That Fruit is Mine! by Anuska Allepuz, 2018
(Ages 3 – 8)
When an exotic fruit appears high in the branches of a tree, a group of animals become determined to obtain the delicious new food. With shouts of, “Mine!”, five elephants selfishly (and a bit comically) attempt to reach the fruit on their own. Five tiny mice, on the other hand, work as a team, successfully being the first to reach the desired prize. Observing this feat, the elephants change their tone and with cries of, “Ours”, they too learn to work together to achieve their goal.
Sweet and amusing, this book became an instant favorite in our house.
Doll-E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey, 2018
(Ages 4 – 8)
Charlotte is one techy kid. In fact, her parents think she spends a little too much time tinkering with technology. In an effort to help her become more grounded, they give her a baby doll. Charlotte is confused by the “human-shaped pillow”. She doesn’t understand its function until she discovers it can speak. Then she sets upon revising the doll’s database.
Observant readers will notice Charlotte’s faithful dog, slowly becoming jealous as Charlotte turns her attention to the doll. Before her newest update can be completed, the dog steals the doll and rips it to shreds. Charlotte gathers up her doll and with a few spare parts she sets to fixing her with some improvements. In the end, both Charlotte and the doll are changed for the better and the final scene showcases everyone playing together.
I am LOVING the fact that there are so many wonderful new picture books featuring female scientists lately! This amusing book is sure to leave budding scientists redesigning their own toys!
Natsumi! by Susan Lendroth ; illustrated by Priscilla Burris, 2018
(Ages 4 – 8)
Natsumi might be a little girl, but she has a big personality. With cries of “Not so fast, not so hard, not so loud!” her family does not always appreciate Natsumi’s active disposition. Her grandfather is the only one who embraces her exuberance and finds a way to nurture it in a way that makes the whole family happy.
This sweet story of individuality and acceptance also gives children a wonderful peek into Japanese culture highlighting a traditional tea ceremony, dance, food, and music.
The Night Gardener, The Fan Brothers, 2016
(Ages 4 – 8)
Inspired by the incredible topiaries we saw at Disney World in May, I reintroduced one of our favorite books of 2016, The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers. Even though he has read it many times before, my son’s face lit up when he saw the book and asked to read it right away.
Grimloch Lane appears to be a bleak and sad place until a stranger inspires magic and hope through the creation of beautiful topiaries resembling animals. Each night a new one is constructed leaving the townspeople in awe. A young boy soon discovers the mysterious night gardener and spends an enchanting evening aiding him in his creations. Filled with rich details, the illustrations in this book are simply stunning and the poignant plot is mesmerizing.
Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff; illustrated by Iacopo Bruno, 2016
(Ages 5 – 10)
This is the amazing story of Adelaide Herrmann, one of the first female magicians. She was brave, competent and as the title suggests, anything but ordinary. Starting out as a prima ballerina, Addie longed for more adventure. While traveling, she met Herrmann the Great, a talented magician, whom she instantly fell in love with and married. When he died suddenly, she took over the show and became one of the first female magicians continuing to wow crowds for the next thirty years.
My five-year-old son was compelled by this intriguing true story. The bold illustrations brought Addie’s magical world alive and the text was the perfect length for a read aloud or to share one-on-one. I personally loved reading the author’s note in the back giving more insight into Addie’s extraordinary life!
There can’t be enough books about strong females and children are going to love this incredible story!