We read a lot (as you may have guessed by now). With three kids, I have a pretty good knowledge of picture books and my favorite authors. One of the pleasures of having multiple children is getting to read our favorites over and over again. But it’s also just as much a joy to discover a brand new book by an author and illustrator we don’t yet know.
Velma is the youngest Gratch sister. The elder Gratchs are well known in school for their outstanding musical and athletic skills and for being fantastic at math and spelling. Velma longs to find a way to make sure everyone knows and remembers her. At first, she goes about this the wrong way but then when her class beings a study on butterflies she finds her special place in the world. I could say that this story by Alan Madison is a great one for a younger sibling who is feeling left out or that it teaches the important lesson that everyone is special in some way. And it does do those things. But even better, it does them in a book where the STORY is primary and the lesson just follows naturally. The fantastic drawings by Kevin Hawkes bring Velma and her butterflies to life.
This beautiful book by Nancy White Carlstrom gives glory to God for all his amazing creation. “Glory be to God for fluttering wings, for chickadees and butterflies that dot the skies like words, dragonflies and hummingbrids and all small things that wing their praise.” The free verse text and the bright illustrations by Debra Reid Jenkins combine together to create a song of praise that is suitable for any age.
Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury team up to create an incredibly sweet look at babies around the world. The book looks at babies that are different (where they are born, color of their skin) but that are all basically the same because, “both of these babies as everyone knows, had ten little fingers and ten little toes.” My Ruth (almost 2 yrs old) loves looking at pictures of babies and she adored this book.