Children who linger over the cover of Lola M. Schaefer’s One Busy Day will see that they’re in for a grand adventure: A brother and sister sit outside. She’s wearing a crown, they’re in front of an elaborate sand castle, and behind the boy a dragon lingers. Toys are strewn everywhere. Clearly, the siblings have had a day of exhilarating play.
No matter that Cuckoo, an adorable light gray bird with stripes, doesn’t look like his polka-dotted mother and siblings. All’s well until they open their beaks in this latest pet book by Fiona Roberton, also the author of Wanted: The Perfect Pet and The Perfect Present. While the other birds give a soothing tweet, the aptly named Cuckoo responds with a definitive “cuckoo!” that his family doesn’t recognize. Cuckoo is no ugly duckling, though; he’s not interested in becoming a swan, just finding a friend who will understand him.
Whether you’re an adult or a child, this new picture book biography gives an informed overview of intriguing nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. It’s not a surprising subject choice for gifted author-illustrator Demi (born Charlotte Dumaresq Hunt, nicknamed by her father because she was half the size of her older sister). Demi is well known for her biographies of historical and spiritual figures, as well as her fairy tales, folk tales and stately art.
There’s something enchanting and timeless about the art of Barbara McClintock. Where’s Mommy? is a lovely follow-up to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, her previous collaboration with writer Beverly Donofrio. In the first book, Mary formed a friendship with a mouse; now, Mary’s daughter Maria has a secret bond with Mouse Mouse, unbeknownst to their moms.
It’s a frigid day in Milwaukee when I call author-illustrator Lois Ehlert to talk about her newest book, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. Not surprisingly, she is inspired.
“It is these gray winter days that stir my creativity,” Ehlert says.
Even if the weather is still cold, it’s time to start thinking about the change in seasons. Springtime means new beginnings and the chance to play outside and appreciate nature. Preschoolers and their parents and teachers will love these three new picture books that celebrate the joys of nature.
Maple loves her name. It’s a perfect fit for her friendship with her favorite tree. Maple sings and sways for her tree and watches its leaves dance for her in return. As Maple grows and experiences all four seasons, so does her tree. In the fall, she gives the tree a jacket to ward off the autumn chill, and in the winter she introduces it to a snowman friend . . . even if the friendship doesn’t last beyond the spring thaw.
Tracey Fern is no stranger to well-crafted picture book biographies, having released a handful of well-reviewed ones in recent years. In her newest, Dare the Wind, she tells the true story of Eleanor “Ellen” Prentiss, born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1814. Ellen, “born with saltwater in her veins,” spent her days at the shore and learned at a young age from her father how to navigate a ship and operate a sextant.
All aboard Brian Floca's Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal! Young readers will love exploring the early days of America's transcontinental railroad through this detail-packed and gorgeously illustrated book. Floca shared with us what it's like to win the Caldecott.