I’ve been accumulating a few favorite library finds over the last few months which I wanted to share with you. Here I have a list of picture books about learning to find yourself, having confidence in your big plans, exploring your passions, and much more, plus a couple of non-fiction books exploring women’s rights through history.
Sylvie, written and illustrated by Jennifer Sattler, is a story about a flamingo who learns that she is pink because the shrimps she eats are pink. Naturally, she wonders what color she’d be if she ate something else instead. Let’s just say the process is not scientifically accurate, because this poor flamingo subjects her stomach to food and non-food items alike to turn herself all kinds of crazy colors and patterns. There’s a cute twist in the end, and the art is equally adorable. This is one solid happy little story about being yourself—with a little flair.
Zephyr Takes Flight is the inspiring tale of a little girl who loves airplanes. Written and illustrated by Steve Light, this book shows Zephyr’s active imagination as she travels to a secret land where she learns to fly wonderful flying machines, helps a creature in need, and makes new friends. Or maybe this secret land is real? One thing is for sure, this is a must-read for all little girls (and boys!) who love airplanes and a little problem solving.
This boy has big plans, “BIG PLANS, I SAY!” Big Plans is one of Bob Shea first books, and it’s fantastically fun like all of his other picture books. There isn’t much more to the story than the boy telling people he’s got big plans (which are never revealed in the book), but the amusing repetition of “I got big plans. Big plans, I say!” will leave you repeating it over and over for the following few days. While giggling, of course.
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Ruby’s Wish follows the story of a Chinese girl. Following the California Gold Rush, her grandfather returned to China a rich man. As such, he married many wives and had over 100 children and grandchildren. They all shared a big house and those of school-age had a private tutor. Ruby came to realize that, as the children got older, the boys were expected to study while the girls were expected to learn womanly skills for maintaining a household and family. Ruby is the inspiring true tale of a girl who fought to get an education, whose own granddaughter is the author of this book.
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey and illustrated by Chesley McLaren, is a fun biography of, well, Amelia Bloomer. She was a women’s rights activist in the mid-1800s who worked at a women’s only newspaper. With an article about women wearing baggy pantaloons, she changed the face of fashion for women. At the time, women were still wearing ridiculous corsets and heavy dresses, and the pantaloons that became known as “bloomers” made quite an uproar. The story is informational without being too laden with details, and an author’s note at the end fills in the blanks.
We’ve been fans of the “Ordinary People Change the World” series written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. The latest one we’ve tried is I Am Albert Einstein, and it may be our favorite yet. Granted, Einstein was a pretty interesting dude, but the fictional comic-style conversations included as a complement to the story really make this book fun. We couldn’t stop giggling about his awesome hair!
Invisible to the Eye: Animals in Disguise by Kendra Muntz isn’t a story per se. It’s a collection of beautiful photographs showcasing animal camouflage at its best. For example, can you find the animals hidden in the images above? There’s a short piece of text with every picture that provides what animal you are trying to look for (in case you need a clue!), what region the animal lives in, and other interesting tidbits about the animal. It may not be best for a bedtime story, but it’s a fun activity for when you need the kids to be quiet for a few minutes!
Last but certainly not least, Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas written by Lynne Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca, has been my 5-year-old’s favorite out of this whole bunch. She liked the story all right, but when she found out at the end that it was a true story, she was so astonished that she requested we read it again and again. Elizabeth was an elephant seal who liked hanging out in the warm river water (and roads!) of Christchurch, New Zealand. Town folks tried time and time again to relocate her to her natural habitat for her own good, but do you think they succeeded? This was one determined seal.
How about you, any new favorites showing up in your library pile?