Grandma's Purse by Vanessa Brantley-NewtonWhat it's about: a little girl's exploration of her Grandma Mimi's oversized purse, which is filled with a variety of objects just as beautiful and fascinating as Grandma Mimi herself.
Who it's for: anyone looking for a bright and upbeat story about intergenerational bonding.
Further reading: Families whose elders are a bit prickly may prefer Vaunda Micheaux Nelson's Don't Call Me Grandma.
Love by Matt de la Peña; illustrated by Loren LongWhat it is: a lyrical and visually evocative meditation on the diverse people and places in which love can be found.
Want a taste? "In the beginning there is light, and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed, and the sound of their voices is love."
Book buzz: Matt de la Peña's first picture book, Last Stop on Market Street, made a big splash; don't miss this highly anticipated follow-up!
Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal; illustrated by Holly HatamWhat it is: snippets of advice for young girls, ranging from whimsical ("don't ever lose your sense of wonder") to practical ("write down your thoughts"; "sometimes you'll need a bucket") to downright exuberant ("sometimes you’ve just gotta stop . . . AND DANCE!")
Author alert: Co-written by prolific author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter, Dear Girl is one of the last books Amy completed before her death in 2017.
The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra; illustrated by Eric ComstockWhat it's about: After all of the words in the dictionary break free, they form a parade of cleverly demonstrated linguistic concepts: rambunctious action verbs do acrobatics, onomatopoeic words form a noisy marching band, and homophones march in twos and threes.
Who it's for: budding word nerds and adults who want to encourage them.
Don't miss: the handy glossary that caps this playful invitation into a deeper understanding of the English language.
Don't Forget Dexter! by Lindsay WardStarring: Dexter T. Rexter, a toy dinosaur with a burning question: "Can you help me? I'm looking for my best friend, Jack." See, Jack has been gone for a while, and though Dexter is trying to keep calm (singing their special song helps), he's starting to get scared. Jack wouldn't forget him…would he?
Further reading: For toys that exhibit patience rather than Dexter's goofy (and ultimately unfounded) panic, try Kevin Henkes' Waiting; for a kid's perspective on a missing toy, pick up Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny.
Old Favorites, Freshened Up
My Grandfather's Coat by Jim Aylesworth; illustrated by Barbara McClintockWhat it's about: a tailor who skillfully repurposes his coat, turning it into ever-smaller items until nothing remains -- except the story.
Why kids might like it: Warm illustrations show how the tailor and his family change over time, while repeated phrases create a soothing, singsong quality.
Read this next: Those who relish the nostalgic charm of My Grandfather's Coat will also appreciate Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, which is based on the same Yiddish folk song.
Old Mikamba Had a Farm by Rachel IsadoraWhat it is: Set on an African game farm, this rewrite of Old McDonald will keep kids "e-i-e-i-o"-ing until the cows -- or, in this case, zebras -- come home.
Why kids might like it: Rendered in lively textures and bold hues, the book introduces animals such as giraffes, baboons, ostriches, hippos, and springboks, each one contributing an exciting new sound for readers to echo.
Beauty and the Beast: A Retelling by H. Chuku Lee; illustrated by Pat CummingsWhat it is: A West African setting reframes this distinctively illustrated retelling of the classic fairy tale. Beauty herself narrates, adding intensity to the descriptions of her family, her captivity with the Beast, and the transformative power of love.
Why kids might like it: Intricate details in the hairstyles and fashions worn by Beauty and her sisters will please princess-obsessed readers, while fairy tale fans will be captivated by the Beast's wondrous castle.
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos; illustrated by Rafael LópezWhat it is: a vibrant spin on "The House That Jack Built." It all begins with a farm maiden's humble pot, into which she -- with help from some talented farm animals -- continually adds ingredients, cooking up a delicious treat to share.
Who it's for: With glowing colors and cumulative, bilingual repetition, this readaloud-ready book will grab Spanish speakers and learners alike.
Don't miss: the recipe for arroz con leche (animal assistants not included).
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo WillemsWhat it's about: "I sure hope no innocent little succulent child happens by our unlocked home," declare three dinosaurs as they set out bowls of pudding and exit their carefully arranged house. Even before the "poorly supervised" young Goldilocks arrives, kids will realize that this tongue-in-cheek retelling is toying with their expectations.
For fans of: sly twists on traditional tales, such as Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs or Mac Barnett's The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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