Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! It is gorgeous outside here in Tennessee. My desk window looks out to a beautiful tree whose leaves are turning orange, and it’s such a lovely view. This past week has seen no new illnesses (yay!), and I made a huge donation of picture books to my daughter’s preschool. It’s been a nice week, and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend outside! However, while it’s been lovely here, I know many areas have been devastated by recent hurricanes. I hope everyone is safe and that cleanup and recovery happen swiftly!
Stamp Washi Tape – Book Lovers by RobotDanceBattle
This washi tape is too cute. My daughter would manage to use it all up within ten minutes. $6
The Antiracist Kid by Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Nicole Miles (middle grade)
Written by a Black Montessori educator and anti-racist activist, this nonfiction for upper elementary and middle school ages is an engaging, accessible, and essential read. Jewell defines terms, provides real-life scenarios where anti-racist tactics are needed, shows kids how to spot racism in a variety of settings and forms, and more. The illustrations are so fun and engaging, and I love that it includes brief comic sections.
This Story is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Carson Ellis (picture book)
My daughter and I are suckers for cat books, and this picture book is one of my favorites of the year. When a girl, a mom, and their dog discover a kitten under a car, they unknowingly set off a chain of events that will not only help the kitten find a new home but will also bring a community together. It’s beautifully illustrated by Carson Ellis, and the repeated lines of the story make it a really engaging read aloud.
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After the recent hurricanes devastating parts of Florida, Puerto Rico, and Canada, I know many kids will have questions about hurricanes. These four books all address hurricanes in various ways.
Hurricane by John Rocco (picture book)
A young boy’s favorite place in the world is the dock near his house, where he fishes and enjoys watching nature. When a hurricane hits his town, the dock is decimated. He sets out to rebuild the dock by himself, but as neighbors notice his efforts, they lend a hand until a new dock is built. This beautifully illustrated picture book also includes backmatter about how hurricanes are formed.
Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang (picture book)
After Adam, who has down syndrome, hears the mayor on TV ask everyone to pitch in on clean-up efforts around town after a major storm, Adam loads up his wheel barrel, calls for his dog, and sets out to pitch in and help. Everyone is so worried, and Adam finds many ways he can lend a hand. While this picture book doesn’t specify what kind of storm wrecks Adam’s town, the story definitely applies to the aftermath of a hurricane.
Hear the Wind Blow by Doe Boyle, illustrated by Emily Paik (picture book)
This lyrical nonfiction picture book describes the Beaufort wind scale, from a gentle wind to a tumultuous hurricane. After the hurricane, the community comes together to rebuild. Backmatter includes more information about the scale and wind speeds. It’s a lovely STEM picture book.
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes (middle grade)
This award-winning middle grade novel takes place during Hurricane Katrina. Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives with Mama Ya-Ya in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. Both have magical abilities despite being unrelated: Mama Ya-Ya can see into the future, and Lanesha can see ghosts. Days before Hurricane Katrina hits, Mama Ya-Ya predicts its arrival. Now it’s up to Lanesha to help her community.
I had a very proud mama moment today. Marian and I were discussing what the word “disgusted” meant, and after giving her a few examples and showing her people’s disgusted faces on Google images, she declared, “I’m disgusted by litter.” She then immediately demanded we write letters asking our neighbors not to litter, and to make it fun, she taped a valentine on top so it could be a lift-the-flap letter, lol! The handwriting pictured here is my own; her words and her illustration. We made 10 letters in all. This afternoon she wants to hand them out. I’m thinking we’ll head toward the library and hand them out there. Her first act of activism! The kids truly are all right.
If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next Tuesday!