Picture Book Sunday: The Queen’s Shadow by Cybele Young

The Queen’s Shadow by Cybele Young (Kids Can Press, March 2015) is a most unusual picture book for older readers about how animals see. It is difficult to identify as a fiction or a nonfiction, simply because it has elements of both!

In The Queen’s Shadow, a motley gathering of animal friends have gathered at the queen’s home for a party. After a lightning flash, the queen has found that her shadow is missing! Using clues about how the various animals at the party see, the detective is able to eliminate the animals that certainly could not have seen what has happened.Continue Reading

Picture Book Sunday: For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George

For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George (Capstone, September 2015) is a picture book biography of Malala Yousafzai, giving younger readers a background of just what she was able to accomplish. I’ve said before that her story is inspiring, and I think this book did a great job of also making it accessible to young kids.

This picture book is for middle and upper elementary children both because the text is dense on each page (4-7 sentences on each two-page spread) but also because the concepts of discrimination and violence against girls who want to go to school is such a deep concept for the very young to grasp. The vibrant digital illustrations, however, give added dimension to concept Malala faced. Children may be fascinated with the difficulties around the globe for children like themselves. With the combination of the vibrant illustrations (some of them featuring Pakistani writing) and the intriguing story, children will keep reading!

I asked my son, age 7 and soon-to-be a 3rd grader, what he thought of the book. He was impressed that she was still a child doing the things she did, although when he saw her photo in the back of the book he said, “Well, she looks like a grown up though!”

How often do we take our chance to get an education for granted?

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review consideration. It will be published in September of this year.

Picture Book Sunday: Dinosaurs from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick

The nonfiction picture book Dinosaurs from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick and illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya (Kid Can Press, 2015) provides the young dinosaur fan a guessing game. First, a two-page spread shows a zoomed in view of a part of a dinosaur’s body, with a question for the reader to determine which dinosaur had a body part like that. The next page gives the answer, with a picture of the full dinosaur in its supposed habitat. The text then details what scientists know about the particular dinosaur and what the unique body part did to help that dinosaur.Continue Reading

Picture Book Sunday: Eat, Leo! Eat! by Caroline Adderson

Eat, Leo! Eat! by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon (Kids Can Press, 2015) is an homage to Italian pastas and traditional lore. It is the story of a picky eater who loves his grandma’s stories about the Italian pastas she cooks each week at the family dinner. Each week, Nonna continues the story of a little boy (much like Leo) who is walking to see his grandmother, and as the story continues, Leo finds himself eager to hear more as he eats the traditional Italian pastas.
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