Picture Book Roundup

I’ve been vacillating pretty hard between adult nonfiction and picture books, so forgive my radio silence over here. Here are some of the picture books I’ve been enjoying lately:

Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

I love that this one is available in Spanish and I have read it in both my Spanish and English storytimes (where we read other stories about names and then wrote our names using flowers, leaves, grasses, and glued them down). I love that Alma doesn’t really love her super long Hispanic name until her dad tells her about everyone she’s named for and she finds herself in each of their stories. I also loved the author’s note at the end that talked about how this book came out of her feelings about her own long name.


Harriet Gets Carried Away
by Jessie Sima
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Harriet is out shopping in her penguin costume with her two dads when she gets swept up with the penguins and carried away to the arctic with them. What I loved most is how creative and interesting the plot is and that it is NOT about how Harriet has two dads. (See also: The Purim Superhero.)


Jerome By Heart
by Thomas Scotto
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Raphael loves his friend Jerome and isn’t afraid to tell anyone. It’s that very sweet, simple love between two very young children, and the only indication that it’s something potentially controversial is one spread where Raphael’s parents seem uncomfortable, but that’s not explored. This book is also translated from French so who knows the original cultural context and/or wording, but I loved it.


If You’re Going to a March
by Martha Freeman
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

I think what I liked best about this one, as a public librarian, is that it’s technically almost 100% neutral. There is only one page that shows some signs that people might carry at a march that said things like “Hate has no home here” and other left-leaning slogans. But really, one might march for just about any reason and be of any political leaning (though adults will surely put this one into a particular place on the spectrum).


Take Care
by Madelyn Rosenberg
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

This one got lots of smiles and “awww”s at my toddler storytime. It’s very simple text about taking care of the Earth and of each other. I’ve been trying to pepper my storytimes with such messages as they help alleviate my own anxiety about the horrific things going on in the world today.

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