What do you do when you can’t write a review to fit your needed word count? You combine several together to let people know that there are some grand books out there, but trying to write over 200 words just is not going to happen with books only a 100 words themselves (if that).
My America by Karen Katz: This is a nice book. It is cozy. It is sweet. It is comfortable. It talks about people from the POV of children. All (with one small exception, but still fits) are from someplace else. Each tells you hello in their language (written out then the pronunciation). A few will seem similar; some are the same word. You get to travel the world and see how we are a rainbow. It is a feel-good story that is not overly sappy, sentimental or preachy. It is a nice book.
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day by Eric Barclay: Also has a nice story. It is a cute story about a kid being a kid (or in this case, a sheep) and not wanting their hair (or in this case, wool) cut. The simple, but detailed illustrations push this from a two (due to the fact this story has been seen before: kid doesn’t want a haircut; go to bed or eat veggies) to a three (because they are fun to look at and enjoy their colors).
One More Hug by Megan Alexander: This is a modern story about love, comfort and growth. Hiroe Nakata illustrates this with soft, minimal detailed images as we watch a child grow, but how they will always need “one more hug, squeeze, etc.” before they go “off” to do their “thing.”
Roly Poly by Me Fox: This is a Mem Fox story to the end. You know the feeling and where it is going. It is a realistic story about siblings and how the older one has something to say about the younger one (like: Never wanted or asked for it; it can be bothersome). But when the chips are down, that’s when things come to light. There is one spot that might be a bit scary for the young and/or sensitive child, but overall, old school feeling with a hint of modern. Jane Dyer works their magic with the realistic illustrations.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig: Is an interesting take on the child that is not “all there” in a unique way. The teacher has her hands full with a couple of students with issues of their own, the students don’t see him, but Brain is there on the edge of everyone. It is not until a new student comes to school that Brian might finally be seen by someone. A bit of an idealistic ending, but the line that comments on the other students “sizing up the new student” to see if he “is cool enough to be their friend” was very realistic. Patrice Barton’s almost surreal illustrations accent the whimsy and wispy nature of the characters and situation. The colors are not bold but draw you in; as do the details.