How do you capture love and all of its various permutations on the page, let alone make it palatable for young readers? Somehow, Pena and illustrator Loren Long are able to do both in this book. As a collection of poems about the titular emotion, this book is successful because de la Pena is a good writer and a great observer who documents love in all its forms; from a baby hearing his parents’ voices to a child looking in the mirror. The poem dances on the precipice of precious but sticks the landing. And even if you think love is a battlefield, the illustration by Loren Long will soften you enough to let this one in.
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Amy Krause Rosenthal, a novelist, TED talker, radio host, and children’s book author, died in 2017 after battling ovarian cancer. She gave the world many gifts. Don’t Blink!, her latest children’s book, is a gift to parents at bedtime. A bedtime book that dares children to stay awake, it presents a plea bargain to kids who don’t want to go to bed: if you don’t blink, you don’t have to go to bed. The catch? Every time they do blink, they must turn a page. Reach the end and its night-night. A big-eyed owl acts as the guide, offering a variety of fun tactics for the postponement of blinking and therefore bedtime. It’s a cleverly constructed story, one that should always arrive at the same ending: with heavy eyelids and a head on the pillow.
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“Grandma” Gatewood is finally getting her due. Just this summer, the New York Times gave a long overdue obituary of Emma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail by herself in one season (at the ripe old age of 67). Gatewood was a mother of 11, a grandmother, and great-grandmother when she first hiked the trail. By the time she died 16 years after her first hike in 1973, she had completed the AT three times — setting the record as the first person to ever complete the trail more than once. Her story has also, finally, made it’s way to a children’s book this year, one whose clear, sparkling prose and beautiful illustrations by Jennifer Thermes give this real-life tale the inspirational platform it deserves.
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Peter Reynold’s story of Jerome, a logophiliac young man, is one of the few books out there that delights in language. Though many children’s books are written beautifully, relatively few are about words themselves. (A major wonderful exception is 2014’s The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.)  In Reynolds’s story,  however, Jerome collects scraps with words on them, finding joy in each syllable and multi-syllable word. He is a reader reading and his pleasure in words is mirrored by those who read of his vocabularistic adventure.
Peter Reynold’s story of Jerome, a logophiliac young man, is one of the few books out there that delights in language. Though many children’s books are written beautifully, relatively few are about words themselves. (A major wonderful exception is 2014’s The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.)  In Reynolds’s story,  however, Jerome collects scraps with words on them, finding joy in each syllable and multi-syllable word. He is a reader reading and his pleasure in words is mirrored by those who read of his vocabularistic adventure.
“The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It’s hard to let your children go to preschool or kindergarten. This book has a Mama Raccoon who kisses her child’s palm before she leaves him at school. If he misses her he can place his palm with the kiss on his cheek, and he will know his mother loves him. Baby Raccoon also kisses his mother’s palm before he heads off to school. Real love endures even when we’re away from our loved ones. Sweet story. Beautiful artwork.” ― Donna Worthington Shiro
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