Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – May 1 – 31, 2022

Love in the Library

Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Author

Yas Imamura, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Historical Fiction, Feb. 8, 2022

Themes; Japanese Americans, Relocation camps, Library, World War II, Love, Hope

Suitable for ages: 6-9

Opening: “Tama did not like the desert. She brushed the dust from her eyes as she walked to the library. The barbed wire fences and guard towers cast long shadows over her path. She always did her best not to look at the guards.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

“The miracle is in us. As long as we believe in change, in beauty, in hope.”

Tama works in the library at the Minidoka incarceration camp, where she is imprisoned because she is Japanese American.  Life in the Idaho camp is relentless and getting through each day is hard. Tama prefers to escape into her books, with their stories of honor and adventure. 

But every day, George is there, too — with a smile, yet another stack of books, and his comforting presence. It is George who helps Tama understand that she isn’t alone, and in that realization, hope if found.

Based on the experience of author Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s own grandparents, who met in Minidoka during World War II, this is a wrenching and beautiful tale of two people who find each other during a time of extreme darkness, and the family born out of their love. 

Why I like Love in the Library:

Love in the Library is an inspiring book for young readers who are introduced to one of America’s darkest periods in history — the internment of Japanese American families living on the West Coast. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, children and babies, shared single rooms in these prison camps. This is an important story to tell because of the fear that pervaded our country during World War II and the social injustices that occurred.

The material is age-appropriate, very factual and allows for a lot of discussion. The lovely gouache and watercolor illustrations will give children a peek into the stark and dreary camps and offer a glimpse of hope.

Even though this is based on the true story, the author helps readers understand how important it is to hope and dream, even under the worst circumstances. It is difficult for Tama to leave college life, but she finds a way to cope by working in the library. It is a place she can escape to and find books that lift her spirit. They are a constant companion, as is the daily visitor, George, who checks out stacks of books. They fall in love in a prison camp where people feel less than human and show their deep inner strength during a challenging time.   

Resources: Make sure you read the Author’s Note at the end of the story. There is a picture of Tama and George Tokuda. This book is a timely read for students today with so much pain and suffering going on in the world around them. It will lead to many interesting discussions. Ask children what helps them cope when they face a difficult situations? Make a list. 

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is Tama and George’s granddaughter, Wendy and Richard’s daughter, and Mikka’s sister. She’s the author of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning picture book Also an Octopus; the YA novel, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea; and the graphic novel Squad. She lives in Oakland, California, with her son, husband, and dog.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press, in exchange for a review.

 

Saying Goodbye to Barkley by Devon Sillett

Saying Goodbye to Barkley

Devon Sillett, Author

Nicky Johnston, Ilustrator

EK Books, Fiction, 2020/Translated into Spanish 2021

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Pet, Death, Feelings, Grief, Sharing memories, Rescue animals

Opening: Super Olivia and her amazing sidekick Barkley did everything together. Good deeds. Sniffing out clues. Catching the bad guys!

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Olivia and her dog Barkley are inseparable. He’s her first sidekick, her partner in crime-fighting. When Barkley dies Olivia is heartbroken. Olivia realizes however that Barkley would want her to share her love with a new pet. She hatches a plan to adopt a dog in need of a home. So Spud — who is very different from Barkley — joins the family. Olivia learns that loves comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Spud may be a hopeless sidekick, but the niche she carves in Olivia’s heart will be entirely and uniquely her own.

Why I like Saying Goodbye to Barkley:

Devon Sillett’s Saying Goodbye to Barkley is a sensitive, uplifting and heartwarming first book about death. Both children and adults will relate to the love and unbreakable bond between Barkley and his owner, Olivia. Sillett’s storytelling is compelling and her pacing keeps readers fully engaged.

Losing a pet to death may be a child’s first experience with loss and grief. Saying Goodbye to Barkley acknowledges Olivia’s feelings of sadness when she loses her best crime-fighting partner. She’s too sad to eat and sleep. She dreads waking up because her best friend isn’t snuggling by her side. 

Olivia takes her time to work through her grief and share her feelings of loss. She holds tight to her memories and realizes that Barkley wouldn’t want her to stop doing good deeds. That’s when she comes up with a plan to adopt a from the rescue shelter — not her mother’s idea — but Olivia’s. A signal to readers that Olivia is healing and ready to move on.  After all, Barkley loved rescuing people. Now it’s Olivia’s turn to rescue a dog.

