Category Archives: Reviews

Compelling Picture Books

How the Sea Came to Be: by Jennifer Berne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HOW THE SEA CAME TO BE: AND ALL THE CREATURES IN IT, masterfully written by Jennifer Berne and beautifully illustrated by Amanda Hall, is a lyrical read-aloud that parents and teachers do not want to miss. This 56-page picture book published by W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, is a perfect introduction to geology, oceanography, and marine biology for ages 6 to 10. Berne’s ballad-style informational nonfiction tells the amazing story of the ocean’s evolution and its biodiversity today. It absolutely sings.

Happy 2023! This year is set up to be special because we now have a Stef Wade picture book for kids who find it hard to wait. Coincidentally, the book birthday of EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY: WINNIE’S BIRTHDAY COUNTDOWN, lands on January 3, 2023, which is also Women Rock Day. Each spread in this book reminds me of how much picture books rock – and especially those written by Stef Wade. This beautiful fast-paced story illustrated by Husna Aghniya, invites young readers to focus on fascinating foods, people, places, and ideas from popcorn to puppies. Five-year old Winnie faces the daunting 362-day wait until her next birthday. You will wear a knowing smile if you’ve ever heard, “How many days ‘til my birthday?” Get ready to celebrate a wide variety special days when your child or students want to put on their party hats every day! The engaging text and illustrations invite readers to shift their thoughts from self to others as they face a potentially long wait for their own special day.

EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY is set to be a contemporary classic that will appeal to children and adults alike. Back matter presents a list of festivities that are enjoyed all over the world, no matter the day.

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Inspirational, Compelling, and Heartfelt

Climb On book cover

Climb On! Celebrate this compelling picture book by the award-winning duo of Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcantra, published by North South Books. What isn’t there to love about encouraging, persistence, and outdoors adventure?

In CLIMB ON! a young girl reminds her father of their plans to go on a hike. Packing snacks, courage, enthusiasm, and the girl’s excitement, they embark on a spectacular climb. In spite of the island’s heat and obstacles, the girl eagerly takes on challenges and they climb past pesky insects, delightful animals, and lush greenery. It is fun to see the role reversal of the young girl’s energetic, engaging encouragement that moves her father. The spot-on to language conveys how the girl’s inner child speaks and thinks, making this young relatable character and her adventures encouraging and entertaining.

During their climb, they speak in both Saint Lucian Creole and English, reminding readers of the setting. Learning about and exploring new places is just one of the things I loved about Climb On!

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