If you are a school librarian or parent wondering which of the new books to borrow or buy, here are three that stand out from a recent delivery of spring titles.
Pax and Blue by Lori Richmond (ages 3-6)
The story has been told before, but Richmond does it simply and sweetly. Pax, a young boy who lives in the city, is friends with a pigeon he names Blue. Every morning, Pax brings a “bit of toast and shares it with Blue.” But one morning, as Pax’s mom races to work, Blue follows them onto a packed subway car where, of course, a little pigeon can get lost and cause panic on the train! There is a happy ending of course, but there is something about the cartoon-like drawings and muted colors that makes this a special book. This would be fun to read with Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, another heartwarming story about friends who are temporarily separated.
Not Quite Narshal by Jessie Sima (ages 4-7)
A new story about being true to yourself, but there can’t be too many of those! Kelp seems to hatch from a clam – and knows “early on that he was different from the other narwhals.” Kelp plays joyfully with his accepting narwhal friends, but when he sees an adult unicorn standing on a cliff, he knows the truth. Kelp is happy to meet other unicorns, but he loves his ocean friends too. Luckily, he discovers that he can live in both worlds. Excellent storytime possibilities: either pair it with other stories of belonging: The Ugly Ducking or Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio. Or plan a unicorn gathering and include A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young and Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
Wolfie & Fly by Cary Fagan (ages 6-9)
With the growing focus on maker spaces and maker culture in schools, this is the perfect early chapter to support tinkering. Renata is a young girl who prefers reading about undersea life to being with other children – until she meets her neighbor Fly, a boy who enjoys making up songs and playing them on his plastic guitar. When Renata starts building a submarine from a large cardboard box, a friendship is born. I hope to see lots more projects from these two imaginative kids!
News From the Book World…..
Dick Bruna, the Dutch creator of Miffy, the white rabbit, died at the age of 89. Over twenty years ago, during my first trip to Holland, I fell in love with the simplicity and sweetness of Miffy and came home with books, dish towels, and a refrigerator magnet – pictured above.
Link to the New York Times obituary:
Philip Pullman, at the author of His Dark Materials, announced that he will release the first book in a new trilogy on October 19. The Book of Dust, Pullman said, “is the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organization, which wants to stifle speculation and inquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free.” A timely read, and the best part — Lyra Belacqua, the heroine of His Dark Materials, returns in this new trilogy!