How to Find an Elephant by Kate Banks; illustrated by Boris KulikovOn a dismal, drippy day, a young explorer goes in search of an elephant. Despite helpful instructions ("look for something large and gray"), the elephant eludes the child -- but readers will delight in spotting the camouflaged creature as it hides in plain sight. Kids who love the sight gags in this imaginative how-to guide may also appreciate Nilah Magruder's How to Find a Fox.
Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. RansomeHarriet Tubman is well-known as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, but that's just one of many roles she played in her long, eventful life. Before She Was Harriet walks readers backwards through Tubman's time as a suffragist, general, spy, nurse, conductor, aunt, slave…all the way back to a little girl called Araminta. Lush illustrations enhance this unique, lyrical biography.
Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Zachariah OhoraFrom the duo behind Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! comes another offbeat read about anthropomorphic animals. Foxy, first mate on the S.S. Cliff, is reading a book which states that lemmings don't actually jump off cliffs -- so why do the lemming passengers hurtle overboard every time they hear the word "jump"? Can't these lemmings read?! Prepare to giggle your way through this infectiously silly story.
Red Again by Barbara LehmanAfter picking up a red book from the side of a city street, a hoodie-clad boy examines his find. Inside, pictures of a far-off island seem to zoom in closer and closer, ultimately revealing another kid, with another red book, looking right at the boy! Can they forge a friendship across the distance? Find out in this follow-up to The Red Book; for another minimalist tale of unexpected connection, try David Teague's The Red Hat.
Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins; illustrated by Bryan CollierWritten in 1975, the words of this song haven't lost any of their power: "Hey Black Child / Do you know you can be / What you want to be." With bold, rich hues, Bryan Collier's mixed-media artwork expands on those words, depicting an inspiring array of possible futures. Pair this joyful read with Derrick Barnes' Crown for a bookish double feature celebrating the confidence and potential of black children.
Snoozefest by Samantha Berger; illustrated by Kristyna LittenSnuggleford Cuddlebun the sloth is heading off the NuzzleDome for the highlight of her year: SnoozeFest! Snuggleford checks out the pajama fashion show, snacks on milk and honey, and browses the band merch before settling into her hammock as Chamomile Rage takes the stage. This rhyming riff on music festivals will amuse even the most sleep-resistant kid.
"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth by Eric Carle"I am relaxed and tranquil, and I like to live in peace." The sloth doesn't feel the need to explain himself further, even when the other rainforest animals -- all rendered in Eric Carle's signature colorful collages -- ask him why he's so slow, quiet, and boring. It's not until the jaguar asks him why he's so lazy that the sloth responds…in his own way, and his own time.
Sparky! by Jenny Offill; illustrated by Chris Appelhans
After her pet-averse mom agrees to a pet sloth, a little girl welcomes Sparky into her life. Only it turns out that Sparky isn't interested in tricks, or hide-and-seek, or moving much at all. Is there more to companionship than fun and games? Kids who enjoy deadpan humor will love finding out -- though they may think twice before requesting pet sloths of their own.
Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in the World by Colleen A.F. Venable; illustrated by Ruth ChanWhen the words in the title are plonked down on the page next to Mervin, the other animals take notice, and soon begin bickering about what the "best thing" might be -- flying? inventing a time machine? fighting a shark? Whatever it is, can he do it faster? The suspense builds as speculative speech bubbles crowd the page, but rest assured: there's a sweet (if slow) payoff at the end.
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