The following posting offers an overview of ten recent picture book publications. several of which are titles to be treasured.

A book list of picture books about disabilities that I recently prepared is also included FYI.


BUNNY LOVES BEANS by Jane Whittingham (2024)

Jane Whittingham creates books of beauty and wonder for babies (Bear Has a Belly, Animals Move) each clear rhythmic text, striking photographs and attenion to appealing concepts. Bunny Loves Beans engages toddlers with familiar fcoloours and fruits and vegetables that both animals and humans eat.  Ripe white, squishy white, /Plucked from the tree white –  /White for a monkey, and white for me! This i s a delightful title, to inspre repeated readings. 


FIVE STORIES by Ellen Weinstein (2024)

This is a very special title to shine a light on the immigrant experience. The setting is a tenement building in the Lower East Side of New York. Stories of settling in to a new country  are told through the eyes of five children and their families who have lived in the same building of the course of a century. The author cleverly adds to the narrative by telling owho each child makes an impact on the family that comes after them (e.g. Jenny Epstein, a young Jewis girl who we first first meet in the 1910’s grows into becoming the English teacher for the Italian girl, Anna Cosi. Floor by floor, family by family, story by story (pun intended)  is a testimony to history, community and diversity. This book is a treasure that works on many levels (pun intended).   


I’M FROM by Gary R. Gray, Jr.; illus. Oge Mora (2023)

I am familiar with the “I Am From” poem written by writer and teacher George Ella Lyon in 1993. The list poem about identity (“I am from the forsythia bush,/ the Dutch elm/ whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.”) has been taught in classrooms throughout the world and has been celebrated as a mentor text for students to write metaphorically about their own individuality.  Poet Gary. R. Gray Jr. has written his first picture book, I’m From inspired by his growing up in Preston Nova Scotia, Canada’s oldest community. Oge Mora’s lively cut paper illustrations add a great spirit  and vitality to Gray, Jr’s  words.  There are several templates available for young people to create their own poem portraits. Like Lyon’s poem, Gray Jr’s. words serves as another model for students to define where they are from. (I would have thought an acknowledgement would have gone to George Ella Lyon). 

“I am from leftovers, buttermilk biscuits, baked beans, and you better eat what’s on your plate.”


SATURDAY MORNING hy Mr. Paterson (2024)

The author of this book is a spectacular wire sculpture artist who happens to have written a delightful book about two brothers, Antwon and Bejoe who each enjoy going on Saturday morning adventures. Antwon plans on climbing ‘the stairs of determination and the ledders of ascension through the machinery of mankind.” Bejoe wants to ride his bicycle and “ride with careless abandon to places unknown.” Readers who join in the adventures of the two brothers will likely be entranced with the decorative, kinetic illustrations that accompany the text. The story is accompanied by an explanation of how James Paterson  was inspired to ‘drift in the thin places between waking and dreaming’ and describes how he made his magnificent Storytelling Machines.  I received an autographed copy of the book from the artist/ author who wrote, “Always imagine”.  Imagination abounds in this wondrous picture book. 



I say this is a fine specimen of a picture book and so says Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize (UK) who claimed it to be the best picture book of the year. All her life, Dr. Morley has been fascinated by the idea of finding the giant Arctic jellyfish and so with years of research behind her, and the assembling of highly trained crew aboard a ship full of special equipment, she sets sail for an expedition to the Arctic. Will her mission be a success?  Is the jellyfish just a myth? After  battling the formidable waters of the icy sea, and coming across a majestic pod of narwhale gliding through the water, a curious pod of beluga whales, a polar bear, it seems that the steadfast crew aren’t likely to succeed in their quest to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature. Readers join in the awesome expedition, cheering Dr. Morley, knowing (spoiler) that the jelly fish is playfully swimming beneath the boat. Chloe’s art work with cut away images of the ship, finely detailed scenes of teh crew working away and mostly the miraculous views of Arctic landscape above and beneath the depths of the sea. I sort of wished for an appendix that would provide scientific information about the Giant Arcic Jellyfish, but this book inspires inquiry and research into  the mysterious life of life this marine animal. The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish is an example of texts and visuals that bear several revisits. Stunning!!!


SURPRISE! by Mies Van Hout (2024)

I love Mies van Hout’s picture book style (Happy, Friends) His vivid, t energetic chalk illustrations , set against jet black backgrounds area always ‘surprising’ . Each spread of this book depicts a vibrant depiction of a bird celebrating the jouney of parenthood (i.e. ‘expecting’; ‘marvelling’; ‘caring’; ‘cherishing’)  Surprise is a marvelling, caring, cherishingtitle for young readers (and grown-ups) to enjoy. (I’d be delighted to own any one of  Van Hout’s electrifying  bird illustrations,)


STRUM AND THE WILD TURKEY by Noa Daniel; illus. Alana McCarthy (2021)

Strum is a baby peacock who’s feathers are not as dazzling as his brothers and sisters. Unwilling to shake his tail feathers, he strummed them like a guitar. When his siblings set off to find mates, Strum is left alone and one day encounters a flock of turkeys who enjoyed his music and asked Strum to join in with their musical group. This is a story about finding your voice (literally and figuratively) and learning to belong through the power of music. A musical peacock… a group of jamming Wild Turkeys… a story about being true to yourself, this picture book is a delight with colourful full-page illustrations by Alana Mc Carthy. Link to rhthmic song about being different ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LIirM7ymtA

“Strum sat on his porch playing his plume and singing his heart out to the moon.”


