This week, Matt de la Peña became the first Hispanic author to win the Newbery Medal for children's literature with Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. We asked the author a few questions after he heard the news.
The Hueys return for an illustrated trip through the world of opposites. If happiness is finding a coin for the soda machine, sadness is only a spilled bottle away. What’s the Opposite? starts at The Beginning and works through up and down, here and there, before tackling the heady concept of half-full versus half-empty. It’s enough to give a philosopher a headache; thankfully a Huey gets only a single crayoned curlicue’s furrowed brow.
In this picture book debut from British illustrator and animator Chloe Bonfield, readers meet a young boy named Jack, who is searching for “the perfect tree. Not to climb, not to draw, and definitely not to hug.” He needs a tree to hack and then stack, but the trees he first sees won’t quite do. Right when he’s about to give up, he hears from a woodpecker, who shows him the perfect tree, indeed: It’s a tree filled with a variety of other birds. Jack sees “birds and feathers” fill the air, and he’s filled with wonder.
Bunny Dreams begins simply enough; bunnies hop, bunnies eat, bunnies cuddle in tunnels to sleep. But when they dream, bunny imaginations take flight, and a surprise awaits little readers—wings and stripes adorn frolicking, ABC-learning bunnies. But the biggest wonder of all is what they see when they wake up under a full bunny moon. Both a charming story and a captivating metaphor, Bunny Dreams will have you taking a second look at your backyard friends.
Hop, written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley, dramatizes a day in the life of a cottontail rabbit and her three small bunnies as they go about doing what bunnies do—nibbling grass and bright flower tops, playing tag, sleeping and staying on guard, all day, every day.
A young girl, who lives in the Arctic tundra with her grandfather, yearns for more color in her surroundings. In her snow-filled world, she sees her fair share of white. She’ll occasionally see gray, but “gray is still a shade of white.” Nights don’t give the girl any more hope for color: Winter days in the tundra are as dark as night.
Salina Yoon is the award-winning author of more than 200 books for children, including Penguin and Pinecone and Found. Yoon's latest picture book, Be a Friend, tells the story of Dennis, an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways—he's a mime! But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship. Yoon shares a look behind Be a Friend, a simple yet emotional story with a muted palette.
A story not often covered in history texts, Susan E. Goodman’s The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial, illustrated by the great E.B. Lewis, pays tribute to a young black girl and her family’s efforts to bring about equal education in the public schools of mid-19th-century America.
In the opening of this spirited picture-book biography, young Marie Tharp declares her love of maps. It’s a passion that comes honestly: Her father makes soil maps for farmers, and she follows him as he draws, often holding his pads and pencils. As a result of his work, Tharp’s family travels a great deal, and her love only intensifies.
Dennis’ closet appears normal, and why not? He’s an ordinary boy. But items in his open wardrobe—black-and-white striped shirts, white gloves and a picture of Marcel Marceau—suggest more. And why not? He also expresses himself in extraordinary ways. By adding white face makeup, Dennis becomes a mime. While others show and tell and play, Dennis is happy to mime what he has to say. But “being” a tree rather than climbing one can be isolating.