In the author’s note of The Night World, 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.
Author Sara O’Leary and illustrator Julie Morstad invite us into a day in the life of Sadie, an imaginative young girl who loves diving into stories. In the opening illustration, Sadie is hiding inside a box, her head barely peeking above the top, but, as she tells readers, she’s actually on a giant boat, crossing the ocean.
A young boy heads to Coney Island for a birthday outing, his mother treating him to ice cream once they arrive. The word “cream” shows through a die-cut hole (“‘Ice cream,’ I say, my birthday surprise!”), and on the next spread, after the boy drops his snack, we read: “‘Oh no!’ I scream, with tears in my eyes.”
It’s not often you see picture books capable of both humor and genuine creepiness.
Fans of the award-winning Open This Little Book will be drawn to the exuberant Inside This Book by author-illustrator Barney Saltzberg. It’s a testament to the robust imagination of children, as well as the very notion of self-publishing.