“There were five of them. And they were waiting.” Thus opens Kevin Henkes’ latest picture book, featuring an unseen’s child five patient toys, all of whom sit in a windowsill and watch the world go by. There’s an owl, waiting for the moon; a pig with an umbrella, waiting for some rain; a bear with a kite, waiting for wind; a puppy on a sled, who longs for some snow; and a content rabbit who “wasn’t waiting for anything in particular. He just liked to look out the window and wait.”
In a story whose title will immediately thrill children and whose charms will keep their attention till the happy end, Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson explore an unusual friendship—between a ghost named Leo and a little girl.
In this picture book import, first published last year in Italy, Silvia Borando tells the story of two cats who befriend one another and explore their worlds together. A minimalistic treat, it’s illustrated with simple shapes and in only black and white (with a dash of color at the end).
On the third spread of this story of a rushed parent with a curious child, readers see a street scene with a “one way” sign in the background. It’s fitting for this horizontally oriented book of a mother rushing to get someplace on time. “Hurry!” she keeps telling her son, rushing to the next page. But “wait,” he says. There’s a big and endlessly intriguing world to see, and he wants to slow down and take it all in.
In the author’s note of The Night World, Caldecott Medal-winning author-illustrator Mordicai Gerstein writes, “I’ve . . . been a great watcher of sunrises; to me, they are like watching the creation of the world.”
Nearly every person, no matter what age, has experienced the sting of knowing a friend said something behind her back. And all of us know what it’s like to misunderstand something and let a situation get out of hand. This is the drama at the heart of Liz Rosenberg’s What James Said, where one elementary-age girl tells readers how she refuses to talk to her friend James. “We are in a fight,” she declares. Word has gotten around, you see, that James said that he thinks our narrator thinks she is perfect.
In this lyrical look at the water cycle, Miranda Paul explores the many forms water can take. Jason Chin’s lush illustrations frame the story around a brother and sister, their family and friends through all the seasons of one year.
Miss Hazeltine is a generous soul—and a cat lover. She’d have to be, since she’s opened her Home for Shy and Fearful Cats. Not sure at first if anyone will bring their felines, she’s surprised to find her house filled with them—ones that are scared of mice and birds, refuse to purr and can’t even pounce. Never fear: Miss Hazeltine is here to work her magic.
In this picture book debut from illustrator JiHyeon Lee, who lives and works in South Korea, readers meet a lone boy, staring at a large and empty pool. On the next spread, a boisterous and crowded group of children, complete with floats and beach balls, jump into the water, while the boy merely watches.
It takes a village, as they say, and in this case it takes one to help a young girl feel right at home.