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Celebrate You by Sherri Duskey Rinker; illustrations by A.N. Kang, 2019
(Ages 3 and up)
Sometime You Fly by Katherine Applegate; illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, 2018
(Ages 4 and up)
I can’t help but get choked up by inspirational books and Sometimes You Fly by Newberry Medalist Katherine Applegate definitely had me holding back tears.
The beautiful ink and water color illustrations cleverly capture “before” and “after” milestone moments of a group of diverse children. For example, one child is seen with a cloud of jumbled words over her head with the caption, “before the know”. The next wordless page shows her staying up late to read after bedtime. The illustrations expertly portray the children’s initial frustration while struggling with a task then jubilation after each achievement big and small.
The expressive illustrations are perfectly paired with the simple lyrical language that reinforces the importance of persistence. “Each recipe we undertake can rise or fall, can burn or bake. But when we break we learn to mend. When breezes blow we learn to bend. Remember then, with every try, sometimes you fail, sometimes you fly.”
With the message of perseverance and learning from one’s mistakes, this eloquent book is perfect for graduation or to inspire any child (or adult!).
Goodbye Brings Hello by Dianne White; illustrated by Daniel Wiseman, 2018
(Ages 4 – 6)
This is my son’s last week of preschool and we are both filled with excitement and nerves as he says goodbye to his preschool days and hello to the big world of kindergarten and elementary school.
With all these mixed emotions I was thrilled to receive Goodby Brings Hello from HMH Books for Young Readers. Rhyming text and bright illustrations present a group of diverse children moving on to a new phase in their life. The milestones range in significance from graduating to shoes that tie to learning to read and write. The children’s smiling faces exude pride at each important transition letting the reader know that while change may be scary, it also brings newfound happiness.
Prompted by the discussion questions and activities provided on the author’s website, diannewrites.com, my son and I had our own touching conversation about the milestones he has experienced so far and what it will be like to enter kindergarten next year.
While this book is particularly perfect for children transitioning to kindergarten or starting a new school, its wonderful message that the best is yet to come makes this a book that belongs in every home and classroom library.
Note: A copy of this book was provided to LibraryMom in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.