Ages: Preschoool & up
Description: When construction starts on a new building in Lea’s neighborhood, she fears that her favorite tree will be chopped down. For days she watches anxiously as the tree is covered up and surrounded by bricks. Finally, she learns that the tree has been spared and made the centerpiece of a fantastic new building, where it will live a long and healthy life. Lucie Vandevelde’s joyful drawings convey a kid’s-eye view of city life, complete with people, pets, automobiles, and machinery.
Why We Love It: The colorful, fun pictures keep allow for an interactive storytime – searching the pages for fun designs, elements and hidden surprises. Kids are exposed to fun architectural concepts and the idea that we can build in harmony with nature.
Ages: Preschoool & up
Description: In a small village in West Africa, a young girl explains the special way she was born. Her mother had difficulty getting pregnant, so she seeks help in the form of a doll which she treats like a human baby, carrying it on her back and covering it with kisses. Months go by and finally the woman’s belly begins to grow! This beautiful story explores the Akua-Ba fertility figures of the Akan people of Ghana, while also depicting the deep love a mother has for her children.
Why We Love It: The colorful illustrations are inspired by traditional African Art. The artwork and story are a wonderful platform to introducing children to important aspects of African culture.
Ages: Preschoool & up
Description: What is life? It’s constantly moving, growing, reproducing, and dying. It’s happening now, all the time, and it’s everywhere around us. From little helicopter seed pods that float through the air to blue whales in the ocean, the world is filled with all different types of odd and familiar kinds of life. This whimsical picture book helps young readers see the connections between all living things.
Why We Love It: Whimsical illustrations of silly not-so-realistic creatures capture kids’ attention and make this book a fun read. The book is a great springboard into larger conversations about life sciences in a fun and age appropriate way.
Description: Snakes, bats, and spiders aren’t that frightening–but just wait till you see what they’re like on the inside! This delightfully ghoulish book is filled to the brim with creatures perfect for some Halloween fun. Whether it’s a big bad wolf or a skeletal ghost, each monster is hiding its really horrible side beneath a foldable flap. Lift the foldout on the crab to reveal sharp teeth and tentacle tongues or pull down the flap on the spider to discover its recently caught snacks. Thierry Dedieu’s colorful illustrations bring humor and lightheartedness to many spine-chilling creatures. A perfect blend of silly and scary, this big board book helps kids overcome their worries with laughter. Encourage your children to embrace their spooky side with this Halloween treat!
Why We Love It: This book is a lot of fun to incorporate in the fall as Halloween approaches. The monsters are scarier – and even scarier when you lift the flap. At home, we use this book to start discussions on things that make us afraid and how we can face them together. The spooky illustrations and fun flaps make it fun for toddlers and preschoolers!
Description: This book tells the fictional story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. Jeanne auditions at the Opera Garnier and moves with her mother, a laundress, to Montmartre where life becomes consumed by rehearsals and classes. One day she meets Mr. D, an artist who asks Jeanne to be his model. As Mr. D works on his sculpture, Jeanne prepares tirelessly for an important performance. The book culminates with Jeanne triumphing at the Opera–and Mr. D completing his sculpture with her help.
Why We Love It: The Little Dancer is inspired by the famous Edgar Degas sculpture, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. The book gives readers a glimpse into the life of a young dancer in 19th century Paris, a story that comes to life with beautiful illustrations by Olivier Desvaux that bring the story, and the sculpture that inspired it, to life. This is a wonderful way to inspire children as they begin to learn about the arts.
Description: With over 200,000 Instagram followers, Danielle Krysa has helped a lot of people overcome the fear that they “aren’t creative,” and in How to Spot an Aritist, Krysa wants to reach readers as kids before their inner critics arrived on the scene, using her characteristic playfulness, lively illustrations, and humor to help kids overcome negativity about their artistic endeavors–and to help them redefine what being an artist means. Every page delivers encouragement to the kid who thinks artists all live in cities, or that art has to look like something familiar, or that painting and drawing are the only way to make art. In a world that drastically undervalues creative freedom, Krysa’s whimsical paintings and collages joyfully proclaim that art is essential and that artists are everywhere.
Why We Love It: Another wonderful introduction to the world of art, this book is inspiring to all children, especially those who doubt their artistic abilities. We love this book, because it inspires kids to make art their own way.
Description: School: Come In and Take A Closer Look takes readers inside a busy school to follow different students through their day–in class, during free time, at lunch, and through swimming lessons. We come across a variety of faces and expressions that reflect the enormous range of emotions and experiences that each school day brings. There are arguments and hurt feelings, encouraging hugs and deeply felt smiles. The gentle text explores issues that we’ve all encountered–bullying and loneliness as well as friendship and achievement.
Why We Love It: This book is a great platform for talking about feelings and diversity at school and everywhere. I am using this with all of my kids as a conversation starter when addressing emotions, social situations and kindness.