Posted in Nonfiction, PB, So Many Good Books

A Little Bit of Dinosaur

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Here’s a heads up on a hilarious book that just came out: A Little Bit of Dinosaur (Mims House, 2021) by Darcy Pattison and Elleen Hutcheson, and illustrated by John Joven. I love how it’s not what I expected from the cover.

Did you know you have a bit of dinosaur in you? And it’s your mother’s fault?

How could one not read this story after that? The funny illustrations add to the humor of this nonfiction picture book.

Read about both authors and the illustrator here and find more information about dinosaurs, too. Check out John’s portfolio here.

Posted in Graphic Novels, Memoir, Nonfiction, So Many Good Books

almost American Girl

almost American Girl (Balzer + Bray, 2020) by Robin Ha is a fascinating graphic memoir of one girl’s life. I learned a lot about Korean culture and had such empathy for Chuna.

Chuna and her mother often travel. This time they’re going to Alabama which Chuna hasn’t even heard of. But it isn’t just a visit as Chuna thinks–they’re going to stay. Trying to fit in with a new family, new school, and new country when she barely speaks English is very tough. One consolation is getting to pick a new name, Robin. After many tears, a comics drawing class makes a huge difference in her life.

Don’t miss the acknowledgements at the end. They are well worth reading, too. I wish this book was required reading for everyone.

Robin Ha is a cartoonist–read more about her here. See her work here.

Posted in Nonfiction, So Many Good Books

Your Amazing Skin from Outside In

AmazingSkinYour Amazing Skin from Outside In (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018) by Joanne Settel, PhD, and illustrated by Bonnie Timmons is a fun factual book about skin and why it does all the good and weird things it does.
The book is told in rhyme which flows well and is matched by humorous illustrations. Kids (and adults) can learn why they get pimples and goosebumps, sunburns, their skin color, and a lot more.
I think my favorite page of text is the one discussing layers and layers of skin and how they are shed. A portion of it says,
“These cells are tiny, small, and thin.
You’ll never see them leave your skin.
But actually, they’re everywhere.
They make the dust that fills the air.”
I love so many of the illustrations, it’s hard to pick one, but the spread with someone who is green is especially fun.
There are bonus facts about animal skin too.
Dr. Settle has written other science books for children. Read more about her and her other books here.
Read about author/illustrator Bonnie Timmons here–I can see why she was selected to do this book just from her bio.
Each time I pick this book up, I find myself smiling.

Posted in Nonfiction, PB, So Many Good Books

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist

sewingstories.jpgSewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Barbara Herkert is a delightful picture book biography. The warm illustrations are done by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Read the illustrator’s comments about the book here.
The story takes Harriet from slave child watching the adults quilt to becoming a free woman, quilter and artist. When I read it, I almost cried when Harriet has to sell her story quilt. Besides the lyrical text of the story, there are patchwork boxes with extra information on each spread.
The back matter is very interesting in this book, too. It includes explanations about her quilts, tells more of her story, and even shows a picture of Harriet.
If you are a quilter or love quilts, this is a “must have” book. But it’s also a good story for kids to understand that even when life is hard, there can be joy and beauty.
Barbara Herkert had another artist biography come out last month as well: Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter with illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. Other books are in the works; read more on the author’s site.

Posted in Nonfiction, So Many Good Books

God’s promises…for boys…

God's promises for boysGod’s promises…for boys… (Tommy Nelson, 2010) by Jack Countryman and Amy Parker is very kid-friendly. Each entry begins with a short poem and then is followed by Bible verses (International Children’s Bible). The opening title under the section God’s Promises When… is “You Want to Be Cool.” Don’t all boys want to be cool?
Additional sections are:

  • God’s Promises About…
  • God Wants You To…
  • God’s Promises of Help When…
  • God’s Promises about Making a Difference…
  • God’s Promises about Jesus
  • God’s Promises for You…

This book could be used as a devotional or a resource when a boy has a question. Reading age 8-12, but I’d definitely read it to my younger grandsons.
It has great illustrations, too, by Richard Watson. See more details at thepublisher’s site.
Author Jack Countryman created the God’s Promises line. Read more here. Together he and Amy Parker wrote this book and God’s Promises…for girls. Amy is also the author of A Night Night Prayer.