Nicky Johnston’s colorful, large illustrations compliment the story showing Olivia’s journey through sadness to joy. Make sure you check out the end papers for a sweet surprise.

Resources/Activities: This is an opportunity for the children and family to share their feelings of loss and their joyful memories of their beloved pet. Encourage kids share their favorite memories of their pet, collect pictures of their pet and make a collage, draw pictures, and make a memory box. 

Devon Sillett is a former radio producer, turned writer and reviewer. She is the author of The Scaredy Book, The Leaky Book and Tabitha and the Raincloud.  Born in the US, Devon now lives in Australia. She loves books so much so that she got married in a library! Currently she teaches in the writing department at the University of Canberra, where she is also a PhD student, researching children’s picture books. If she isn’t writing or reading, you’ll find her playing with Legos or hide-an-seek with her two sons.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by EK Books in exchange for a review. 

 

Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler

Someone Builds the Dream

Lisa Wheeler, Author

Loren Long, Illustrator

Dial Books for Young Readers, Fiction, March 23,2021

Suitable for ages: 5-8

Themes:   Dreamers, Skilled trade workers, Technicians, Builders, Teamwork, Diversity  

Opening: “All across this great big world, jobs are getting done / by many hand in many lands. It takes much more than ONE.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

A house, a bridge, an amusement park all start as an idea, a sketch, a plan. But what happens next? Someone needs to work the saws and pound the nails. Someone has to build each dream.

This joyous and profound book is an exploration of all the work that happens after someone dreams big — about the skilled laborers who turn a thought into a glorious final product (such as this very book!)

Why I like Someone Builds the Dream:

This is an excellent book to show children how many skilled men and women are involved in the vision, planning, and building of structures around the world. Each job is important. There are architects, engineers, artists, scientists, and designers who create the vision or dream. But then there are the skilled construction workers (builders, electricians, plumbers, machine operators and drivers) who must execute the plans and bring them to life — bridges, theme parks, buildings, houses, and ecological wind farms. 

What a wonderful way to introduce the concept of teamwork to children. And each worker’s job is just as important as any other job.  Many kids will see their parents in these very important jobs and feel pride in their accomplishments. 

The text is snappy. The illustrations are colorful, inviting and detailed as a diverse group work together to bring the visions to life. Kids will enjoy pouring over every double page spread. I hope the author and illustrator team up to do more books like this one, because the possibilities are endless.  They may inspire a new generation of workers.  

Resources: This is a great classroom book. Ask kids if there are jobs shown that their parents or other family members do?  Is there a job they like to do. Ask them to think about the bicycles they ride, the baseball and mitt they play with, the clothing,  and shoes and boots they wear. Remember someone made them. Have them draw a picture of a job they might like to do. It reminds me that my grandfather made ice cream at a dairy. My grandmother designed clothing and was a seamstress.  Our son is a truck driver, Our grandsons are engineers. 

Lisa Wheeler grew up in a family of steel workers and welders, and through this book she hopes that readers will share her deep respect for the nature of labor. She is the author of many beloved picture books, including Jazz Baby (A Geisel Honor Book), Farmer Dale’s Red Pickup Truck, and the Christmas Boot (a Golden Kite Award winner). She lives near Detroit, Michigan. 

Loren Long called upon his love of 1930s WPA murals in the painting of this book. One of the most admired children’s book illustrators working today, he has collaborated with many authors, including President Barack Obama, Matt de la Pena, Frank McCourt, and Angela Johnson. His bestselling Otis the Tractor series is in development as an animated TV show. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Reviewed from a library copy.

 

My Big Book of Outdoors by Tim Hopgood

My Big Book of Outdoors

Tim Hopgood, Author and Illustrator

Candlewick Studio, Nonfiction, Mar. 29, 2022

Pages: 128

Suitable for ages: 7-9

Themes: Nature, Seasons, Earth Day

Opening: “Sunlight and warmth / Bulbs in bloom / Rain showers / New shoots growing / Birds nesting / Trees in blossom/ SPRING”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Discover the joy out outdoors in this richly illustrated treasury that celebrates the wonders of nature.

From the vibrant colors of flowers in bloom to poems about dandelions and raindrops, this bright and beautiful collection is jam-packed with amazing things to see and do outdoors.

