Category Archives: Illustrations

Theme: Adorable Animals

I Found a Kitty!

by Troy Cummings

Arfy is back and his heart is as big as ever in Troy Cummings’ adorable sequel to Can I Be Your Dog?! When Arfy discovers Scamper, a homeless kitten, he reaches out once again via letters to his neighbors to help find Scamper a home (sadly, his person is allergic to cats). With puns and personality, his missives not only entertain, but also help to eventually find Scamper a forever home. Sweet, colorful illustrations, an interesting cast of characters, and a focus on pet adoption make this a purrfect story for dog, cat, and all animal lovers!

Hound Won’t Go

by Lisa Jean Rogers

Illustrated by Meg Ishihara

Sometimes simple is simply wonderful, and that’s the case with this adorable story about a hound who stops and plops in the middle of the road, causing havoc all around him. Short rhyming text propels the story while bright, vibrant illustrations add extra heart and warmth. A fun, funny dog-lover’s delight!

Play Like an Animal!:  Why Critters Splash, Race, Twirl, and Chase

by Maria Gianferrari

Illustrated by Mia Powell

Animals of all stripes and colors love to play just like we do, and for a variety of reasons: to learn new skills and ways of moving, to enhance cooperation and communication with others, to practice defending themselves against predators, and yes, even to have fun! Featuring joyful, playful illustrations of rhinos, monkeys, dolphins, elephants, and other animals, Gianferrari and Powell have created a rollicking look at animals at play. Back matter extends the learning with additional facts about each featured animal, the importance of play to animals in general, and additional reading to learn more on the subject.

Spotlight Review: Two Bicycles in Beijing

Two Bicycles in Beijing

by Teresa Robeson

Illustrated by Junyi Wu


Readers will zip through the sights and sounds of Beijing along with Lunzi and Huangche, two colorful bicycles destined to be best friends, in Teresa Robeson’s newest delightful picture book.

Manufactured together, Lunzi and Huangche hope to never part. But when a young girl buys Huangche, Lunzi worries it will never again see its friend in the big city. However, a delivery boy soon chooses Lunzi to help with his errands, and off they go. As Lunzi flies on two wheels through the crowds, it watches carefully for a flash of yellow. But there are many festive yellow sights in Beijing. Just when Lunzi is about to give up hope, one last flash of yellow – along with a new friendship between the girl and boy – ensure Lunzi and Huangche will be able to remain friends no matter where they travel in Beijing.

Robeson’s joyful and optimistic text offers many wonderful opportunities for Wu’s softly colorful artwork to shine. Chinese words stand side by side with English for a nice introduction to a new language (a glossary of Mandarin Chinese terms used in the book follows the story), and back matter offers a bit more information on some of the sights highlighted in the story, including Nanguan and Beihai Parks and Tiananmen Square. This sweet story of friendship set in a bright, bustling city is a perfect addition to any bookshelf.

Theme: Boogie Down: Picture Books about Dancing

Let’s Dance!

by Valerie Bolling

Illustrated by Maine Diaz


Musical rhyming couplets will inspire readers to get up and move in this fun, joyful celebration of dance styles from around the world. Exuberant illustrations feature children of diverse backgrounds and abilities, and back matter offers another look at each dance in a colorful ode to different eras and forms.

Feel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing

by Marilyn Singer

Illustrated by Kristi Valiant


In this delightful collection of poems celebrating dances from across the globe, each poem’s meter and style reflect that dance’s beat. Singer’s poems partner wonderfully with Valiant’s vibrant illustrations to capture each dance’s true heart. Back matter discusses styles, while a CD features the poems set to original music by Jonathan Roberts.

I Got the Rhythm

by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Illustrated by Frank Morrison

A walk in the park turns into a dance extravaganza for a girl who uses her senses and feels the beat in everything around her. With joy and rhythm, she encourages others to join in – snap, clap, tip, tap – as she expresses herself. Energetic illustrations will have readers clapping along!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 Review: Besos de sol, abrazos de luna (Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs)

SPOTLIGHT REVIEW

Theme: Feeling Close to Someone Far Away

Besos de sol, abrazos de luna (Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs)            Bilingual Spanish-English version

by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

Illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher

I’m happy to be taking part in Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020! As part of this event, I was provided a copy of Besos de sol, abrazos de luna (Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs) to review. This sweet, loving picture book was published by Inner Flower Child Books in December of 2019

Author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher’s well-loved Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs can now reach even more children and parents in this delightful and beneficial Spanish-English bilingual version. Lyrical text — in both Spanish and English on each page — pairs with bold, colorful design and digital-style illustrations to spread the message of love and comfort to children who are separated from a loved one, whether it be through divorce, death, illness, distance, or another reason. The book’s message is clear: through nature and connecting to the big, beautiful world we live in — be it via the sun or moon, trees or flowers, rain or snow, sand or butterflies —  children can still feel close to their loved one. One spread is a great example:

“I’m leaving signs to show I care, like the wind whispering through your hair. Whenever I miss you, I will find a way to hug and kiss you.”