TIME TO GO, LARRY! by Alison Hawkins (2023)

How could I not buy this book? It’s got my name in the title. It’s about a bear. It’s about Larry the Bear who is perfectly happy, cozying up under soft blanks and being perfectly content to stay in bed reading a favorite story with  just right light shining through the window. Larry is eventually coaxed out of bed with the best possible breakfast you could imagine (eggs, bacon,  crispy waffles with honey and tons of butter). Can he be persuaded to go outside and play with his friends – and what will convince him to ever head back home to delight in splashing in a bubble bath? Larry, the bear,  who lovingly needs convincing to expand his comfort zone. i like this bear a lot.m



THE FERRIS WHEEL by Tulin Kozikoglu; illus. Huseyin Sonmezy (2020/2023 translation)

On a recent trip to a bookstore, i picked up a batch of picture books. This one stood out fr purchasing. I returned the others to the shelf. Tulin Kozikoglu is considered to be one of Turkey’s most treasured children’s book authors an her recently translated picture book. The Ferris Wheel is a treasure. The follows the parallel journeys of two families from cities apart. On the left hand side of each spread is the story of a boy and his mother who take a day’s journey throughout their neighbourhood. On the right hand side of each spread, a father takes hold of his daughter as he cautiously lead her to leave their city. Each parent protect their child from unfamiliar places and faces. It is when both families go around and around on a ferris wheel until a voice says “Come on, time to get going – with a heart full of hope. Kozikoglu’s simple, poetic text and Huseyin’ Sonmezay’s illustrations, both stark and joyful,  ultimately inspires readers to think about similarities and differences and talk about war and immigration.  I sat and read this story with a warm, but sometimes heavy, heart. And then re-read it again.  It is the best kind of picture book creation where words lure you to the visual images and visual images lead you back to the word and then repeat. . It is a book that works on many levels. Outstanding!

Author’s note:

If the book inspires just one childtgo welcome newcomers with compassion and curiosity, then I will be content. Just one child is enough for me. That one child will make a lot of difference in the long run. 



ORRIS AND TIMBLE: The Beginning by Kate DiCamillo; illus. Carmen Mok (2024)

Orris is a rat. Timble is an owl.  Can they be friends or like the fable, “The Lion and the Mouse”,  grow to have a symbiotic relationship. Not much of a spoiler (see title), this book (first in an early-reader trilogy) tells the beginning of a beautifulfriendship, centred on kindness and storytelling. Presented in 8 short chapters accompanied by engaging illustrations by Toronto artist, Carmen Mok, Orris and Timble is  tender and thought-provoking tale told with (of course) glorious glorious writing. A book treasure to read .. and read again. 

>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<





Bryant, Jennifer (illus. Boris Kulikov. Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille (blindness)

Cottin Menena and Rosana Faria. The Black Book of Colors  (blindness)

Herbauts Anne, What Color is the Wind? (blindness)

Ho, Cariina and Jesse Byrd (illus. Monica Poolo Rodrigues.Mighty Mara (wheelchair)

Keats, Ezra Jack. Apt.  3 (blindness)

Lao, Jimmy. The Sound of Colors: A journey of the imagination (blindness)

MacLachlan, Patricia (illus. Deborah Kogan Ray)). Through Grandpa’s Eyes (blindness)

Yolen, Jane (illus. Tony Ross). The Seeing Stick (blindness)

Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice (blindness)




Carlson, Nancy, Arnie and the New Kid (wheelchair)

Ho, Cariina and Jesse Byrd (illus. Monica Poolo Rodrigues. Mighty Mara (wheelchair)

Munsch, Robert (illus. Michael Martchenko). Zoom! (wheelchair)

Palmer, Dorothy Ellen; illus. Maria Sweeney. The Scooter Twins (wheelchair)

Willis Jeanne (illus. Tony Ross). Susan Laughs (wheelchair)




Blackington, Debbie. Gracie’s Ears (hearing aids)

Klein. Maggie. Max’s Super Ears (hearing aids)

Moore-Mallinos; (illus. Marta Faberga). I Am Deaf (deafness)

Seeger, Pete and Paul Dubois; (illus. Gregory Christie). The Deaf Musicians (deafness)




Rahman, Bahram;( illus. Peggie Collins). A Sky-Blue Bench (prosthetics; inclusion)

Scott, Jordon; illus. Sydney Smith. I Talk Like A River (stuttering)




Hall, Michael. Red: A crayon’s story (inclusion)

Palacio, R.J. We’re All Wonders (inclusion)

Parr, Tood. Everyone is Different (inclusion)

Sanders, Jayneen ;( illus. Camilla Carrosine). Included: (inclusion)

Thomas, Pat. Don’t Call Me Stupid: A first look at disability (inclusion)



>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<