Depicting the splendor of the four seasons, the gorgeous book is the perfect introduction to nature in all its glory.

Why I love My Big Book of Outdoors:

Tim Hopgood’s My Big Book of Outdoors is oversized, with powerful words blending with dazzling mixed media illustrations. Make sure you check out the gorgeous end papers.  Children will love poring over all of the vibrant details. The layout is beautiful and begins with a list of signs of each season, starting with Spring. If there is a book that will nudge your nature-loving children outdoors to explore, this book will do just that!

Although the book is designated for children ages 7 to 9 years, it is definitely a book that young children will enjoy. In fact, I believe this book will grow with your child. It can be read as a picture book to introduce them to seasons. And it can be used by older children who will enjoy the more detailed information about birds, insects, butterflies, flowers, migration, tracking animals, stargazing and following the phases of the moon. The book includes many clever seasonal activities that will delight kids — like making a bird nest out of melted chocolate and shredded wheat; making a bug hotel for beetles; making a leaf mobile with fall leaves; baking apples; and making a weather station out of pine cones.

Hopgood dedicates his book to “everyone who stayed indoors in 2020.” His wants to invites readers to step outside and take a really good look at the world around them and celebrate each and every wonder. His book is a treasure trove of information and is written with elegance and sensitivity about the important role nature plays in our lives. This is a perfect gift book for every season and would be a welcomed addition to any home or school library. It also is an excellent Earth Day book.

Activities: Take a walk around your backyard and look for bird nests, daffodils, and blossoms on trees, Listen to the bird songs in the early morning hours. My Big Book of Outdoors is full of activities for each season.  Have fun!

Tim Hopgood is an award-winning illustrator and author of books for children including the international best-seller What a Wonderful World, the hugely successful Wow! Said the Owl (recently adapted for the stage by Little Angel Theatre, London), and the award-winning Fabulous Frogs written by Martin Jenkins. His books have been translated into over twenty different languages.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Studio in exchange for a review.

 

 

Bunny Finds Easter by Laura Sassi

Bunny Finds Easter

Laura Sassi, Author

Ela Jarzabek, Illustrator

Zonderkidz, Feb. 1, 3022

Suitable for ages: 0-4

Themes: Bunny, Animals, Easter, Holidays, Rhyme, Board Book,

Opening: “Bunny wakes, / Hip hip hooray! / Let’s celebrate! / It’s Easter Day?”

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Easter is for coloring eggs, wearing a lovely bonnet, joining in an egg hunt, and attending church with family! But the most important thing about this holiest of seasons is to celebrate and focus on Jesus. Children will be introduced to the meaning of Easter through colorful illustrations and playful rhymes.

Why I like Bunny Finds Easter

Laura Sassi’s charming board book introduces Bunny and young readers to their very first Easter. The rhyming text is sweet and shows Bunny’s excitement and curiosity about this special day.  She experiences all of the traditions of celebrating and preparing for this big day,  This is a lovely book that will help parents start a meaningful conversation about a most important day for Christians. It’s also a fun way for parents to talk about their experiences of Easter as children and share family traditions. Encourage little ones to ask questions.

Ela Jarzabek’s colorful and cheerful illustrations compliment the text and will add to reader’s anticipation of coloring eggs, dressing up in new clothes, participating in an egg hunt in the church lawn with a diverse group other woodland friends and worshiping and singing together at church.  This is a perfect gift book for small hands and for Easter baskets. I’m sending my copy to my two-year-old granddaughter.

Resources: Each page will offer different activities parents and children can do together, like coloring eggs and setting up your own egg hunt in your yard or in the house. I always hosted an Easter egg hunt for the entire neighborhood in our front yard. Take a walk around your yard. Easter also signals the birth of baby animals and birds, buds appearing on trees and the appearance of flowers. 

