Why not immerse ourselves into beautiful language during these most difficult times? Poetry celebrates lilting languishing language. Battle your highs and lows with these gorgeously illustrated and poetic beauties. These books are all picture books with promises of expressive images. Add of these books are great for ages three to seven unless otherwise indicated.
Numenia and the Hurricane: Inspired by a True Migration Story, by Fiona Halliday, is a poetic story of survival at its center. A young whimbrel follows her sisters from the Arctic to the Caribbean Islands. But she is soon dislodged from her migration route when a giant hurricane detracts and detours her and she falls down to a window ledge. She lifts her eyes, / She longs for flight, / Surging into / Dawn’s red light. This doesn’t stop her. Through high winds, battling hunger and zapping her strength, somehow she continues to fly until she reaches her destination. The backstory of this small bird and how it survived is found at the back of the book. Scientists were able to track her travel through this difficult storm and the thousands of miles it took. The brief poetic verses seem to glide off the page. And the illustrations, done with traditional and digital mixed media, are magnificent. Here is a story of nature’s strong perseverance and determination. This is perfect for all ages.
Macca the Alpaca, by Matt Cosgrove, is a bright, white alpaca who is very carefree, filled with giggles and glee. But it all changes when he encounters a llama who is strong, and woolly, but also a bully! The contest begins to see who is the strongest. Throughout, the llama showcases his meanness and mighty strength. But the alpaca is very clever and shows how his kindness and braininess can overcome. Each animal is featured with a plain background expelling the color of their bodies brilliantly. Cosgrove’s other book, Alpacas with Maracas, is another brightly colored and rhyming book that is also new.
Big Dipping, Bug Sipping (Ready-To-Read), by Marilyn Singer, and wonderfully painted with color galore by Lucy Semple, is a beginning reader with rhyming all the way through. This delightful book is almost a toe-tapping read out-loud book with easy words to sound out and repeating rhyming text that helps the new reader enjoy re-reading it over and over. Bugs on the ceiling crawling. Bugs in the meadow calling. The open-page illustrations are a delight!
The Girl and the Dinosaur, by Hollie Hughes, and with art created with watercolor, pencil, printed pattern collage and using Photoshop by Sarah Massini, is a sweet rhyming tale about a little girl and her great imagination. As this small red-haired girl digs and digs in the sand at the beach she begins to find bone after bone, which she ultimately combines into a very large dinosaur skeleton. That night, she awakes to see her dinosaur now fully covered in skin and scales. She jumps on its neck and slides right down, / and magic is now promised / in the sleepy, starlit town. What awaits her is an adventure rich with enchantment and magic.
Tooth Fairy in Training, by Michelle Robinson, and gloriously illustrated in pencil and vibrantly colored digitally by Briony May Smith, is a different take on those wee fairies and their task of trying to place a coin under a child’s pillow for the tooth that recently fell out. Tate is new at this fairy business and May is taking her out on her first tooth exchange assignment. And humans aren’t the only ones to lose teeth and be in need of a coin-exchange. There are kangaroos, narwhals and more that Tate needs to visit. The combination of rhyming text and beautiful illustrations make for a nice bedtime read. Be sure to check out the brilliant end pages.
Best Behavior, by Patricia Hegarty, and brightly painted by Sakai Mangal, is a rhyming tale that shows youngsters being kind and considerate throughout their day. There are smiling and happy animals going about their day while interacting nicely with others and properly grooming themselves. The lion is attempting to get dressed and tie his laces. All those buttons can be such a pain. Don’t get in a tangle with laces. And remember to comb your wild mane!
I Believe I Can, by Grace Byers, and painted digitally and brightly against white background by Keturah A. Bobo, encourages youngsters to strive for all they can be in a sweet and simple rhyming text. Grounded firm, I’m like the soil. / Like the sky, I’m boundless too. / When I believe in myself, / there’s simply nothing I can’t do. The many types of ethnicities and varieties of children make for a rewarding and encouraging book.
Child of the Universe, by Ray Jayawardhana, and gorgeously illustrated using colored pencils on paper by Raul Colon, celebrates you in all your wondrous parts that make you who you are. The author is an astrophysicist and brings out many out-of-this-world elements. The rhyming text is rich in its simplicity. The open-page pictures are breathtaking throughout and perfectly match the rhymes. This would be a nice read-aloud before bedtime.