Love by Matt de la Pena; illustrated by Loren Long. 2018. Collaged monotype prints, acrylic paint and pencil. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Brief summary: The book begins with two parents looking straight at the reader but are actually peering into a crib. They are the beginning of love. You, for a moment, are the baby seeing his/her parents for the first time. Readers journey through the book relating and recalling the various types of loves we have(or will if the reader is a child) in life through the quiet poem and illustrations.
Comments: (My resource for reviewing picture books are from my public library, so it took a while for my name to come up in the long reserve list for this book that released in January). The illustrations are diverse and multicultural with scenes from various families’ lives and times when love is displayed and shared. The concepts may be a bit mature for very young children. Older elementary students will understand and relate to those times they experienced love.
I feel this is one of those picture books adults will enjoy too, as they can relate and experience all of those situations when love was experienced–in good times and bad. I believe this will be a good “going-off-to-college” or graduation gift as the ending talks about leaving the family but having love on the new journey.
I am including this book trailer where both author and illustrator beautifully share their ideas for this book.
This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids From Around the World by Matt Lamothe; illustrated by Matt Lamothe. 2017. Illustrations are digitally. Published by Chronicle Books, LLC.
Brief summary: Seven kids from around the world(Russia, Peru, Japan, Uganda, Iran, Italy and India) share what their lives are like in an average weekday including meals, school, family, and home life.
Comments: Love this book! It is set up to show the timeline of the day and then with each country’s traditional home, family, breakfast, school clothing, schools, meals, play, activities, and so forth. The back has a photo of each family featured in the book. Glossary in the back. Front and back pages have a map with each child’s country pointed out. This would be a great book to share and then to have students write and illustrate those same activities in their lives. Dewey is 305.23 but not a narrative nonfiction. This is a book that will help students understand others around the world and how we do things the same or differently.
Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt; illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. 2017. Acrylic paint, colored pencil, and collage. Published by Scholastic Press.
Brief summary: A young boy and girl boarding a train separately ask the same questions along the train ride as they see all the different people of various cultures, ages, and genders. Why am I Me?
Comments: Sparse words as the boy and girl notice all the different types of people along the train ride. There is a Venn diagram feel at the conclusion with his head and the girl’s which could spark what things we all have in common and what we have that are just unique to ourselves.
All Kinds of Friends by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. 2017. Photography. Published by Millbrook Press.
Brief summary: Through simple text, this book explores all kinds of friends one can have.
Comments: This teaches how there are different types of friends. It talks about the characters a friend could have like funny or tall. The book talks about where you may have different friends like at school or in a family. It explores the fun activities friends like to do like dress up or pretend. I liked that it explained that sometimes we can be sad or mad with our friends. I will definitely be buying this book to share with my elementary students. The photographs really caught the true facial expressions of the friends.
(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program. Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).
The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi; illustrated by Shahar Kober. 2016. Hand lettering.
Brief summary: Dumpling thought it was ugly, because it did not look like the other dumplings. A cockroach from the Chinese restaurant befriends the dumpling showing the beauty around them which led the dumpling to understand it was actually a steamed bun and fit right in with the other buns. Customers spot the cockroach causing them both to leave.
Comments: A cute and humorous retelling of the classic The Ugly Duckling. I will buy this to use for the folklore unit of study, but it could be used for friendship and self-esteem talks with the school counselor.
The Airport Book by Lisa Brown; illustrated by Lisa Brown. 2016. India ink and watercolors.
Brief summary: A family with two children go to a busy airport where they go through security, the waiting area, the jetway, and then inside the plane. After the flight, they pick up their bags where Monkey, the little girl’s doll, is found. The last pages are of them going on their vacation.
Comments: The delightfully detailed drawings throughout the book are interesting and give the reader a good idea of what to expect when going on vacation by plane. I appreciate that there is a diversity of people at the airport and the couple included in the story are biracial. I look for those type of books where everyone in my class can relate to someone that looks like them. I would use this with transportation units of study. This is a definite addition to my elementary school library. One of my favorites this year.