One of the greatest delights of picture books is just how wide-ranging they can be. Whether it’s the intersection of word and image, the rhythm of language, the information conveyed, or the emotional terrain covered, there are endless reasons to celebrate these ever-inventive books. Celebrate Children’s Book Week by opening a gem that makes you laugh, makes you cry, teaches you, excites you, or sweetly comforts you. Here are some gems from our collection:
Luyken’s My Heart, published in January, pairs short sentences with ink and pencil drawings that in a simple black, white, and yellow palette convey the joys and pains of the human heart. The words and illustrations follow a young narrator through language rich with metaphor that will resonate with young children who understand the sadness of stains, storms, and bad moods, and the joys of flowers, cuddles, and connections. “There are days it is broken, but broken can mend, and a heart that is closed can still open again,” writes Luyken, reminding her readers that it’s okay to be sad, but that happiness can and will return. This beautiful new picture book is a reminder that children who are learning how to navigate the world of emotions can always use a little help from the world of books.
Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmer’s Market by Michelle Schaub. Illustrated by Amy Huntington
Schaub and Huntington celebrate the delights of poetry, produce, and people in this lively picture book about the many sights and sounds at the farmer’s market. Through a series of enthusiastic poems, Schaub takes her reader from the moment of waking up and anticipating the market through the activities of smelling melons, feeling peaches, sniffing the bakery stand, gobbling berries, and listening to live music. Huntington’s watercolor illustrations bring a colorful burst of fruits, flowers, and faces to the celebration of life and harvest that is the farmer’s market. A perfect read as we continue through spring and head toward summer.
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
Margaret Wise Brown gave us The Runaway Bunny 77 years ago, but it still brings a warm and playful joy as mother and baby bunny verbally chase each other in an imaginative journey that Hurd brings to life in his illustrations. When the little bunny over and over again tells his mother how he will escape her grasp, as a bird, a sailing boat, a flying trapeze artist, and more, she insists that she will follow and find him with open arms. Finally, he gives in to “stay where I am and be your little bunny.” With lyrical and clever language, Brown provides the reassurance of familial love in a book wonderful for bedtime or beyond.