Picture Book Roundup September 2017

Wow, this month just FLEW by!

Since there aren’t enough days or time for a blog post for each picture book I reviewed for publishers this month, I’m doing a short and sweet round-up of my Goodreads reviews. To keep up with all of my picture book and lower middle grade reads, check out my brand-new Instagram account dedicated just to these genres ~ @littleloudlibrary.

Enjoy!


The Little Book of Little ActivistsThe Little Book of Little Activists by Anonymous
(Penguin Young Readers ~ September 26, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy!

I absolutely love this little book that shares photos of children at the Women’s March on Washington, along with quotes from kids and explanations of words such as “feminist” and “democracy”. This is an important title for home bookshelves and libraries.


Roar and Sparkles Go to SchoolRoar and Sparkles Go to School by Sarah Beth Durst
(Running Press Books ~ June 6, 2017)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a cute story!

Thanks to Running Press Books for this review copy.

Roar is worried about his first day at school and his big sister Sparkles makes sure that he feels okay about things and then is rewarded with Roar’s brotherly appreciation at the end of the school day. These dragons are adorable and my 5 yo loved listening to it! I will be sharing this as a kindergarten read aloud soon


LeosGiftLeo’s Gift by Susan Blackaby
(Loyola Press – October 11, 2017)

My Rating: 3.5 / 5 STARS

I’ve had this one since this summer and have been thinking about it for months now!

Thanks to the book’s publicist for the review copy.

LEO’S GIFT is a very powerful and detailed story about a boy working toward his musical dreams, and it is absolutely full of piano and music-specific terminology. There is also an excellent message about perseverance that I would love to share with my students as we talk about growth mindset. The illustrations are bright and textured with a playful feel and I love the variation on text placement.

There is a Christmas program theme that in my opinion could have been substituted for a secular program since it was barely referenced throughout the book until the last few pages and then was all of a sudden VERY Christmas – it just limits the timeliness of the book for read alouds, etc. This doesn’t take away from the story at all, but from this librarian’s viewpoint it presents a cultural/religious aspect that doesn’t tie in with the rest of the story and could be eliminated, or could have been woven in through the story more. I recommend this to music classrooms and piano players, who will surely appreciate the rich musical storyline. I will be consulting with my music teacher to see if she would like this purchased for our library for her to use in her classes and share with students.


Draw the LineDraw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi
(Roaring Brook Press ~ October 10, 2017)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title.

This wordless picture book will be a great one for sharing with children in lessons on conflict resolution. The artwork is excellent and perfectly conveys the emotion and events of the story.

I withheld the 5th star simply because I reserve those for guaranteed story time read-aloud success, and with large groups, wordless books can be challenging if students can’t see the details of the story.


After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)After the Fall by Dan Santat
(Roaring Press Books ~ October 3, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title.

This follow-up to the classic nursery rhyme is a perfect picture book to use when teaching about Growth Mindset and perseverance. The pictures are perfectly representative of the changing mood of the story, and the text is simple enough for the youngest students while the message is deep enough for middle grade. This is a required purchase for elementary school libraries


Fort-Building TimeFort-Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd
(Knopf BFYR ~ October 10, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title.

FORT-BUILDING TIME is an absolutely delightful and lyrical story about the fun of creation and playing outdoors throughout the seasons. The illustrations are whimsical and filled with detail, and the text itself is artwork in itself. This title is a required purchase for elementary libraries and will be a perfect storytime read for primary grades.


School DaySchool Day by Carolyn J. Morris
(Railfence Books ~ August 17, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy of this title.

Another delightful and adorable addition to the Railfence Bunch stories for our youngest children! In this adventure, Chick and Duckling go to school! “A-B-C I can read, 1-2-3 we’re up to speed! Wheee!”
I just straight up love these sweet books with their rhyming text and beautiful illustrations. This one definitely has a Canadian flair with the flag on the front and the mention of French lessons.


