So far, 2017 has been a great year for children’s literature. Although the year still has two more months to go, we wanted to share our favorite books from the past couple of months. Below are great picture books to be shared with children from preschool through fifth grade; grade appropriateness is noted for each book.
Our first book is by Greg Pizzoli and is about the famous explorer Percy Fawcett and the Lost City of Z. In The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon, Pizzoli mixes his simplistic form of illustration with interesting and exciting facts about Fawcett and his quest for the lost city. Fawcett believed if he could find Z, an ancient city he believed to be located in the Amazon, he would be rich and famous. Instead, Fawcett left for his final mission in 1925, and wasn’t heard from again. Pizzoli also includes real photographs to go along with the story, as well as a glossary for readers. This book will have readers wanting to research more, and is perfect for second through fifth graders.
The Bad Seed by Jory John is recommended for kindergarten through second grade students and tells the story of one, very bad seed. He is mean, rude, and grumpy; one day though, he decides he wants to be good. This book is funny for parents and children, but also has some valid points to start a discussion on the meaning of being good and bad. The illustrations are fun and vibrant, while the seed’s facial expressions are very expressive. Who knew you could have so much fun with seeds?
Andrew Larson is the author of our next book, The Man who Loved Libraries: The Story of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie and his family emigrated from Scotland to America in the 1840s, during the Industrial Revolution. Carnegie worked various jobs in his youth, and later invested in railroads which allowed him to become of the richest men in the world. In order to share his wealth, Carnegie built over 2.500 libraries throughout the world. Larson writes an interesting biography about a man who loved libraries, and along with Katty Maurey’s simple illustrations, readers will see how one many worked hard to give back to the world through books. This book is great for first through third graders.
Our next book, I Don’t Draw, I Color!, by Adam Lehrhaupt is about a young boy who discovers that although he is not the most advanced of artists, he can color. The book shares information about how colors can reflect emotions, which is a great talking point for parents and caregivers. The use of color mixing also brings more colors into the story. This book is recommended for preschoolers through first grade; the text and illustrations are great for teaching color and that creativity is inside everyone.
Last, but not least, we have Lane Smith’s book, A Perfect Day, which shares the story of Bert and some animals on what they each believe is a perfect day. Smith’s story is whimsical and light; the illustrations are simple, yet full of color and exciting. This book is great for preschoolers through second grade. It’s a great way to start sharing what makes each person’s day perfect, and how we each enjoy different things.