The gently reassuring tone of this story makes this an ideal bedtime read, plus the bilingual text offers a chance for non-English speakers to share the message with loved ones as well.

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,
Platinum: Language LizardPack-N-Go Girls,
Gold: Audrey PressLerner Publishing GroupKidLit TVABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational PublishersPragmaticMom & Sumo Joe, Candlewick Press,
Silver: Author Charlotte RiggleCapstone PublishingGuba PublishingMelissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,
Bronze: Author Carole P. RomanSnowflake Stories/Jill BarlettiVivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices HeardBarnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTomWisdom Tales PressLee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge PublishingBarefoot Books Talegari Tales

 

Author Sponsor Link Cloud: Jerry CraftA.R. Bey and Adventures in BoogielandEugina Chu & Brandon goes to BeijingKenneth Braswell & Fathers IncorporatedMaritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_MejiaKathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry BlossomSISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. NorrgardJosh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTERMaya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove,  Lauren RanalliThe Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon ChappellPhe Lang and Me On The PageAfsaneh Moradian and Jamie is JamieValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingTUMBLE CREEK PRESSNancy Tupper LingAuthor Gwen JacksonAngeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm TreeAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleBEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia WenjenSusan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books)Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the OceanEvelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the WorldShoumi Sen & From The Toddler DiariesSarah Jamila StevensonTonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book SeriesTeresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTukGirlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book ClubFinding My Way Books, Diana Huang & IntrepidsFive Enchanted MermaidsElizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling CastleAnna Olswanger and GreenhornDanielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow JeepneyMariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta DiminutaSara Arnold & The Big Buna BashRoddie Simmons & Race 2 RioDuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical DebutVeronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts: A Crafty ArabAfsaneh MoradianAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial BookwormsMichelle Goetzl & Books My Kids ReadCrafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesEducators Spin on itShauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylinkGrowing Book by BookHere Wee ReadJoel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}Imagination SoupKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsSerge Smagarinsky {Australia}Shoumi SenJennifer Brunk & Spanish PlaygroundKatie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews
FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

THEME: OUT OF THIS WORLD

Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars

Written by Richard Ho

Illustrated by Katherine Roy


Simply told and gorgeously illustrated, this atmospheric look at the rover Curiosity on Mars encourages readers to open their minds to both current realities and future possibilities of space exploration. Ho’s friendly, succinct style and illustrator Katherine Roy’s creative perspective and use of red tones provide the feel of roaming the planet alongside Curiosity. Backmatter offers depth (The Anatomy of Curiosity, information about Curiosity’s history on Mars and more on the red planet itself), and breadth (Curiosity’s Friends, a look at other rovers that came before) for the “curious” minds who will be enthralled with the small but mighty rover.

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Written by Curtis Manley

Illustrated by Jessica Lanan

Curtis Manley’s love for and curiosity about space shine through in this expanded picture book which asks the question: Is there another planet that, like Earth, is not too big, not too small, not too hot, not too cold, but “Just Right” for life? In an accessible way, Manley moves quickly through the history of this question into modern day, while following a young girl and her family as they explore a museum exhibit about these exoplanets. Lanan’s gentle and varied illustrations help bring concepts to life for young readers while encouraging “What if” and “Perhaps” daydreaming about this timely question.

Pluto Gets The Call

Written by Adam Rex

Illustrated by Laurie Keller

Chock full of heart, humor, and helpful information, Rex’s expanded picture book uses every bit of “space” to tell Pluto’s story of demotion to a Dwarf Planet and its hilarious ensuing search for answers. When Pluto, previously known as our ninth planet, gets a call from scientists on Earth with the bad news, he sets out to talk to the other planets – each with its own delightful personality based in facts and a bit of fancy – about why. Keller’s vivid and lively mixed-media style adds to the hilarity. Who knew our solar system could be so fun, funny, and fascinating?

