Over the past month, we’ve explored the picture books on the New York Public Library’s list of 100 Titles to Read and Share.
While writing these book reviews I have definitely found some new favorites!
Here is the last set of picture book reviews. I was glad to see a trend of multicultural books in this part of the list.
Also, you will want to read my criteria for the book reviews, as well as the rating scale.
#16 Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh
This book was a conversation starter for my husband and me.
It is a beautiful story, told with complete simplicity. No drama, no politics, no pity, just a story revealing the true experiences of real people—EXCEPT there are no people in this book. All of the characters are animals. Rabbits, chickens, ducks, snakes, and a coyote. And what my husband pointed out is that having animals experience the terrible ordeal of crossing illegally from South to North makes the story approachable in a way that telling it outright wouldn’t be able to do. Making the characters into rabbits wipes the slate clean. You don’t see race. You don’t see nationality. You see a father caring for his family and the dangers they face. Animals make us comfortable enough to approach the content feely, leaving behind all our human misconceptions. This book will appeal to adults and children for its warmth, its honesty, and the beautiful way the illustrations capture the characters’ thoughts.
#17 Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid
Creative interpretation, good repetitiveness for young children, but I didn’t love it.
#18 The Silver Button by Bob Graham
Reading this book is an act of embracing the celebration of the ordinary details of everyday life. Every sentence is a hasty beginning and ending of a new story. Quite possibly a story you find yourself in the middle of a hundred times a day.
“Oh High Street, Bernard had his shoelace tied for the second time that morning . . . and a man bought some fresh bread from the baker.”
A summation of the hummm-drumm seconds that make up a minute, in any city, in any family.
#19 The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman
A fresh romp through the pages of a book-within-a-book!
Lots of dialogue, and most of the info comes through the illustrations.
#20 Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
Baseball fans will cheer for this fun book that takes place in 2 countries: the US and Japan. One boy takes us through the cultural highlights of his favorite game.
#21 This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson
When you read this book, read the author’s note first and then dive into this family’s story of hope and change and progress.
#22 Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
No joke, this book is pretty great!
Cameo appearances by:
A piece of toast
A waste-paper basket
A smiling lake
(3 and ½ for the piece of toast)
#23 Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins & Stephanie Graegin
Nothing about this book struck me. I didn’t spend any time lingering on the page or anticipating the next word.
Next week we will dive in with Folktales and Fairytales!
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