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.

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 PB, Read-aloud, So Many Good Books

When a Dragon Moves In

Perfect Picture Book Friday

When a Dragon Moves In (Flashlight Press, 2011) by Jodi Moore and illustrated by Howard McWilliam is fun book about imagination.

“If you build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in.” And it will be great–a built in marshmallow toaster, a raft, and a an assist with kite flying. But there are rules on the beach, so you have to hide his smoke and erase his footprints from the sand. Then he eats all of the peanut butter sandwiches, blows bubbles in your drink, and nibbles all the brownies. Which you are blamed for. Plus he kicks sand on your sister. So, you have to tell him to leave. Until…

Read about the author here and see her books here where you’ll see there’s a sequel called When a Dragon Moves In Again.

Check out the illustrator’s many children’s picture books, children’s novels, and magazine illustrations here. You can read his bio here. He also wrote and illustrated Just SNOW Already! (Flashlight Press, 2023).

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

God Made You Too

Perfect Picture Book Friday

God Made You Too (WorthyKids, 2022) by Chelsea Tornetto and illustrated by Kimberley Barnes is perfect for sharing God’s nature with little ones.

God made the universe, hung stars, and spins the planets around. He formed the depths of space and YOU. He created oceans, mountains, creatures, the seasons, and billions of people, and YOU too.

Heartwarming text written in subtle rhyme and adorable illustrations make this a great read aloud book. It answers why He made you.

The author is a former classroom teacher. Check out Chelsea’s books here.

The illustrator likes bright and shiny as you can see in her illustrations on her website. Read about Kimberley here and see some of her books here.

Posted in Nonfiction, PB, So Many Good Books

This Old Madrone Tree

Perfect Picture Book Friday

This Old Madrone Tree (Web of Life Children’s Books, 2023) by Barbara Herkert and illustrated by Marlo Garnsworthy is such a lovely nature book about a specific tree’s annual life cycle. (I can’t believe I forgot to recommend it last fall!)

In the Pacific Northwest, madrone (sometimes called madrona) trees grow near the coast. This book tells the story of one such tree and the creatures who visit throughout the year. We visit all four seasons starting with summer and ending with spring.

The text is lyrical and the illustrations beautifully compliment it. My favorite part of the text is “In winter, the wind whips and snarls. Waves raise their frothy heads. Rain slashes sideways. Thunder roars, and lightning cackles.” Can’t you just see and hear it? I have a really hard time picking a favorite spread as the illustrations are so lovely. But the forest scene when the bark curls reminds me of family vacations on the northern California coast when I was young.

The author has a madrone tree where she lives that inspired this story, her fifth published book. Read more about Barb here and check out her other books here.

The illustrator loves nature so was a perfect choice. Read about Marlo here and see samples of her illustrations here. Check out some lovely spreads of this book on the publisher’s site.


FYI: This is my 100th picture book recommendation on this site! Woo hoo!