Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall; illustrated by Gaia Cornwall. 2020. Published by Candlewick Press.
Brief summary: Jabari decides he is going to make a flying machine all by himself without the help from his younger sister, Nika, or his dad. After failing to have it fly across the yard, he stops and tries to figure out what went wrong and how to fix the problem. After awhile, he decides to let his little sister assistant him. After one too many failures, he becomes frustrated and wants to give up. His father encourages him to keep trying. Nika squeezes his hand to let him know she supports him too. Will he succeed with his perseverance?
Comments: I loved the first Jabari Jumps and this one has the same “can do” attitude. This is a superb book to share with young readers right before they decide to make something or when they are failing.
Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers by Matthew Cordell; illustrated by Matthew Cordell. 2020. Pen and ink with watercolor. Published by Neal Porter Books.
Brief summary: Readers learn about Mr. Roger as a talented boy who was shy and sometimes bullied. He grows up and has many jobs such as a minister, musician, and children’s television host. Young readers will learn how Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was developed.
Comments: This narrative nonfiction biography shows the gentle nature of Mr. Rogers and how The Neighborhood helped children viewers learn to be themselves. There are many wonderful and detailed watercolor illustrations.
The back pages had sections: About Fred Rogers, Visual Glossary, Mister Rogers and Me, and more. I appreciate the photos of in the back.
Be sure to check out this awesome KidLitTV interview with Matthew Cordell and his writing of Hello, Neighbor!
Cat Ladies by Susi Schaefer; illustrated by Susi Schaefer. 2020. Digitally created with applied hand-panted textures. Published by Abrams.
Brief summary: Princess has four ladies and has trained them well. They are cute and cuddly, and everything is under control, just the way Princess likes it. One day, a stray appears on Princess’s spot on the couch. Princess tries to retrain her ladies with the new stray but finds it tiresome. She decides to find a new cozy spot to sleep but ends up getting stuck. The new stray appears and helps release the cat. Princess decides the little girl is trainable after all and would fit right in with the family.
Comments: This is a fun and whimsical story told through the eyes of a cat owning humans.
Hike by Pete Oswald; illustrated by Pete Oswald. 2020. Illustrations are digitally created. Published by Candlewick Press.
Brief summary: A father and his child wake up early and go on a hike into the wilderness enjoying the wilderness they encounter along the way. They stop for lunch and afterward, plant a tree being sure to take a selfie together by it to add to their photo album.
Comments: This story without words moves quickly and cab appeal to all children. The storyline is simple and beautiful to see the father sharing his love of Mother Nature with his child as well as encouraging the youngster to overcome small challenges along the trail.
I always know if it is a book that Pete Oswald creates, it’s going to be a good one.