Story of Peace for the Holidays: The Bear and The Star

Written by Lola Schaefer

Illustrated by Bethanne Andersen


Lola Schaefer brings us a seasonal story of humanity, harmony, and community in this lovely and lovingly-told tale. Bear awakes one early December morning, seeing a star on the horizon, and knows it is time. Time for every person and creature around the world to come together. So he bellows to all ends of the earth and they come, joining together at last on a beautiful snowy night under a majestic tree, as the star rises high in the sky. Award-winning illustrator Bethanne Andersen’s soft style and snowy scenes bring this delightful holiday story to life, while Schaefer’s text flows gently across the page as it builds to the final point of the gathering – peace.

Celebrating Inspiring Females: Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Written by Teresa Robeson

Illustrated by Rebecca Huang


As we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, what could be more fitting than to read about a young Chinese girl – named Chien Shiung, meaning “courageous hero” – who grew to be a truly inspirational woman in the field of physics, eventually named by Newsweek as The Queen of Physics.

Born in 1912 and raised by parents who ran a school for girls, Chien Shiung quickly discovered the value of learning. When she needed to further her education, she bravely left home at a young age to study biology, chemistry, math, and her most beloved subject, physics, all while leading classmates against those with abusive power in her homeland. Eventually moving to the U.S. in her early twenties, Chien Shiung began to study the physics of atoms, specifically beta decay, making great discoveries and helping others in the scientific field in their research and experiments. Despite the fact she was overlooked many times for the Nobel Prize for her accomplishments, Chien Shiung – called Madame Wu by her students – persevered and became a leader in her field, as well as the first woman instructor for Princeton, first woman to be elected president of The American Physical Society, and many other “firsts” and honors.

Teresa Robeson’s inspiring debut picture book brings Wu Chien Shiung and her love for physics to life, while not shying away from hard facts of racism, sexism, political upheavals, and other important topics. In addition, Robeson’s writing allows sometimes tough-to-understand scientific ideas to be accessible to young readers, both in the story and in back matter. Huang’s illustrations feature a variety of colors, softened to great effect, and helps to highlight both Chien Shiung’s amazing life and the scientific principles she loved so dearly.

THEME: FOREST-SET FUN & INSPIRATIONAL STORIES

The Boy Who Grew A Forest

by Sophia Gholz

Illustrated by Kayla Harren


An inspirational true story about how even the youngest among us can make a world of difference, Gholz tells of Jadav Payeng, an Indian boy whose river island village suffered from erosion and deforestation. When hundreds of snakes died, Jadav’s concern prompted his elders to give him 20 bamboo seedlings to plant. Over time, he devised a watering system, added grasses and fruit trees, and eventually planted over 1,300 acres, transforming the area into a lush haven. Kayla Harren’s beautiful illustrations transport readers into Jadav’s world, while Gholz’s lovely storytelling helps them come to understand and appreciate Jadav’s efforts and commitment.

When A Tree Grows

by Cathy Ballou Mealey

Illustrated by Kasia Nowowiejska

Cathy Ballou Mealey has written a fun, clever book that’s all about a forest, animal friends and the possibilities and choices they face one day which lead them on a delightful adventure. When itchy Moose uses a tree as a scratching post, causing the tree to sway, two things could happen. The story moves forward with a chain reaction of (mostly) two possible outcomes, leading Squirrel to head to “the big city” and Moose to eventually bring him back home to celebrate with all their friends in an even better forest. Kasia Nowowiejska’s adorable, spirited illustrations add greatly to the humor!

The Lost Forest

by Phyllis Root

Illustrated by Betsy Bowen

Phyllis Root has created a lovely and reverent story about a parcel of forest in Minnesota that still holds big, beautiful trees which are hundreds of years old. In the 1800s, when land and trees were being seized from Native Americans by the U.S. government, sold off in parcels, and logged, a surveying crew’s mistake placed a lake where 114 acres of trees actually lived. Because this “lost forest” wasn’t discovered until 1958 when it was part of a National Forest, those trees still live on today. Extensive back matter and detailed, interesting illustrations round out the lyrically-told story.

