Staff Picks: What We’re Reading
Here at the Children’s Book Council, we are always reading from the piles of wonderful books our member publishers send us! Check out some books we love below:
Dracula Marries Frankenstein: An Anne of Green Bagels Story, by Susan Schade and Jon Buller (Papercutz, October 2016) — Delightful and straightforward story of forgiveness and overcoming prejudice. Anne decides to make a film and involves a reclusive member of her community. She has some antiquated views which propel our story along. The book reminded me that everyone has a reason for their views, but, more importantly, everyone is capable of changing and loving their neighbors. The story is written in prose which is balanced with some bi-color sequential art to bring it to life.
If Picasso Painted a Snowman, by Amy & Greg Newbold (Tilbury House Publishers, October 2017) — This book was such a treat! Not only did it have an example of how Picasso may have depicted a snowman, it also had examples of how many other well-known artists such as Van Gogh and Monet would have painted their snowmen as well. If you’re a fan of the arts, or have seen many famous paintings, the beautiful illustrations in this book will certainly look familiar to you. This is a great book to introduce kids to the different styles of various famous artists. It’s perfect for little aspiring artists, and a treat for older ones!
You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus, by Atinuke (Kane Miller, July 2017) — Book 8 in the popular Anna Hibiscus series is heartbreaking and heartwarming! Addressing the tough topic of the death of a family member with warmth and honesty, I can already think of a few little friends who need this book in their lives. Anna Hibiscus is as amazing as ever and the cast of family characters will make you laugh and smile. Love this series and loved this book in particular.
Baba Yaga’s Assistant, by Marika McCoola; illustrated by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, 2015) — This graphic novel about the fearsome Baba Yaga as she tests a potential new assistant, Masha, is far funnier than I expected. It’s sad too, as Masha runs away from a self-absorbed father. And terrifying, thanks to art by Emily Carroll. I felt all the feels when I read Baba Yaga’s Assistant.
The Thumbtack Dancer, by Leslie Tryon; illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Alazar Press, August 2017) — Gus is ALL about tap dancing ALL the time, but can’t afford the official shoes to get into the local dance school. You can figure out from the title how he makes the sound, and you will love what he does to achieve his dream.