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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Sweety: A naked mole rat with orthodontic headgear

Sweety: A naked mole rat with orthodontic headgear

The moment I saw the weird little girl on the cover of Sweety, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t know what the story was about, and I didn’t know what kind of a creature Sweety was. It didn’t matter. I could see that she was wearing orthodontic headgear. And that was...
Arabella: A sailboat, a storm, and a grandfather’s love

Arabella: A sailboat, a storm, and a grandfather’s love

Arabella is a rare thing in picture books: it is a genuinely exciting story. The main character, a boy named Matthew, impulsively takes his grandfather’s sailboat out after a storm. But he doesn’t read the weather right. Away from the shore, the high winds and...
The Zero Dads Club: A Father’s Day story for kids without dads

The Zero Dads Club: A Father’s Day story for kids without dads

Father’s Day can be hard for children who don’t have a father. At school, there may be crafts and projects celebrating fathers. And those are wonderful! But not for the children who feel left out. If the teacher’s plan doesn’t include the kids who don’t have a dad,...
When Charley Met Emma: A social story about disability

When Charley Met Emma: A social story about disability

It took me a while to figure out why I like When Charley Met Emma so much. At first glance, it’s everything I don’t like in a picture book. But I love it! Seriously. It’s a delightful book. It took me a long while to figure out why it’s so delightful. Let’s start with...
The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree: A picture book about deafness

The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree: A picture book about deafness

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I love Angeliki Pedersen, author of The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree. We attend the same parish, and I think I must have met her the first time we visited here. She’s the kind of person that reaches out to strangers at coffee hour...
Easter picture books for a child’s Lenten journey

Easter picture books for a child’s Lenten journey

Pascha is coming! And before Pascha, there will be Lent. So you’re planning meals to use up the meat and cheese in your refrigerator. You’re stocking up on tofu and beans. You’re looking forward to the longer services and Lenten melodies. All of...

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