THEME: WELCOME, LITTLE ONES

Nine Months: Before a Baby is Born

by Miranda Paul

Illustrated by Jason Chin


Award-winning pair Miranda Paul and Jason Chin have paired up again to create a delightful month-by-month look at the development of baby inside its mother. With gently rhyming text focusing on baby’s growth and milestones, plus a parallel look at an older sibling’s waiting experience, Nine Months will entrance young readers. Chin’s softly realistic watercolor-and-gouache illustrations are bright and loving, with accurate-size depictions of the baby as it develops, while Paul’s story allows readers an accessible peek into the womb. Back matter offers additional developmental information, fun facts in a conversational tone, and suggested reading.

Babymoon

by Hayley Barrett

Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

The term “babymoon” was coined by anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger and is used by midwives and birthing professionals alike. This lovely book shares information about this important bonding time of baby and parents’ first days at home together, alone, where they get to know one another, rest, cuddle, eat, and enjoy life as a new family, before others or the world appear on the doorstep to distract them from each another. Barrett’s gently rhyming text pairs nicely with Martinez-Neal’s soft illustrations featuring a diverse couple and newborn to remind parents of the importance of this getting-to-know-you phase.

This is Our Baby, Born Today

by Varsha Bajaj

Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler


When a baby is born, parents, family, and members of the community celebrate with joy and thanksgiving. This isn’t limited to humans, though, as the animal kingdom also comes together to make the little one feel welcome and loved. Varsha Bajaj’s gently repetitive phrases capture this time of sweet enchantment when a baby elephant is born as its mother, aunts, sisters, cousins, herd, friends, neighbors – and indeed the earth and sky itself – welcome it with open arms. Eliza Wheeler’s soft watercolor illustrations, which evoke the richness and peacefulness of the Indian landscape, lovingly support the soothing story. Perfect for bedtime!

THEME: FUN NEW PICTURE BOOKS SUMMER 2019

Noah Noasaurus

by Elaine Kiely Kearns

Illustrated by Colin Jack

Everyone can relate to having a bad day, a “NO!” kind of day, and this book can help young readers see how to turn that around. In Noah Noasaurus, Elaine Kylie Kearns takes something kids love – dinosaurs – and something kids say – NO! (because they are in a bad mood) – and pairs them together with hilarious results, showing that even a bad day can turn out okay with friends. Illustrator Colin Jacks’ brightly colorful, adorably fun illustrations highlight the story and humor as well (the facial expressions on the dinos are especially delightful). Makes for a fun read aloud too!

Hello

by Fiona Woodcock

Fiona Woodcock is back after her charming book LOOK with this delightful ode to summer. Hello is a story about a brother and sister visiting a seaside amusement park and beach for the day, followed by a family camp out. The story is told mostly in words featuring double L’s – hello, roller coaster, thrill, jellyfish, shells, marshmallows, etc. – and Woodcock’s softly colored illustrations, created from stencils, children’s BLO pens, and other techniques and incorporating the highlighted words into the illustrations themselves, pair well with just enough white space to make this a gentle and fun look at the perfect summer day.

If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon

by Joyce Lapin

Illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli


Imagine doing all the usual birthday party activities – bouncing, dancing, and playing games; exploring around you; singing Happy Birthday; blowing out candles; eating cake; hitting the pinata; and more – on the moon, where EVERYTHING will be different! Lapin’s fun and funny look at a party on the moon offers easy-to-understand scientific explanations for these differences, packing pages with cool facts about space, the moon, gravity, astronauts, and much more, while Ceccarelli’s bright and lively illustrations help young readers imagine that it could happen for them one day soon. A Glossary and other back matter add to the learning.

Theme: Illustrations that POP in Nature-Themed Picture Books

Birds

by Carme Lemniscates

Vibrant digital illustrations highlight this look at the variety of birds children might see in their tree homes or in the air, while text reminds readers how birds make our lives more full, loving, and peaceful. Bold black and blue feathers on the bright white end papers offer extra POP.

From Tree to Sea

by Shelley Moore Thomas

Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Neal’s soft mixed-media illustrations support the gently lyrical free-verse text in this ode to nature’s lessons for all of us. Readers will see how the sun, soil, trees, ocean, clouds, and even birds, bees, whales, and other animals can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.

I’ve Got Eyes

by Julie Murphy

Illustrated by: Hannah Tolson

Bright, varied illustrations bring to life this interesting look at animals and their eyes. Focusing on shape, function, size, number, and other aspects, Murphy offers a glimpse of both common and unusual animals and the roles their eyes play in their lives, while asking readers to consider their own eyes as well.