I’ve been attending a virtual conference all this week about children’s literature, and hearing all about picture books from across the world. The big problem with this is that it’s left me with quite the shopping list…I have so many books I need to get my hands on now!
Let me pay that favor forward (sorry!) and tell you about the books you need to get your hands on this week:
Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo, illustrated by Naoko Stoop
Sun and Moon are having a tea party and talking about their differences in seeing the world. With the help of the gentle mediator Cloud, Sun and Moon stay up past their bedtime and see a whole new world (and a new fantastic point of view).
A charming lesson about understanding differences of opinion and perspective, the artwork is soft and luscious and the whole thing is perfect for a gentle, thoughtful bedtime read.
Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée, illustrated by Bre Indigo
Jenae is very comfortable with being invisible at school. That is, until a new boy named Aubrey shows up – and he seems pretty convinced that they’re going to be friends. When they’re put together for a class debate (one which Aubrey is desperate to win), Jenae has to deal with the fact that she can’t speak in front of an audience – and she might lose her only friend…
Featuring a girl finding her voice, a friendship worth fighting for, and causes worth believing in, this is such a vibrant middle grade novel. There’s a lovely theme of community engagement as well – it’s pretty great.
Leap, Hare, Leap! by Dom Conlon and Anastasia Izlesou
I’m always on the lookout for books that give you something a little different, and this lyrical exploration of a hare and her journey around the world is a beautiful thing. Follow Hare as she leaps from one habitat to another, learning about her fellow animals and the predators that lurk there.
Told in verse that’s full of otherworldly magic alongside some brilliantly rich artwork from Izlesou, this is gorgeous. Read it slowly, richly, and enjoy it.
Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam al Serkal, illustrated by Rebeca Luciani
Mira’s not very fond of her curly hair. She wants it to be just like her mom’s – straight and smooth – and tries everything to make that happen. But when they’re caught outside in the rain one day, Mira sees her mom’s hair change…
A riotous celebration of self-acceptance and love, this is everything. I’m a particular fan of the background work here which add some lovely texture and detail to every page. This is a book that’s absolutely full of depth.
The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay
Hilary McKay is a glorious, glorious writer and if you don’t know her work, then The Skylarks’ War is a beautiful introduction. Think classic, sweeping storytelling set before and during World War One, wed with a lovely eye for character, detail and people. Clarry lives for her summers with her brother Peter at the beach. But when the war comes, everything is going to change…
A story of life, love, and the impact of war upon a family, this is brilliant stuff from a born storyteller. You’ll cry (the wartime stuff is a lot to handle but it’s presented with a lot of sensitivity and subtlety), you’ll laugh, and you’ll absolutely adore every inch of it.
Alright, let’s leave it there for this week! I’ll be back in seven days with more picks from the world of children’s literature, but between now and then you can stay in touch with me via social media (I am available to fangirl over Dodie Smith at any point), on my website, or over on the biweekly literary fiction podcast Novel Gazing.