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of six books for children including the best-selling Goodnight Ark, which was a 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist; Goodnight, Manger; Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse, which won First Honor Book for the 2019 Best in Rhyme Award and is a 2021-2022 Iowa Goldfinch Award Nominee; Love Is Kind, which was a 2020 Anna Dewdney Read Together Award Honor Book; Little Ewe: The Story of One Lost Sheep. She writes daily from her home in New Jersey and finds special joy in sharing her love of reading and writing with the next generation at school visits and other book events.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*I won a copy of Bunny Finds Easter in a book giveaway on Susanna Leonard Hill’s wonderful website

Raquela’s Seder by Joel Edward Stein

Raquela’s Seder

Joel Edward Stein, Author

Sara Ugolotti, Illustrator

Kar – Ben Publishing,  Fiction, Feb. 1, 2022

Suitable for ages: 5-9

Themes: Passover, Seder, Jews, Spain, Inquisition

Opening: “Raquela had a secret. On Friday nights, she followed her parents down to the wine cellar under their house. There, her mother would light Shabbat candles, and her father would say a prayer over the wine. That secret room was the only place the Rivera family could celebrate Shabbat.”

Synopsis:

Raquela longs to celebrate Passover, even though Jews are not allowed to practice their religion in Inquisition-era Spain. King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella punish those who are caught observing Jewish customs or celebrating Jewish holidays. 

Raquela’s papa is the best fisherman in town. He knows that “you must think like a fish” and finds their best hiding places. He understands Raquela’s wish to celebrate a Passover and he has the perfect place.  Before Passover begins, he asks Mama to bake flat matzah and mix some dried fruit with nuts and spices and asks Raquela to gather some other items, including a table cloth.

The next day before sundown, Raquela and Mama quietly meet Papa at the beach and they sail to Papa’s favorite fishing hole. There he creates a unique Passover seder for the family, safe from any spies. And Raquela celebrates her first seder under the starry night. Papa explains the meaning of the foods and tells the Passover story in remembrance of the enslaved Jews in Egypt and their exodus to freedom. He also has a hope that “one day we will also be free in Spain — free to live as Jews.”

Why I like Raquela’s Seder:

Joel Edward Stein seamlessly weaves together two historic time periods of Jewish oppression into a moving Passover story of hope and freedom. His gentle text will engage children and will leave them feelings hopeful. Sara Ugolotti’s beautiful illustrations compliment the story, especially her stunning double-spreads of the family celebrating under a starry night. She cleverly includes some historic scenes of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. And look at that stunning cover!

I must admit, I didn’t know about how the Jews were treated in Spain. Make sure you check out the author’s Historical Note about the Spanish Inquisition, which lasted more than 350 years, ending in 1834. There is also a more detailed discussion about the Passover celebration. This book is certainly one to add to a home library. It is such a moving tale and relevant in today’s world.

Activities: This book would pair well with Pippa’s Passover Plate by our PPBF author/friend, Vivian Kirkfield. Explain the significance of each of the items on a seder plate and encourage your child to draw, cut, and glue their own plates with construction paper.   

Joel Edward Stein is a former staff writer for CTB/McGraw-Hill. A member of the Society of Chidlren’s Book Writers and Illustrators, he lives in Florida with his wife, son, two birds, and a tortoise. His books include A Hanukkah with Mazel, The Pigeon Man, and The Capture of Rafael Ortega.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Reviewed from a library book.

 

 

Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons by Leda Schubert

First & Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert, Author

Clover Robin, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Mar. 1, 2022

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Seasons, Changes, Rituals, Celebration

Opening: Spring is…the last time we hear “Snow day!” on the news…

Book Jacket Synopsis:

What is the first sign of spring? And what is the last glimpse of winter? The joy of the changing seasons means saying hello to new but familiar rituals, like spring picnics in the park or homemade lemonade in summer. But there’s also the bittersweet feeling of doing something for the last time, like mowing the lawn one final time on a brown day in autumn, or watching the last of the geese fly south in the early weeks of winter. However you celebrate the changing of the seasons, every year feels like an extraordinary miracle! In this jubilant ode to seasonal rituals, Leda Schubert evokes the familiar, enchanting rhythm of the four seasons, while Clover Robin’s bold, graceful art bring warmth and magic to everyday occurrences.

Why I like First& Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert’s beautiful book is a ode to nature and a celebration of life in the human world. I really enjoy her simply stated format as children journey through the seasons. Each season begins with Spring is… “the last time we play in our snow forts…and the first time we time we play catch…” It is intended to stir up memories and create excitement for change that is about to come.  

