Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books

“What I have come to believe is that joy is the twin sister of gratitude.  I am most joyful when I am most grateful.”*
         –Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author

Thankfulness doesn’t end with Thanksgiving. Enjoy these wonderful picture books celebrating gratitude!

Gracias, Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, in both Spanish and English.  This Pura Belpré Honor winner brims with a sense of happiness brought by the small pleasures in life. Continue reading “Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books”

May Literary Holidays

May is a great month for books. Let me give you the holidays to prove it.

May is Get Caught Reading Month, which started in 1999 as a way to encourage the love of reading. Bonus: It can be a great time to read outdoors and make your reading visible to the world. 

Children’s Book Week, which started April 30, continues through May 6 this year. This is one of the longest-running national literacy initiatives, beginning in 1919. The official posters for Children’s Book Week are collectible items, and this year’s poster was created by Jillian Tamaki with the slogan “One World, Many Stories.”

The picture book illustrators chosen for each year’s poster are great choices for celebrating Children’s Book Week. Take a look at Tamaki’s They Say Blue as well as Last Stop on Market Street (written by Matt de la Pena), illustrated by Christian Robinson, the 2017 poster illustrator. Hooray for Books! is a delightful picture book about a turtle finding its favorite book, written and illustrated by Brian Won, the 2016 poster illustrator. Continue reading “May Literary Holidays”

Our Top 10 Children’s Picture Books of 2017

Children’s Services Librarians from The Seattle Public Library have selected our ten favorite picture books of the year.  Though it’s a challenge to limit ourselves to ten titles (check out our longer list of favorite 2017 picture books), we all responded to the joy in these ten books – each is a celebration: of home and family; of being yourself; of caring for others; and of a fresh haircut!  Enjoy!

Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh
Keep your ears open for the wonderful array of delightful sounds in life as you journey through the day with this kiddo. Continue reading “Our Top 10 Children’s Picture Books of 2017”

Favorite Picture Books of 2017

The “Best Books of the Year” lists are out in abundance, and your Children’s Librarians from the Seattle Public Library are eager to share some of their favorite books of the year as well.

Picture books will always be my favorite format for children’s books. There’s so much variety, so much invention, and they simply provide a perfect way to explore the world one book at a time. You are never too old to enjoy the magical combination of illustration and storytelling, and 2017 was a particularly great year for picture books. We have 50 favorites to share with you!  Below are just a few books I found particularly special.

Every year, I seem to find one picture book I want to share with everyone, and this year that book was The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy. It’s a fantastic read-aloud, and little ones will surely want to crow along with you! Kee Kee Kree Kee!  Colorful and quirky illustrations bring this story of resilience to life. The town is too noisy, and its residents are up in arms. But when a new mayor begins to enforce a glut of rules, the town does finally grow quiet – too quiet – until this determined rooster shows the citizens just how important it is to sing your own song, and to sing a song for others. It’s a nuanced exploration of community building and social justice. Continue reading “Favorite Picture Books of 2017”

Talkin’ Turkey

What do you call it when it rains turkeys?  Fowl Weather (of course!)

Most times, these ungainly strutting birds get no respect, not even as dinner’s main course. Take the Butterball Turkey Helpline—most new cooks are baffled by such a huge rotund bird for which large roasting pans and big ovens are required—as their many questions, often hilariously recounted, are answered.

The grocery stores begin to pile their freezer bins full of these denuded and rock solid turkeys as the holiday months loom ever closer. The frozen turkey is just another ornament, albeit an enormous one, to check off the list.

Luckily, in the world of children’s literature, the turkeys in picture book stories are still fully feathered and feisty creatures. A hilarious new book written and illustrated by Dennis Cazet, Bob and Tom, follows the barnyard adventures of two rather dim turkeys, who spend their days in often cavalier manner, seeking answers. One of their musings leads them to sit in the lake using the farmer’s wife’s polka dot swim suit as a flotation device. Or consider Baa Baa Smart Sheep by Mark and Rowan Sommerset, which features a crafty sheep, tricking a turkey into eating poo or as Sheep calls it, “smarty tablets.” Continue reading “Talkin’ Turkey”