Picture book reviews

Picture books that have a major character with a disability are hard to find. So are picture books that include people celebrating Easter. These are the books I’m most likely to review. For a quick look at titles, topics, and lists, check the index.



The best picture books with disabled characters

The best picture books with disabled characters

How many of the picture books at your house include characters with disabilities? The book collection at my godson’s house is probably typical. Four big piles of books with no disabled characters, and two very small stacks that have major or minor characters...
Itzhak: A boy who loved the violin

Itzhak: A boy who loved the violin

When my children were small, I told them that there are true stories about real people, and made up stories about made up people, and made up stories about real people. Written by Tracy Newman and illustrated by Abigail Halpin, Itzhak: A boy who loved the violin is a...
With Two She Flew: Philoxenia with angels and autism

With Two She Flew: Philoxenia with angels and autism

Because I ordinarily review picture books, the first thing I should tell you is that With Two She Flew is not a picture book. It is, however, an extraordinary book, quite unlike any other children’s book I have ever read. And it sits squarely at the intersection of...
The Dancers: A book about dancing with your heart

The Dancers: A book about dancing with your heart

I love the opening line of The Dancers: “Three summers ago, when I was still a little kid, my mother and auntie took me to a powwow where we danced and danced.” Of course, the narrator is still a little kid. You know that. I know that. But she doesn’t know it. And her...
Miss Rumphius: Making the world more beautiful

Miss Rumphius: Making the world more beautiful

I didn’t read Miss Rumphius when I was young, of course. It came out in 1982, when I was already an adult, but didn’t yet have children. And so the book escaped my notice for many years. And when I first read it, standing in a bookstore, I thought it was sweet and...
Jump-O-Ween: A Halloween party with a sensory kid

Jump-O-Ween: A Halloween party with a sensory kid

Li-Li, the sensory kid who stars in Miracle at Bates Memorial, is back! In Jump-O-Ween, the third book in Gin Noon Spaulding’s “Adventure of Li-Li” series, it’s Halloween. Li-Li’s church has borrowed the neighborhood school for their annual Hallelujah Party. It’s full...

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