Clover Robin’s colorful collages compliment the text and awaken reader’s five senses to the changing smells of freshly cut grass, the taste of cold lemonade, the feel of squishy grass on bare feet, the sound of June bugs hitting screens, and the site of the first frost on windowpanes. Children will have great fun coming up with the things that they look forward to in each season. And make sure you checkout her gorgeous book cover.

This is a lovely gift book.

Resources: Encourage children to think about activities and observances they associate with each changing season. Like the beginning of Little League baseball, flying kites, fishing, catching lightning bugs, planting a garden, attending parades, watching fireworks, taking a vacation, choosing the perfect  carving pumpkin, going on a hayride, and roasting marshmallows. Help them make a list for each season and then hand them crayons, paint and paper and let them celebrate moments that are important to them and to the family. Compile the drawings and make a simple book. 

Leda Schubert is the author of numerous books for children, including Dogs Love Cars, Nathan’s Son, the Brand New Reader’s series of Winnie books, Monsieur Marceau and many other award-winning books. Schubert has an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College, served on the Caldecott committee, and lives in Vermont with her husband and their goldendoodles.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.

 

Ani’s Light byTanu Shree Singh

Ani’s Light

Tanu Shree Singh, PhD, Author

Sandhya Prabhat, Illustrator

Magination Press. Fiction, Jun. 23, 2020

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Mothers, Parental illness, Depression, Hope, Love 

Opening: On a night when the moon shone and little specks of light danced on the ceiling, Ani Lay awake. “It’s dark,” he said.

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Ani’s stuck in a dark cloud because his mother hasn’t been home. His friends and family try to brighten his mood, but nothing helps. When Mama finally comes back, but with her hair missing, Ani’s light gets brighter and brighter, chasing away his darkness. The unconditional love between Ani and his mother shines through as the two enjoy their precious time together, whether it’s forever, or just for now.

This sensitive, hopeful story will help kids explore their sadness when a close family member is undergoing medical treatment, while highlighting sources of light that can bring stability during uncertain times. It is also a terrific resource for anyone who wants to understand the ups and downs of coping with a parent’s illness.

Why I like Ani’s Light:

Ani’s Light is a realistic and heartfelt story about a boy dealing with his mother chronic medical illness. I am thrilled to share this book with you because I’ve only reviewed a few picture books about a parent dealing with cancer. Unfortunately, there need to be more books. This is a good book to have in your home library.

I love Tanu Shree Singh’s brevity of words and her lyrical text. It is enough to know that Ani’s mother is gone and he is very sad. Reader’s only know when she returns home that “Mama’s hair is gone.” This book could be used for many other medical issues (including COVID) that occur among family members, including grandparents.

I like the contrast between darkness and light, which Sandhya Prabhat uses beautifully to show the dark cloud surrounding Ani. But, when his mother returns home a cloud of light envelopes mother and son, and Ani is hugging his mother — his source of light — and offers to shave his head. The world is once again full of color. She sets the story in India. Just look at that gorgeous book cover!

My favorite line is when Ani’s expresses he was scared she’d never come back, and his mother responds “I’m here now and so are Dobby, Nani and your friends.”  “As long as you let others love you,” Mama said, “you will be okay.”

Resources: Ani’s Light includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers explaining ways to help a child through a parental illness. It is written by the Singh, a professor of psychology. She says it is important to honest. It’s okay not to know all the answers. And it’s important to help kids deal with their emotions. A good book to have in a home or school library.

Tanu Shree Singh, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Higher Education, Haryana, India. She completed her studies in positive psychology at Maharshi Dayanand University and writes extensively on issues related to parenting. Her passion for reading and getting more children to read led her to set up two libraries in Faridabad and Tirthan Valley. She lives in Faridabad, India. Visit her on Twitter @tanu75 and Instagram @tanu.shree.singh.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Magination Press in exchange for a review.

 

How to Have a Birthday by Mary Lyn Ray

How to Have a Birthday

Mary Lyn Ray, Author

Cindy Derby, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Sep. 14, 2021

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Birthday, Traditions, Celebrations, Diversity

Opening“On the morning of your birthday you can tell already that the day is not like others.”

Book Jacket Synopsis:

YOUR BIRTHDAY is just one day out of the whole year, but the celebration of you is limitless. On this special day, filled with anticipation and delight, there could be gifts, traditions, or a quiet moment alone to contemplate being one year older.

This is a day to celebrate you and the day you were born. Whatever the day holds, the ordinary will become the extraordinary, so make a wish — it’s your birthday!

