November is Picture Book Month!

By Monica C. RSS Tue, November 16, 2021

Back in 2012, a group of authors and illustrators came together to promote picture books and... Picture Book Month was born!

During this time in November, we celebrate this magical format of text and pictures coming perfectly together to tell a story. It’s a deceptively simple format that requires just the right amount of words and the best suited illustrations to really work.

Picture books are meant to be read together, as a shared experience between reader and child. But in truth, picture books are for everyone, at every age. One can always marvel when reading a new or old picture book: the art, the language, the emotions that range from silly to deeply heartfelt, from joy to heartbreak.

This November let me share with you some of the books published so far this year that have have made me laugh, think, wonder, and taught me something new.

 

Be a Tree! written by Maria Gianferrari; illustrated by Felicita Sala

ebook available from Overdrive

Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They "talk" to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together.

Watercress written by Andrea Wang; illustrated by Jason Chin

ebook available from Overdrive

Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl’s parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail-covered watercress as they can. At first, she’s embarrassed. Why can’t her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family’s time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress.

I Sang You Down from the Stars written by Tasha Spillett-Sumner; illustrated by Michaela Goade

As she waits for the arrival of her new baby, a mother-to-be gathers gifts to create a sacred bundle. A white feather, cedar and sage, a stone from the river. Each addition to the bundle will offer the new baby strength and connection to tradition, family, and community. As they grow together, mother and baby will each have gifts to offer each other.

Dream Street written by Tricia Elam Walker; illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Welcome to Dream Street—the best street in the world! Love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines. Meet kids like Azaria, who loves to jump Double-Dutch one leg at a time; Zion, whose dream is to become a librarian; and cousins Ede and Tari, who dream of creating a picture book together one day. Meet grown-ups like Mr. Sidney, a retired mail carrier who greets everyone with the words, "Don’t wait to have a great day. Create one!" and Ms. Sarah, whose voice is only a whisper but who has stories between the lines of her face that she’ll share when you come close.

Laxmi’s Mooch written by Shelly Anand; illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

ebook available from Overdrive

Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over—on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows. With her parents’ help, Laxmi learns that hair isn’t just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender.

Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

ebook available from Overdrive

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

ebook available from Overdrive

A tale about self-confidence and taking a leap of faith, starring an adorable, brave kingfisher. Sometimes, you might fall down, down,  down, before you learn to fly up, up,up. A charming and innovative tale about a plucky little bird.

Milo Imagines the World written by Matt de la Peña; illustrated by Christian Robinson

ebook available from Overdrive

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo—walking the same path, going to the exact same place—Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners written by Joanna Ho; illustrated by Dung Ho

ebook available from Overdive

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her friends’s big, round eyes and long lashes. She begins to wish for eyes that are like theirs until she realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, Amah’s, and Mei Mei’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Throughout the course of the story, she learns that her eyes are beautiful.

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

ebook available from Overdrive

From the way a body jiggles to the scars a body bears, this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its cheerful illustrations and exuberant refrain, this book will instill body positivity and confidence in the youngest of readers.

Bubbles…Up! written by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

An everyday visit to the community pool is transformed into an unforgettable celebration of all the things one can do in the water: from dunking and diving with friends to somersaulting, walking on your hands, and bursting up through the surface like a tortoise. But when a thunderstorm comes and a little brother ventures too close to the pool’s edge, will our main character be quick enough and brave enough to save the day?

Everybody in the Red Brick Building written by Anne Wynter; illustrated by Oge Mora

A chain reaction of noises wakes several children (and a cat) living in an apartment building. But it’s late into the night, so despite the disturbances, one by one, the building’s inhabitants return to their beds—this time, with a new set of sounds to lull them to sleep.

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added.

What are some of your favorite picture books from 2021? Let us know in the comments!


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