Picture Book Blog 2: Acceptance and Understanding
This year, I’ve decided to start at A and work my way through the picture book section of our local library, I’ll choose around 5 books (maybe a few more if the shelf is particularly interesting!) from each shelf, each week and then write a blog with my thoughts on each book.
My Choices This Week
Itsy Mitsy Runs Away by Elanna Allen
This book is just beautiful. It has a sassy little main character who, like every child who ever existed as far as I know, doesn’t want to go to bed. As the story goes on, the father does a little bit of that reverse psychology, you know what I mean parents, and it gets more and more absurd (as bedtime often does). I just loved this book, my kids loved it, it was funny and fun to read and the illustrations are just beautiful, the color palette is soothing and bold at the same time too.
4.5/5. Beautiful and funny bedtime story.
Dirty Gert by Tedd Arnold
This one is so cute and quirky! Gert is a little girl who loves dirt, she’s adored by the worms and tut tutted at by the neighbors for being dirty all the time. Her parents don’t seem to mind. In a strange turn of events Gert ends up rooted to the very dirt she’s feasting on, and sprouting leaves! Things get totally out of hand after that but it all ends well when her parents figure out how to care for Gert and her unusual needs. A sweet, quirky, subtle tale of acceptance.
4/5. Quirky and Adorable! Loved it!
I See The Moon by Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by Debra Reid Jenkins
I’ve heard of this book before but had never actually picked it up. It’s for kids smaller than mine, but that doesn’t matter because I get these books for my own enjoyment (the kids and husband enjoy listening to me read them though). It’s a little story, more of a poem really, about being uncertain, coming through a storm and ending up safe on a beach. It’s a metaphor for trust in God and ends up bringing it all together by affirming God’s protection and love. Obviously a Christian book, but worded in such a way that any family of faith can read it and relate it to their own faith. Very sweet.
3.5/5. Sweet book for little kids.
The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes To School by Laurie Halse Anderson and Ard Hoyt
I chose this book because I used to call my daughter Miss Hair when she was smaller, she was like hair on legs, so adorable! Zoe Fleefenbacher is pretty much a caricature of that, so I just had to get it. Her hair sort of has a mind of its own, the story shows how her parents managed it when she was a baby and how her Kindergarten teacher made the best of it. Then we follow Zoe to first grade, where the teacher isn’t quite so tolerant and accommodating. All sorts of chaos happens until finally, the teacher and Zoe and Zoe’s hair learn to work together. A great message about working together and making room for even those kids who maybe can’t quite follow all the rules all the time.
3.5/5. Odd, cute book, we liked it.
If you have ever known a dog, or let’s be honest, a toddler, then you’ll be able to relate to this book. It’s a story going off that old joke about pets (and toddlers) thinking their name is No! because they hear it so often (kind of like how my kids thought our cleaning spray was called “Oh For God’s Sake!”). Told from the perspective of a dog, we hear about all the ways he helps his humans and shows them he cares about them (like looking for treasures in the garden and feeding himself when he’s hungry). We were all laughing a lot while reading this and although it’s a short book, we’ve read it several times. I’m not going to give the end away because it’s the funniest part! But find it under ALT in your library’s picture book section, or if you have a family dog, grab it from your local bookstore or Amazon, because it is really, very funny.
5/5. Hilarious! Loved!
Bonus Book (Not From the Shelf)
The Storm Whale by Benji Davies
I heard about this book recently in a YouTube talk, so I was really excited to see it on the New Books shelf at the library and had to grab it. A beautifully illustrated, and subtly worded story about a lonely little boy and his single father. I love the subtlety in the book, we aren’t really told the boy is lonely, we aren’t really told that the father takes time out after he realizes this and they spend more time together, you have to read the story and look at the pictures and almost feel that part of the story. You can almost feel the back story. It has such depth, I loved that about it. It has an environmental aspect, it has a “it takes a village” element to it, it has a single parenting element. Really, just a sweet, somewhat sad, tale of a boy and his father and the importance of being there for one another.
4/5. Beautiful, subtle, heartwarming. Liked it a lot!
She is author of How Big Is Allah? and How Does Allah Look? and founder of Creative Muslim Women.
Emma converted to Islam as a teenager and currently lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, son and Ash the parrot. She only reads books that have lots of pictures, loves to look at planets through her telescope and is a big fan of yellow and Star Trek.
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