Why I like How to Have a Birthday

What a joyful book to read to children a few days before their birthdays to remind them what a miracle they truly are. Mary Lyn Ray’s book is not your traditional birthday book as it encourages children to think more deeply about their day of birth. The very first present is the gift of wonder — what will this day bring? How will you celebrate your day? 

The lyrical text follows follows three diverse families who celebrate with different traditions. Maybe there will be gifts, songs, pictures, balloons, and a cake or pie. Maybe you like to wish upon a shooting star. Or maybe you will want to try something you’ve never done before like visiting a animal rescue center. Some kids may follow family traditions, like measuring their height on the wall.

Cindy Derby’s stunning watercolor and pastel illustrations show children celebrating in different seasons — after all there are 12 birthday months. Her artwork beckons readers to turn the pages and leaves them with a smile on their faces as they think about their special day. This timeless book is for children and individuals of all ages.

Resources:  Ask kids what they would like to do on their birthday. What is their favorite desert? Is it cake, pie or baklava? Do they like to look at birth photos and their baby footprints? Would they like to try something new on their birthday like riding in a hot air balloon, spending a quiet day learning to fly fish or learning to ice skate? Would they like to start a new tradition like donating some of their books and toys to other kids — or asking partygoers to donate to a favorite cause. The possibilities are endless.

Mary Lyn Ray is the author of many acclaimed books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Stars, illustrated by Marla Frazee, as well as The Thank You Book, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, and The House of Grass and Sky, illustrated by E. B. Goodale. Mary Lyn Ray lives in South Danbury, New Hampshire.  Visit Ray at her website.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.

 

Lobe Your Brain by Leanne Boucher Gill

Lobe Your Brain: What Matters About Your Grey Matter

Leanne Boucher Gill Ph.D., author

Illustrations by Magination Press 

Magination Press, Nonfiction, Jun. 21, 2021

Suitable for ages: 6-8

Themes: Brain, Neurons, Nerves, Neurophysiology, Neuropsychology, Movement, Emotions, Senses

Opening: “Hi! Welcome to your brain! Your brain helps you move, laugh, dance, think, and do just about everything that makes you, you!”

Synopsis:

The brain does a lot — makes you dance, smile, remember, think, feel and so much more. But do you know how it really works? Take a fascinating tour of the nervous system and lobes of the human brain to discover all the cool things that it can do.

This book is full of fun examples, simple explanations, and basic anatomy illustrations that shows how everything flows.

Why I like Lobe Your Brain:

Lobe Your Brain is an informative, child-friendly introduction to the workings of the amazing human brain. Clever title for kids and adults. I like how the two main characters are doctors/scientists who speak directly to kids in first person (in bubbles) as they lead kids on a tour of the brain and how its impact on their every day lives.  They talk about neurons and explain the various lobes and how they help you play soccer, ride a bike, tie your shoes, spin and dance, see color, learn new things and remember what you already know, and make decisions. 

Kids brains are like sponges, so I believe they will enjoy being introduced to many big words and be fascinated at how really amazing the brain is to their every action, thought, feeling, heartbeat and breath.  The illustrations are very colorful and engaging. Not only do they include artwork about the brain, they also include a diverse group of children engaged in activities.

I also want to share that the author also has published a book for older readers 10-14 years. It’s called The Big Brain Book: How it Work and All It’s Quirks. It is very age appropriate and divided into three  sections. The last section is particularly interesting, because it helps kids understand what happens to the brain when things go wrong — like a a brain injury, stroke, a concussion, forgetfulness and memory loss.

Books about the brain are so scarce in children’s nonfiction. These two gems belong in every school library. I gifted a copy of Lobe Your Brain to a friend whose seven-year-old son had a head concussion. He was very interested in learning about his brain and his mom was able to talk about how important it is for him to protect his unique brain. 

Resources: This is such a fun discussion book for children at home or at school. Focus on a specific lobe in the brain and engage kids in a discussion about all the cool things it does for them.  

Leanne Boucher Gill, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Nova Southeastern University, where she received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and was named the NSU STUEY Professor of the Year. She maintains an active research program studying how exercise affects the way we think. She lives in South Florida. Visit her on Twitter. And check out an interview with her on Magination Press.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Magination Press in exchange for a review.