We have great new books coming into the library all the time, and it isn’t easy to keep up! So, I want to share some of my favorite new picture books! (Last week I gave some suggestions for middle grade summer reads.) These are all great books for a lap read — meaning that they’re perfect for sparking discussion and are very interactive when reading one on one. All of these books would be appropriate for preschool aged kids, but many would be fantastic for older kids as well!
The Girl and the Bicycle: This is a wordless book created by Mark Pett, who made last year’s superb The Boy and the Airplane, uses sepia tones, punctuated with pops of color, to create beautiful, retro feeling illustrations. I know a lot of people are intimidated by wordless books, but they are incredibly helpful in teaching kids to look for visual clues, assist adults using new words with children, and teach kids to make up their own narrative while “reading” the book. Not to mention that some of them tell beautiful stories in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a book with words. The Girl and the Bicycle is a perfect example of all of the above. Pett has created a book that is perfect for starting a conversation about hard work and giving to others. I don’t want to say any more and spoil this special book, so make sure you check it out soon!
Going Places: There are a lot of fantastic books out there about being yourself and developing your own path through life that I love, but Going Places by Peter and Paul Reynolds might be my favorite yet. Using bright, fun illustrations to complement this charming story, the twin brother authors have brought to life a story about two kids that choose to forgo following instructions in favor of building something they imagined together. Bullied because they didn’t follow the expectations of others, these kids prove that it is imporant to stay true to who you are. This would be a great book to share with preschool though third grade kids!
Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure: I wish I had a more sophisticated reason for suggesting this book than — it’s cute. But that is my primary reason! Written and illustrated by Anna Walker, Peggy is darling story of a little chicken who “lives in a small house on a quiet street.” Every day is pretty much the same for Peggy, until one day she is blown away by a big gust of wind. She lands far from home in a big city, and has to find her way back. Along the way, she has a great adventure. This would be a great read to start a discussion about travel or change with kids who fear either. Preschoolers will love to meet Peggy!
The Numberlys: Confession — William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is my favorite picture book of all time. It makes me cry every time I read it, and I’m currently tearing up just thinking about it. So, I was slightly biased when I read his newest picture book (written by Joyce and Christina Ellis) The Numberlys. A fun book with a great message, The Numberlys will keep you on your toes while reading. The book switches from vertical to horizontal throughout, and there are lots of numbers and letters for kids to find. This is a great reprieve from the standard counting or letter recognition books. And it isn’t just for the younger kids, either. Joyce is also a app and film creator, and this is apparent in his creative storytelling. Kids will love the adorable wooden doll style people and the cinematic feel of the story. A perfect family read!