Below is a list of ten new picture books, each published in 2022, that came my way.
ALTE XACHEN (Old Times) by Ziggy Hanaor; illus. Benjamin Phillips
A young boy and his Bubbe (Jewish grandmother) wander the streets of New York collecting items for a Friday night dinner. Life for Bubbe ain’t what it used as the venture arouses memories of the way things were for her. A wonderful graphic picture book!
“Bubbe, it’s not like that these days. Girls don’t need boys to validate them. They can wear what they want and do what they want.”
“Huh. What do you know?”
BLUE: A History of the Color as Deep as The Sea and As Wide as The Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond; illus. Daniel Minter
A fascinating and informative non-fiction book that explores the history along with the natural, cultural and artistic significance of the colour blue.
“…blue has such a complicated history of pain, wealth, invention and recovery,
it’s become a symbol of possibility,
as vast and deep as the bluest sea…”
ENDLESSLY EVER AFTER: Pick your path to countless Fairy Tale Endings by Laurel Snyder; illus. Dan Santat
An original, humorous choose-your-path picture book of fractured fairy tales.
“What’s next, Rosie? Are you really so afraid of magic?
To pass the thorns and enter a castle, turn to page 42.
To back away, turn to page 64.
I AM GOLDEN by Eva Chen; illus. Sophie Dao
A beautiful ode to the immigrant experience, particularly illuminating the issue of self-love for young Chinese American people.
“You are the lotus flower unfurling – triumphant and bright -in the darkest water. You are the first bamboo stalk, piercing the soil, that will overtake the sky.”
KNIGHT OWL by Christopher Denise
This Caldecott Honour book tells the story of Owl who has big dreams of becoming a real knight. What Owl lacks in size, he makes up in cleverness, courage and optimism
“Knight School was hard, but Owl worked and worked. He graduated with honor, as all knights do.”
NIGEL AND THE MOON by Antwan Edy; illus. Gracey Zhang
A book to inspire young readers to consider the beauty in their every days lives and the importance of having big dreams that may be inspired by moongazing.
“Back in his bed, he searches for the moon.
In the dark hue of the night, he finds it once more.
And there, between the moon and him, his dreams are waiting.”
PERCY’S PERFECT FRIEND by Lana Button; illus. Peggy Collins
Percy is the new boy in the classroom and feels uncomfortable and alone until he comes upon a cuddly plush cat he names Miss Petticomb. The toy keeps him good company until his classmates snatch the cat away for a party. A book that celebrates the importance of toys in child’s play.
…when he brought her fluffy cheek close to his, Percy felt a whisper in his ear. “Of course I’ll play with you,” he whispered back. “That’s what friends do.”
THE TALK by Alicia D. Williams; illus. Brianna Mukodiri Uchendu
An important book about race, family, and growing up and the need ‘the talk’ to prepare young people for the realities or racism they (particularly black youth) may encounter in the world.
“No playing, no loud talking, and don’t put your hands in your pockets unless you are in an open space.”
TO CHANGE A PLANET by Christina Soontornvat; illus. Rahele Jomepour Bell
Through spare text and brightly colourful illustrations, this is picture book through that illumin ates the causes of climate change and the invitation to take action to make the world a better place to live.
“Our planet has spun through eons of time, but this moment is the one that matters most…”
THE PRISONER AND THE WRITER by Heather Camlot; illus. Sophie Casson
A picture book for ages 12+
This is a stirring picture book of historical fiction. In 1895, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer was falsely accused of being a traitor to France by passing military secrets to Germany. Dreyfus as exiled to a prison on Devil’s Island. (“My only crime was to have been born a Jew.” Alfred Dreyfus). In 1898 writer Emile Zola’s powerful political letter was published declaring Dreyfus’s innocence and accusing those who were to really to blame. This picture book provides readers with the significance of The Dreyfus Affair in French and world politics. It is a story of antisemitism reminding readers about truth, justice and equality and the need to stand up and speak out against any prejudice they are faced with. Author Heather Camlot has done. brilliant job through lyrical, poetic text and alternate narratives to shine a light on this historical incident and to encourage readers to learn more about two heroic characters and see the relevance of their story in today’s world. Sophie’s Casson’s lightly coloured illustrations strongly support the verbal text.
NOTE: I am creating this posting on 23.01.23, 125 years since Zola’s 4000 word open letter to the president of France was published January 13,
“The truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.. When we bury the truth underground, it builds up, it takes on such an explosive force, that the day it bursts, it blows up everything with it.” (From “J’Accuse)
FYI: CALDECOTT WINNERS 2023
The winners of the 2023 American Library Association Youth Media Awards were annoUnced on Monday January 30, 2034. The Caldecott Prize for most distinguished American picture book for children were as follows:
Caldecott Medal Winner
HOT DOG by Doug Salati
Caldecott Honor Books
Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds; illus. Jason Griffin
Berry Song by Michaela Goade
Choose Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and EmMett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy illus. Janelle Washington
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise