Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Amy S.

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds

Poetree Book CoverPoetree, written by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani is a picture book about a little girl who, at the end of winter, writes a poem about spring and leaves it tied to a birch tree. Much to the girl’s surprise, the tree writes back! The watercolor illustrations and the sweet text create a lovely celebration of both nature and poetry.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Paul Writes a Letter by Chris Raschka

Paul Writes A Letter book coverIn Paul Writes a Letter, Raschka gives us a lovely introduction to St. Paul and his epistles. Paul was a faithful and educated man who in the middle of his life began to believe in the story and teaching of Jesus. He traveled all throughout the Roman Empire to speak of his new way of thinking. While he traveled, he wrote letters to the people he had seen or would see soon.  Paul writes letters about hope and faith and about caring for others.  Each of the fourteen epistles attributed to Paul are featured with its own colorful, double page spread.  Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka’s new picture book is full of humanity and kindness.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Vincent Comes Home by Jessixa Bagley and Aaron Bagley

Cover image for Vincent comes homeVincent is a cat who lives on a cargo ship and his paws have never touched land.  He has a happy life aboard ship and travels all over the world. Vincent  overhears a ship’s crewman speaking of Home,  and decides to follow the man Home and see just why Home is so wonderful.  This beautifully illustrated book explores the meaning of Home with such sweetness and charm you will want to read it again and again.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Cover image for Town is by the seaTown is by the Sea is an absolutely beautiful picture book.  This beautiful story takes us through a summer day in the life of a young boy in Nova Scotia. As the boy goes about his day in a Canadian mining town,  we see the sharp contrast of his sun filled days and his father’s dark says underground as a coal miner.  The illustrations are stunning and although this sweet story takes place at a different time, the universal feelings of family and love are timeless.  This is a quiet picture book ideal for sharing one on one.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

Are you an echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri, narrative by David Jacobson

Cover image for Are you an echo? : the lost poetry of Misuzu KanekoIn early 1900’s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko became a beloved children’s poet. Her life ended prematurely, her poetry was soon forgotten. After the Japanese tsunami in 2011, her poetry was rediscovered, and this beautiful book tells Misuzu Kaneko’s life story, which ends tragically and which the book describes sensitively.  The book includes many of her poems in both English and the original Japanese. The illustrations are stunning and depict both the poet’s life and her beautiful poems. The poems show Misuzu’s unique way of looking at the world, and this lovely picture book is an introduction to this little known Japanese poet. Because of the sensitive nature of the poet’s death, this book is best enjoyed by older readers (grade 5 and up).

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant