It is: “These are cool books, but I do not have the 250-word minimum for each of them” time.
We start with Wild Peace which was penned by Irene Latham and illustrations that came from Il Sung Na. This is a lovely poem about taking a break and about imagination set in the picture book format. The start and end have a few unusual illustrations that I never completely “got” but overall, my favorite part of the book are the illustrations. This is a relaxing anytime read but would be great for quiet time or bedtime. And while it might work best one-on-one over a group setting, it can be read to a group. A modern feel comes from both the text and the expressive illustrations. The art mirrors the tone of the story.
Then we head over to Why a Conversation About Race by Taye Diggs and illustration by Shane W. Evans. A question asked by children daily is, “Why?” And the children of this picture book are no different. Only these questions are bit weightier then “Why do I have to wear my pants outside?” or “Why does the dog have a big “outie belly button?” These questions are, “Why are people shouting?” or “Why are buildings burning?” These questions can be used conversation starters with older kids or to help the younger ones have age-appropriate answers to adult questions. Illustrations are not for everyone but fit the style of the text.
And finally, I add Who Loves Little Lemur? Jay Fleck’s story would make an adorable board book of “normal to lap size” dimensions. Due in September 2021, this book would make a cute baby gift, or even a first birthday gift. It could be from any member of a child’s family to the baby as grandparents, parents, even siblings and aunts and uncles ae mentioned. Each member of the lemur clan is mentioned and shown how they love/interact with the baby of the story. Some information about lemurs is included. The cover says it all with the illustrations. Jann Whitford Paul created a simple artistic way to show a family and its dynamic. Cute, not overly detailed, or too boldly colorful, they complement the story.
All ages can enjoy but know your reader/listener with the Latham (as nontraditional action might be a bit slow for them and Diggs’ story has sensitive issues. Fleck’s story is more traditional for any age, even for an early to middle beginning reader).