Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

The Star Festival

Perfect Picture Book Friday

In The Star Festival (Albert Whitman & Company, 2021) by Moni Ritchie Hadley and illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa, I loved learning about this Japanese festival of Tanabata Matsuri through the eyes of little Keiko. The parallels between the folktale of Orihime and Hikoboshi (lovers separated by the Emperor of Heaven) and Keiko and Obaasan (her grandmother) are fun. The twist on who gets lost was great. I like how the traditions of the festival are shown through the actions of the story. I love the bright illustrations, too.

This is the author’s debut picture book. The book is being launched virtually at Once Upon a Time bookstore on April 3rd. Read about Moni here. You can see some pictures that inspired the book on this page.

You can see the illustrator’s other books here and look at more samples of Mizuho’s artwork here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

The Capybaras

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Coming in April is an interesting picture book about diversity: The Capybaras (Greystone Kids, 2021) by Alfredo Soderguit.

When the capybaras show up the chickens are not happy about these wild creatures. Rules are shared to keep the capybaras away. But when danger comes, the chickens change their minds. And the ending has a surprising twist, too.

I love how the chickens learn that different isn’t bad. I keep smiling at the end–you’ll have to read it to find out why.

The Spanish edition, Los Carpinchos, is a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids 2020.

Read about the author/illustrator here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Let’s Dance!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Let’s Dance! (Boyds Mill & Kane, 2020) by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Maine Diaz has recently danced out into the market. I love the simplicity of the rhythmic language contrasting with the beautiful details in the illustrations that together highlight different types of dances. It’s very difficult to pick a favorite spread.

There’s breakdance, West Africa’s kuku, line dance, Cuba’s cha-cha, ballet, Irish step dance, and more. This book will introduce children (and perhaps their parents) to dancers from around the world in such a fun way.

Even Valerie Bolling’s bio starts with rhythm–read it here. This is the author’s first picture book.

Illustrator Maine Diaz shares an online portfolio here (two pages, so click another icon on her page as well) and her bio here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Not Quite Snow White

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Today’s delightful book is Not Quite Snow White (Harper, 2019) by Ashley Franklin and Ebony Glenn.

“For Tameika, it was always the right time and place to dance and sing.” She’s confident, adorable, and fun. She’s played different roles in a variety of shows. She has a helpful attitude with her friends. But when she plans to audition for Snow White, she hears whispers that make her doubt.

My favorite line is “She loved herself as much as she loved music and movement.” I love the ending. And I love the art–perfect marriage between words and illustration.

You can see what author Ashley Franklin is up to by following her on Twitter.

Check out Ebony’s lovely illustrations here–be sure to click on the screen to see them all. Read about the illustrator here.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Poetree

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Poetree (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2019) by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani makes me smile. I love the developing friendship. This is one sweet book.

It’s spring and Sylvia celebrates by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree in the park. The next day her poem has been replaced by another. The tree is writing back! Her daydreams about the tree get her in trouble at school. But then something surprising happens.

Poetree was on the Spring 2019 Kids’ Indie Next List and received a starred review in School Library Journal.

Author Shauna LaVoy Renolds says she writes “uncommon stories for uncommon children.” Read more about her here. Poetree is her debut picture book.

Check out illustrator Shahrzad Maydani’s illustrations and sketches on Instagram. Read about her here.