Here are five more noteworthy picture books as we get closer to the Caldecott Award announcement (Monday, Jan. 28th) which gives you time to check them out and see what your choice would be.
Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Julian and his abuela (grandmother) board the city bus, then several women costumed as mermaids board the bus as well. Julian loves mermaids, so once he and Grandmother are home, Julian transforms himself using a curtain and some of the potted fern stems. When Grandmother sees what he’s done, rather than chastise, she adds to Julian’s costume and takes him to the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Debut picture book creator Love’s watercolor, guache and ink illustrations are fluid, with translucent images that depict Julian’s imagined undersea world. A beautiful tale, beautifully realized.
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
Omu decides to make her favorite thick red stew for dinner. As the pot simmers a delicious smell permeates the apartment building and the neighborhood, bringing neighbors one at a time to enquire about it. Omu shares a bit of her stew with each neighbor until dinnertime arrives and she realizes that there’s no stew left. Then she hears yet another knock at the door. She opens it and sees all of the neighbors, each with a delicious dish to share with Omu. Debut author/illustrator Mora uses collages of painted paper scraps to depict the urban setting for the story. A subtly powerful story artfully told.
They Say Blue by Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki
What color is the sky, the sea, a blue whale? They say these things are blue, but are they really? A little girl explores the true variety of the colorful world around her as she examines things up close. Watercolor illustrations emphasize the character’s mood as she makes her discoveries.
Hello Lighthouse by Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall
The stark isolation of the lighthouse keeper, the incredible and ever-changing beauty of the surrounding sea, the life-and-death nature of the keeper’s job – all are amazingly portrayed. With so much illustrative information for readers to pour over, Sophie Blackall has created an homage to the lighthouse, the sea and a keeper’s family all in 48 pages.
Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale
This nonfiction picture book uses admirable illustrative book design and brief text to elucidate uncommon words such as archipelago and peninsula.