it is not going well. Everyone gets extra frosting on their cake and candy from the pinata, but not her. She didn't even get a turn at swinging the bat! Finally, when the balloons come out, Bernice has had enough being left out. She takes them all. Unfortunately, she is a small kitty, and the balloons take her up into the air. The good news is as Bernice shares balloon after balloon, the day begins to turn sunny - literally.

Bad days are bad days, and the concept of being left out because of being small will be one many pre-schoolers are familiar with. As Bernice shares balloon after balloon, the readers will see that bad days can be turned around.

Great for kids who struggle with "that's not fair" as well as those who need examples of sharing.

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Celeste, Kids World

My Dog Is the Best By Laurie Ann Thompson

My Dog is the Best book cover: pencil drawing of a young boy peering over a dog with long ears who has a ball in front of it"My dog is the best. He does tricks."

What could be more enchanting than the relationship between a child and their beloved pet? ‘My Dog Is the Best’ is a tale of unconditional love that’s accented by simplistic illustrations, leaving readers with that warm and fuzzy feeling that’s so dear to any pet owners’ heart.

An excellent book for beginner readers, parents will love the easy words and repetition that lets children try reading aloud. So why not read this book with your pet at home? Then you can decide if My Dog Is the Best is the best book for you!

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Naomi, Kids World

Uh-Oh Octopus! by Elle van Lieshout & Erik van Os Mies van Hout

Uh-Oh Octopus book cover: water color scene of ocean, a yellow octpous is center with fish, jelly fish, seahorse surrounding him"Octopus lived in a cozy home under the sea. He had nothing to complain about. He could make himself a decent meal. He had a wonderful view."

Everything is perfect for Octopus until the day a very large and mysterious tail is found sticking out of his cave. All the fish have different ideas of what to do, but will Octopus have the best idea of all?
 
Told with both soft, impressionistic watercolors and crisp ink that show off the details of Octopus's underwater home and the variety of wildlife; both real and imaginary, readers of all ages will find something in this picture book to enjoy. 

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Jennifer Palermo, Kid's World

The New Small Person by Lauren Child

The New Small Person book cover: Shows a the side of a staircase, a young boy of color wearing a green striped outfit sits at the second to the top stair while an older sibling wearing a pink striped outfit sits on the bottom of the stairs. There are various toys on each step."The small person followed Elmore Green everywhere.  It wanted to sit next to him; it wanted to copy everything that Elmore did. It wanted to be everywhere that Elmore was."

Elmore is an only child and things are just the way he likes them.  But then the new, small person arrives and interferes with Elmore’s routine.  This charming picture book portrays Elmore’s feelings toward the new baby and how they soften over time.

The lively drawings incorporate collage materials such as fabric and wood, which add energy and coziness to Elmore’s world.  The book’s layout adds more dimension to the story, with text sometimes tilted or otherwise stylized to emphasize words or Elmore’s feelings.  The fact that this picture book portrays non-Caucasian characters is a plus.

Elmore’s story might add a bit of levity at your house, especially if your “only” child has or is about to become your “oldest”.  This engaging picture book is recommended for ages 3 and up.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Once Upon an Alphabet book cover: rea with a small astronaut boy floating upon title and a blimp floating below title"If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters..."

This picture book, longer than most, may or may not keep your listener engaged. The adult doing the reading is more likely to enjoy the clever humor, as I did. Witty Jeffers offers a story for each letter of the alphabet, each a few pages long. Some of the stories are lovely little poems while others are outlandish or wacky. The text and images play off each other in a remarkably imaginative way, each extending the other. His humans, animals and invented characters --- such as the Whiraffe --- are lots of fun and often pop up in each other’s stories.

This over-sized picture book is recommended for parents and caregivers who are bored with the read-alouds that their kids have been choosing.  Jeffers’ imaginative stories and art will keep you in good humor as you read book after book to your little one.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne

"somethThis Book Just Ate My Dog! book cover. Features a girl dressed in blue dress, coat, and hat holding a leah that trails to the book's spine with no dog in sight ing very odd happened."

You know the crease in the middle of the book where the pages meet? Well, Bella's dog went in and didn't come back out. Help arrives in the form of a friendly boy, a police car, and a fire truck. They also promptly go missing. What's Bella to do by try to rescue her dog herself?

This simple picture book encourages independence, quick thinking, and is silly enough to entice plenty of giggles. A perfect short read-out-loud for those aging from 2 to 7 or anyone who is willing to be a little silly.

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Celeste, Kids World

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story book cover: a cartoon boy stands in center looking at large fingerprints, scribbles, and food stains all over the cover"Who would eat a jelly sandwich… while reading MY book?"

Little Louie’s dismayed look on the cover lets us know that something is amiss here.  Someone has modified his book title with crayon and spilled lots of icky things on it.  Inside, the story begins with Louie skipping along into his unknown “perfect story” until a blob of jelly falls onto the page.  He sniffs, licks and gets upset about it and is further aggravated by a blob of peanut butter --- “the chunky kind!” --- and a series of other book-wrecking messes.  Despite these setbacks, Louie realizes that we are still reading his story and declares that it is worth telling, “messes and all”.

The art is quite clever here; the offending “pb and j” look so real, you’ll feel compelled to wipe it up.  Nothing really happens in the story except for the interruptions.  It’s just a silly, fun read.  Readers ages 3 to 63 will enjoy this light picture book, especially if it is read aloud by one for the other.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

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