Friday, July 10, 2020

Seven days, Seven books. Day 7. Beautiful Shades of Brown by Nancy Churnin, Illustrated by Felicia Marshall

Hooray for day 7, where you don't get just one picture book, but two!

Author Nancy Churnin has two beautiful picture books published so far this year, so I decided to feature both.

Beautiful Shades of Brown, The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring, is a beautifully told and illustrated book about an artist from the late 1800s who grew up painting black people and mixing paints in just the right way to capture the true color of their skin. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and in Paris, Laura grew up to see her work hung in Washington, D.C.'s National Portrait Gallery.

Nancy Churnin's gorgeous text will inspire profound thinking and creativity in children with lines like:
Maybe you didn't see brown in a rainbow, she thought. But brown was a rainbow with orange and blue, red and green, tucked inside playing hide-and-seek.

This next book written by Nancy Churnin, For Spacious Skies: Katherine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful," is illustrated by Olga Baumert. This picture book tells the story of the woman who wrote the beloved and inspiring song, America the Beautiful.

Spanning history from the civil war to reconstruction to women's right to vote, the experiences and passions of Katherine Lee Bates brings the stanzas of "America the Beautiful" to life.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Seven days, seven books. Day 6. Help Wanted Must Love Books by Janet Summer Johnson, Illustrated by Courtney Dawson

Hello, again! Yesterday completely slipped away from me. I guess that's allowed to happen in summer, right? Especially when one is busy writing and revising.

Today, I'm pleased to share an adorable, debut picture book from Janet Summer Johnson, who also happens to be another fellow author from Utah!

When Shailey fires her dad from their cherished bedtime story time routine, she searches for a replacement with an advertisement. But the assorted cast of characters who show up to interview for the job give her more than she bargains for.  From the Three Little Pigs to Goldilocks to Captain Hook, it seems finding a suitable replacement will be impossible... until one shows up at the door.

Courtney Dawson's lively illustrations capture the humor and heart of Help Wanted Must Love Books. I imagine children will enjoy adding their own spin on what could happen if their favorite characters arrive to read a story before bedtime.

Help Wanted Must Love Books is perfect for making happy story time memories in every household. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Seven books, seven days. Day 5. The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali, Illustrated by Hatem Aly

In the The Proudest Blue, A Story of Hijab and Family, written by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali and illustrated by Hatem Aly, a young girl shares in the excitement of the first day her older sister Asiya gets to wear hijab. Strong in her wisdom and fueled with a deep sense of pride, Asiya exemplifies strength and resilience in the face of bullies, letting their hurtful words "drop" as she and her younger sister go through a day at school.

The text in this story is as beautiful as the illustrations, which flow from page to page. This emotionally gripping story with its brilliant and positive message is highly recommended for anyone who wants to celebrate culture, family relationships, and tradition with the children in their life.

This picture book is one of my new favorites.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Seven books, seven days. Day 4. Dusk Explorers by Lindsay Leslie, Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

After a short holiday break, I'm back on schedule with Dusk Explorers, a book I'm sure will resonate with many readers given all the "dusk explorers" I saw enjoying the last hours of daylight with family and friends over the weekend.

From neighborhood hide-and-seek games to catching fireflies to climbing among the branches of trees, Dusk Explorers written by Lindsay Leslie and illustrated by Ellen Rooney shows wonderful memories that can be made in childhood, while hinting at the sense of community and connections we have to each other and the natural world.

Ellen Rooney's fantastic illustrations capture the joy of discovery and friendship that can be found on every curb or patch of grass.

Dusk Explorers is highly recommended to inspire the young people in your life to discover what awaits outdoors.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Seven books, seven days. Day 3 Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore, Illustrated by Xindi Yan

Daisy is excited to meet her grandpa from China for the first time, but their time together doesn't start off as she expected it would. However, this determined girl with a big heart doesn't give up, and soon discovers why he seems grumpy, as well as how to bridge a connection.

The illustrations by Xindi Yan capture the spunk, energy, and love of of a young girl, along with the humor that can bloom between the young and old. I loved this story and the cultural traditions it shared.

Grandpa Grumps is perfect for any child missing a grandparent or anticipating a visit with grandparents.
Five out of five stars.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Seven days, seven books. Day 2. National Regular Average Ordinary Day by Lisa Katzenberger, Illustrated by Barbara Bakos

A day without a holiday? What will Peter do to fight boredom?

There isn't anything regular or ordinary about Lisa Katzenberger's new picture book for kids. In fact, in a world where staying at home and finding new types of entertainment has become the norm, this story may be just what today's kid needs to inspire creativity. Especially with the illustrations by Barbara Bakos amping up the energy.

You won't go wrong sharing this delightful book with the little people in your lives. In fact, be prepared to have pencils, papers, boxes, snacks, and all sorts of ordinary supplies ready when they decide to chase after their own ordinary fun. 

Ten stars!