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.

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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...
All the Way to the Top: A story of the Capitol Crawl

All the Way to the Top: A story of the Capitol Crawl

I have two things to say about All the Way to the Top. First, this book is important, and every child should have a chance to read it. If you have a picture book shelf, this book should have a place on it. There really isn’t another book like it. Second, All the Way...
The complete list of multicultural Easter picture books

The complete list of multicultural Easter picture books

For over two thousand years now, people have celebrated Easter with great joy and a dazzling variety of traditions. And it seems natural that the joy and the traditions would find their way into picture books. It would be natural, but it’s not common. When I created...
ADHD in The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

ADHD in The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane is the story of Theophane, a young monk in a monastery in the mountains of Mourne, in Ireland, in the Middle Ages. Author C.M. Millen doesn’t say that Theophane has ADHD. It would be an absurd thing for her to say, an outrageous...

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