Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Love in the Library

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrate by Yas Imamura is based on a true story about love in a Japanese internment camp. I love it so much I wish every kid and adult would read this.

Tama should be going to college, but she’s incarcerated because she Is Japanese-American. She works in the Idaho camp library where she meets George. The library gives her hope as she can escape in books. And then…

These lines: “To fall in love is already a gift. But to fall in love in a place like Minidaka, a place bulit to make people feel like they weren’t human–that was miraculous.”

Inspired by her maternal grandparents’ experience, Maggie has written a heart-wrenching story. Currently, there are terrible stories about immigrant detention. See this report on migrant children.

See Maggie’s other books here and read about her here.

See Yas’ art here and read about her here where you can also click on the awards tab.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
Denis Waitley

Failure should be

Posted in PB, Read-aloud, So Many Good Books

When God Makes Scribbles Beautiful

Perfect Picture Book Friday

When God Makes Scribbles Beautiful (B&H Kids, 2024) by Kate Rietema and illustrated by Jennie Poh is a sweet picture book inspired by the author’s experience with foster parenting.

“Sometimes, hard things happen. It might feel like a dark scribble.” You can’t ignore it. And it won’t go away. But you can ask God for help. “And little bit by little bit, He will.” You may have to wait a while, but He’ll be with you while you wait. And someday you’ll be able to help someone else with a scribble.

This books explains many concepts about God in easy understandable language. Bible verses that reinforce the text are on the bottom of many of the spreads. The illustrations grow in beauty to match the text throughout the story.

The author has a second book coming out in October. Read about both books here. There are also free printables on the website to help kids talk about loss and hardship. Read about Kate here.

Check out a number of Jennie’s illustrations here where you can also see her awards. Read about her here.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The First State of Being

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The First State of Being (Greenwillow Books, 2024) by Erin Entrada Kelly is a fun mix of historical fiction—Y2K—and time travel.

It’s 1999 and 11-year-old Michael is hoarding food that he’s stolen for when the world shuts down on January 1, 2000. (He has to help his single Mom who is struggling making ends meet. And she loves peaches, right?) And then he and the apartment maintenance man meet a weird teenager, who appears to be half Filipino like Michael. Ridge doesn’t even know what year it is and is dressed oddly. Something’s off about that kid. Despite all of Michael’s worries, he decides to help Ridge obtain his desire of going to a mall.

This is a story of hope and has great reminders of deciding how we want to be. The book came out in March.

Erin is a Newbery medalist and a NY Times bestselling author. Read about her here and check out all her books here.