July 20, 2018
Written by Daniel Miyares
A young boy who has trouble making friends at boarding school sneaks out in the middle of the night to accept an invitation to a special party. A ride on the back of a giant turtle to an island tea party with forest creatures gives him an amazing story to tell.
Beautiful illustrations that have very little need of text puts the reader right into the story, sharing the child’s loneliness and his joy at finding new friends.
“Dedicated to the dreamers. May you always feel invited.”
Ocean Meets Sky
Written by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Epic is the first adjective that comes to mind with this picture book by The Fan Brothers. Finn lives by the sea. On what would have been his grandfather’s ninetieth birthday, he finds himself missing his grandfather’s stories and wisdom. To honor his grandfather he builds a small boat and, exhausted, falls asleep. Upon waking he finds himself sailing to that mysterious place his grandfather told him about where the ocean meets the sky.
The artwork so easily conveys the magic of this place with cloud pictures, giant sea creatures, The Library islands with its bookish birds along with air and sea vessels of every kind converging there. Children will read this book time and again just pull some new beautiful detail out of it.
“It had been a good day for sailing.”
Julián is a Mermaid
Written by Jessica Love
As Julian and his abuela are on the subway returning from the community pool, he sees three women dressed as mermaids and he becomes entranced with the notion. At home, he transforms himself into a mermaid with a potted fern for hair and a curtain for a tale. He dreams of being a mermaid.
The wonderfully detailed art gives the impression of water on every page, even when there is no water present. It allows the reader to effortlessly follow Julian through his daydreams to his reality and back again. Children have such an innocent way of looking at the world, seeing only what inspires them with no preconceived notions. This book beautifully captures that essence of childhood.
“Mermaids,” whispers Julian.
Written by Lynn Plourde
Like most children during this time of year Summer wants to play outside, build sand castles, go camping, and swim. Like most children, she also has responsibilities that must be finished first. “Just a few more minutes,” she promises to her ever-patient parents Mother Earth and Father Time until she realizes she may have left her chores until too late and then she must work extra hard fix things.
Fun rhymes keep the story moving and stunningly beautiful artwork conveys both the movement of seasons and the lessons of responsibility at the crux of the story.
“Hip-Hip-Hooray! Vacation is here, Let’s Play.”
Written by Michael Ian Black
Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
When Flamingo shares with his friends that he is feeling sad and is worried that he will always feel that way, they try to find ways to cheer him up. The essential message, in the end, is that it is okay to feel sad sometimes, everyone does sometimes and sometimes all a friend can do is just be there.
For a lot of kids, the simple validation of their emotions can go a long way towards helping them to process those emotions. It is great to find a children’s book that can accomplish this without being too heavy-handed. Ohi’s Delightfully eye-catching, childlike drawings make the book accessible to children of all ages investing them immediately into the conversation between friends.
“Everyone feels sad sometimes. Even Flamingos. It’s true.”
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