Saturday, February 24, 2018

Five Fab Picture Books: African American Children (Preschool)


Gaia Cornwall, author and illustrator

Publisher Summary:  
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board.

He’s finished his swimming lessons.  He’s passed his swim test.  It’s just…maybe he should do some stretches first. 


Why It’s Fabulous:
The text and illustrations successfully depict the fear of trying something new and often seemingly scary.  The father is shown being affectionate and involved with his children.  However, he allows his son to work through his fears on his own for a while, but then steps in with wise advice when he is needed.  Jabari not only overcomes his fear, but he wants to continue being adventurous.   


Evan Kuhlman, author
Chuck Groenink

Publisher Summary:
Open this book if you want to meet a pill bug named Hank who is best friends with a girl names Amelia.  To the amazing story…


Why It’s Fabulous:
Young readers see the world from the perspective of the pill bug (Hank) as he passes a curious cricket, a weird worm, an industrial ant, a scary grasshopper, and an array of inanimate objects so he can meet up with his best friend, Amelia.  His day with her is a spunky backyard romp full of adventure, imagination, and fun.  As the day comes to a close, the perspective moves back to Hank’s world as he returns home to go to sleep.  The creative mixed media illustrations and the playful text make this tale of friendship a memorable story time selection.


Anna McQuinn, author
Rosalind Beardshaw, illustrator

Publisher Summary:
Lola really wants a cat.  But Mommy says pets are a lot of work.  Lola is eager to find out more. 

She reads all about cats at the library.  She takes extra good care of her stuffed cat toys.  When Lola finally gets to adopt a cat of her own, she knows just what to do.


Why It’s Fabulous:
Lola works to prove she is responsible and knowledgeable before her parents agree to grant her wish for a pet.  When they decide to add a furry member to their family, they adopt one from a shelter.  As the cat adjusts to her new home, Lola is patient and kind. Not only does she play and snuggle with her cat, she helps take care of her.  This sweet story is a wonderful addition to the Lola series. 


JaNay Brown-Wood, author
Priscilla, Burris, illustrator

Publisher Summary:
One grandma waits in her big easy chair, while TWO turkeys send scrumptious smells through the air…

It’s time to celebrate!  Count the festive foods, family, and friends at Granma’s feast.


Why It’s Fabulous:
Youngsters can count a long (1-15) as they listen to the smooth poetic text.  Lively people—young and old—and lots of delicious food fill each page.  When the house becomes overcrowded, a clever child comes up with the perfect solution. This celebration of family and friends proves it is the size of the heart, not the home that matters. 


Sandra L. Pinkney, author
Myles C. Pinkney, photographer-illustrator

Publisher Summary:
Children can be anything they want to be through the power of reading.  Through the Read and Rise literacy campaign, Scholastics teams up with the National Urban League to inspire African-American children to achieve their dreams.

Why It’s Fabulous:
The book begins with a poem by Maya Angelou.  A key line is, “Reading is the river to your liberty for all your life to come.” This theme is carried through on each page of photographs depicting children engaged in imaginative play and reading activities.  They are shown cuddled up with family members like fathers, mothers, and grandfathers reading and interacting.  The photographs are accompanied by lyrical text and interspersed with the refrain “read and rise.” This book is a wonderful celebration of the act and importance of reading. 

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