Windows by Julia Denos; illustrated by E.B. GoodaleDescribing the plot alone -- a child in a red hoodie takes his dog for a walk at twilight -- doesn’t do justice to the arresting, sunset-hued illustrations or the lively urban neighborhood depicted in Windows. City-dwelling kids, as well as anyone looking for a comforting read, will find lots to love in this "gorgeously understated celebration of everyday enchantment" (Booklist).
Belinda the Unbeatable by Lee Nordling and Scott RobertsBold Belinda strides into the school gym with her diverse classmates, confident that she can hold her own in a game of musical chairs. So what if the music notes come to life with an attitude, and the gym transforms into a technicolor dreamscape? Nothing can stop Belinda…except maybe helping a friend. No words are needed to convey the excitement in this comic for very young readers.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan SantatHumpty Dumpty's "great fall" is notorious, but what happens after the hapless egg is reassembled? It turns out that not everything can be fixed with bandages. Can Humpty Dumpty conquer his newfound fear of heights, or is he permanently grounded? Find out in this quirky, modern nursery rhyme homage. For another tale of overcoming fear, try C. Roger Mader's Tiptop Cat.
I Want That Nut!by Madeline ValentineMouse and Chipmunk are BFFs until they spy a new "friend": a beautiful acorn. Both want to lay claim, and soon the pair is locked in a devious battle, each trying to snatch the nut for their own exclusive activities (such as dance parties, tic-tac-toe, and tea-time). Told through earth-toned artwork and speech bubbles, this tiny power struggle will resonate with kids who are navigating their own friendships.
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illustrated by Yuyi MoralesThunder Boy Smith Jr. HATES his name. He looks up to his dad, but he wants to be unique. Brainstorming new names yields some interesting suggestions -- maybe he should he be called "Mud in His Ears," or "Can't Run Fast While Laughing"? -- before dad finds the right name for his spirited son. Illustrations that crackle with color underscore the connections between a child's dreams, culture, and family.
When Turtle Grew Feathers: A Folktale from the Choctaw Nation by Tim Tingle; illustrated by Stacey SchuettEnergetic cartoon illustrations and a tricksy turkey antihero are just a few of the appealing elements that make this picture book -- a Choctaw version of the fabled race between the tortoise and the hare, spun by veteran storyteller Tim Tingle -- a rambunctious, crowd-pleasing readaloud.
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