CBR16SweetChallenge #Binge More picture books that I read … and in fact I have more to come, but this is already 760 words so giving you a break!
Wrap up time! Picture books are a favorite of mine. You can get almost any subject out there and it’s presented in a neat (usually) package. Three books, three reviews and one theme: I read these.
We know the story about body autonomy and enthusiastic consent, but From My Head to My Toes goes beyond that. Aly Raisman talks about taking care of yourself (such as wearing a cozy shirt, eating yummy foods, snuggling with stuffed animals), and expands on the consent aspect. The ending felt a smidge stretched out (as if they needed X amount of pages and were a few short and “fudged” by repeating themselves), but overall a nice book. What makes this a four and not a 3-3.5 is it really tried to represent different people. There are few traditionally diverse characters, but again, this is expanded. It is brightly colored and minimally detailed to keep a serious subject less intense as it could be. Bea Jackson has a happy take on the children and adults that we follow through this self-affirmation love letter. (Read as an online reader copy, this book is due April 2024)
As many people these days, I probably spend too much time online. However, I was recently on a site that I occasionally check to see if there is anything new in the way of recommendations for books. The next day, I went to work and looked them up, finding two of them. One was Lights Out: A Movement to Help Migrating Birds by the author Jessica Stremer and illustrated by Bonnie Pang. I read this as an online reader copy, this due in March 2024 title made me stop and think. “Based on the real-life Lights Out movement,” I thought, “How can you turn off a city?” Well, the book tells us how. But first it talks about a sparrow and the journey it takes migrating to their winter home. But like me, it gets distracted by the shiny lights, but unlike me and its flock, this one sparrow is unable to leave. Eventually, it is rehabilitated and the girl who found the sparrow learns how she can help protect this from happening again, as well as other dangers birds face in the city. The story is easy enough, but has a deeper meaning that can be presented as your child grows. There is also information on the Lights Out movement and how you can help, and yes, thow you are able to turn off/out the lights of an entire city. However, just enjoy the story first, then think about the environmental issue. This way you can devote your time to the Pang illustrations. They are not “BOOM! Bright Lights and City Music!” but “boom! these are nice.” They are the right amount of detail and colors. They express the emotions and tell the story that is needed. They might be a smidgen more “cartoon-like” than I would have wanted, but they work for what was needed.
The other one I found was Ollie, the Acorn, and the Mighty Idea by Andrew Hacket (who seems like a nice person on the mentioned social media site, but I am not sure I was really into their book). And then the illustrator is Kaz Windness, who sometimes is a hit, sometimes a hit-miss, and sometimes a huge miss. The plot of the story is Ollie Alexander Kandersteen has a bully bugging them and finally one day he says that he shouldn’t do something when this really big idea hits, but they do it anyway. And that idea is to eat an acorn, give it water, sun, soil and let it grow. And no sooner said than done, Ollie is a large oak tree, and he well… he does some things that are not very nice to Everett Lucas Montgomery, said bully. So, in the end, who was the “twig” and who was “mighty”? There is a bit at the end about gardening and that you should not eat the dirt, drink that much water, etc.; plus other extras. Overall, things are fun. Your personal tastes will come into play depending on the level of humor you get from it, and if you are a hit/hit-miss/miss with the colorful, funky illustrations. They are packed tight as a seed in the ground. There are details, turned about pages and details in the details. And yet, everything is pretty straightforward. Again, your tastes determine what you like or dislike about Hacket’s picture book. Read as an online reader copy, I play on finding a finished copy in April 2024.