I Speak PeaceI Speak Peace by Kate Carroll
(Ferne Press ~ March 1, 2016)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for providing me with a review copy of this title.

This book is an essential read aloud in classrooms and in our homes to help spread the message of kindness, openness and peace. I SPEAK PEACE denounces violence, racism, judgment, ignorance, hurting and hate and promotes working together instead of against. There is a song included at the end of the book, as well as a Peacemaker Pledge. The text is minimal, but packs a very large message in a book fit for children in wide range of ages.

I will be purchasing a copy of this book for my elementary library’s social-emotional lesson collection to share with teachers and our guidance counselor.


When Rosa Parks Went FishingWhen Rosa Parks Went Fishing by Rachel Ruiz
(Picture Window Books ~ August 1, 2017)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for sharing this title with the Kid Lit Exchange network for review purposes.

Leaders Doing Headstands is a superb new picture book biography series focusing on famous figures in their youth. They are presented in a large-form picture book format that will be appealing to younger learners. WHEN ROSA PARKS WENT FISHING tells about Parks’ major civil rights victory, but does not make it the highlight of the book – instead she is shown as a young girl and readers learn about her family, schooling and formative years. The illustrations are gorgeous and are sure to captivate during read alouds.

I will be purchasing the entire series for my elementary school library.


When Hillary Rodham Clinton Played Ice HockeyWhen Hillary Rodham Clinton Played Ice Hockey by Rachel Ruiz
(Picture Window Books ~ August 1, 2017)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for sharing this title with the Kid Lit Exchange network for review purposes.

Leaders Doing Headstands is a superb new picture book biography series focusing on famous figures in their youth. They are presented in a large-form picture book format that will be appealing to younger learners. WHEN HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON PLAYED ICE HOCKEY tells about Clinton’s major political moments, but does not make them the highlight of the book – instead she is shown as a young girl and readers learn about her family, schooling and formative years. The illustrations are gorgeous and are sure to captivate during read alouds.

I will be purchasing the entire series for my elementary school library.


Animal EncountersAnimal Encounters by Agnes Bellegris
(Archway Publishing ~ January 25, 2017)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written in careful verse, Bellegris highlights a variety of animals in this self-illustrated picture book.

Thanks to the author for providing Kid Lit Exchange with a copy of this title for review.

Each page spread in this book features a painting of an animal with a description and narrative about the animal written in a whimsical and sometimes playful manner. The illustrations are vivid and lifelike, but with a soft and textured style. The vocabulary is rich and would invite further discussions about meaning and how we describe nature. I can definitely see this book being appealing to children and moving off the shelves in my library. I would use it for read alouds with my younger classes.


Milky WayMilky Way by Mamta Nainy
(Yali Books ~ September 25, 2017)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sweet tale of friendship and dreaming infused with Himalayan culture, MILKY WAY is a story sure to delight young readers who have ever wondered about the moon and its phases.

Thanks to the publisher for providing Kid Lit Exchange with a review copy of this book.

Tashi and his friendship with the moon could be a story about any boy in any part of the world, but is made so much richer because the story is set in such a unique location and share so many pieces of Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism culture. The illustrations are bold and playful, and the text is perfect for read alouds. As a school librarian, I am always looking to diversify my collection to include representation of global cultures and religions, and this title will make a perfect addition. I will be purchasing this for my library.


From Dark to LightFrom Dark to Light by Isabella Murphy
(Pink Umbrella Books ~ August 15, 2017)

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

What a cute story! And it was written by a 5th grader!

Thanks so much to the author for sharing this title with Kid Lit Exchange for review.

The story of a pumpkin who wants a family is very cute and would make a good group read aloud for grades 1 and 2 or younger in a one-on-one environment, simply due to the fact that the pages are rather text-dense and littles need quicker page turns in large groups. However, the illustrations are vivid and engaging and the story is delightful, especially from such a young author.Β I will be purchasing this for my library to prove that kids CAN publish books!


View all of my Goodreads reviews

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