Posted in Award Winners, PB, So Many Good Books

this way, Charlie

Perfect Picture Book Friday

this way, Charlie, inspired by a real animal friendship, (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2020) by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso is a tear-jerker of a story.

Everyone at Open Bud Ranch can see that Jack, the goat, likes space to himself. Except Charlie, the horse, who can only see out of one eye. Still Charlie is cheerful. Jack watches him carefully and realizes they have a lot in common. One day when Jack sees Charlie having trouble, he decides to lead the way. The two become close friends and help each other live better lives despite the storms that come their way.

I feel like my description is so inadequate for this powerful story of healing and friendship. Don’t miss out on this lovely book.

Caron Levis and Charles Santoso have also teamed up on another picture book. Check out Ida, Always and the awards and honors it has received. Read about the author here and the illustrator here. And don’t miss out on Charles’ other books on his website and Caron’s other books here.

Posted in Award Winners, PB, So Many Good Books

Going Down Home with Daddy

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Going Down Home with Daddy (Peachtree, 2019) by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Daniel Minter is a sweet and touching story of family. Plus it’s lovely art made it a 2020 Caldecott honor book. Go here to read about the other awards this story has garnered.

It’s family reunion time and Lil Alan doesn’t haven anything for the celebration. Everyone will have something to share. Except him. Granny (great grandmother) welcomes them when they arrive. Other family members arrive until there are more cousins than he can count. Others talk about what they’ll share for the celebration, but Lil Alan only has empty hands.

You’ll have to read the book to find out along with Lil Alan that he has something to share after all.

Check out the author’s numerous other books here. Read about how Kelly became an author here.

See the illustrators some of his other books and art here. Read about Daniel and his work here–there are links to follow from that page, too.

Posted in Award Winners, Easy Readers, So Many Good Books

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! (Candlewick Press, 2019) written and illustrated by Cece Bell is a hilarious book. It’s also a 2020 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book.

Brain is not as smart as he thinks he is. Chick is trying to teach manners. It’s not going well. Then Spot comes along and even more trouble ensues.

This book is divided into four chapters–Foot, Spot, Lunch, and Other Foot. Kids will really enjoy figuring out things before the characters do. So much better than Dick and Jane. (Read the back of the book to get this reference.)

A sequel Chick and Brain: Egg or Eyeball that came out in March looks funny too.

Cece Bell is the 2015 Newbery Honor winner of the graphic novel El Deafo. Read about her other books here. And you have to check out her studio here. You may also want to read her bio.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books, YA Novels

Allies

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Allies (Scholastic Press, 2019) by Alan Gratz is an amazing story of diverse parts of D-Day over the course of 24-hours through the eyes of seven different characters. Soldiers, paratroopers, medics, resistance fighters, a girl retrieving a forgotten bathing suit–so many in an impossible situation. Somehow the author fits it all together.

The story starts with sixteen-year-old Dee, a US soldier, who has a secret–one he can’t let his best friend discover. Will he survive the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944? Will the others we meet?

Bestselling author Alan Gratz has written many books for young readers, including four more set in this time period–Grenade, Refugee, Projekt 1065, Prisoner B-3087. Read about all his books here. Read about the author here.

Read more about Allies, including awards, here.

Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books

Journey of the Pale Bear

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I always expect great stories from Susan Fletcher and was not disappointed with Journey of the Pale Bear (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2018), although I didn’t think the prologue was necessary.

The story starts in spring of 1252 in Norway, when young hungry Arthur steals a rabbit haunch. The runaway gets shoved into a cage with an ice bear and squeezes out safely after giving the rabbit to the bear. This experience causes Arthur to be drafted to take care of the deadly bear on a ship to England. Arthur wants to reach his father’s people in Wales, so despite his fear of the bear, he agrees. But many dangers await the boy.

The book is an SCBWI Golden Kite honor book. Read about the author here and all her books here. I love, love her dragon series.