Every year it seems as though time goes faster and faster. The days, weeks and months in 2019 came and went like lightning. With the welcoming of 2020 a decade ends and a new one begins.
For some each new year is an opportunity to start over, to readjust goals and shift points of view. These 365 days are a gift. Since 2006 the project One Little Word, initiated by Ali Edwards, has been adopted by numerous people. Each year a word is chosen to be a guide, an objective or an inspiration. This year, as happened last year, I find myself with running out of time to talk about wonderful 2019 picture books written and illustrated by people committed to bringing their best to children's literature. A single word has been assigned to each title. Links to the author, illustrator and publisher websites are attached to each respectively. A passage from each book is provided. May this year, 2020, bring wonder, health and changes for the good into all your lives. (The books are listed in order by release date.)
Spencer's New Pet (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, August 27, 2019) written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
Guide To Sharing Wordless Picture Books With Young Readers
A boy is enraptured with his red pet balloon dog until the inevitable happens. In a word---surprising.
Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, September 3, 2019) written by Sonia Sotomayor with illustrations by Rafael Lopez
Kids are all different too. Some of us are in a hurry, and others take more time. Some of us seem shy and quiet, while others are chatty and loud. Some of our differences are easy to spot. Others take longer to notice. Each of us grows in our own way, so if you are curious about other kids, JUST ASK!
Five Minutes (That's a lot of time)(No, it's not)(Yes, it is) (G. P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, September 17, 2019) written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick with illustrations by Olivier Tallec
Are we there yet?
We'll be there in five minutes!
How am I supposed to wait five minutes?
Apple Cake (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group, September 24, 2019) written by Dawn Casey with illustrations by Genevieve Godbout
Thank you, hedge,
thank you, tree.
Thank you, flower,
thank you, bee.
The Balcony (A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, September 24, 2019) written and illustrated by Melissa Castrillon
Explorers (Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group LLC, September 24, 2019) written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Cover Reveal at A Fuse #8 Production
Elizabeth Dulemba interview about this book
Sulwe (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, October 1, 2019) written by Lupita Nyong'o with illustrations by Vashti Harrison
Mama asked, "What is your name?"
"Sulwe," she muttered.
"And what does it mean?"
"Star," Sulwe whispered.
"Brightness is not in your skin, my love. Brightness is just who you are. As for beauty," Mama said, rubbing Sulwe's stomach the way she always did to comfort her. "You are beautiful."
"Well, you are beautiful to me. But you can't rely on what you look like to make you feel beautiful, my sweet. Real beauty comes from your mind and your heart. It begins with how you see yourself, not how others see you. Now, up you get and out you go."
Chicken Break: A Counting Book (Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC, October 29, 2019) written by Cate Berry with illustrations by Charlotte Alder
Cynsations author interview
PictureBookBuilders author interview
With fowl-less wordplay and a rhyming narrative readers are taken on a riotous romp as a flock of chickens make an escape for the day and then, break back inside the coop. Readers can expect non-stop laughter from beginning to end. In a word---chaotic comedy. (Okay, that's two words but I can't stop laughing.)
One chicken, standing guard.
Two chickens scan the yard.
Sofia Valdez, Future President (Abrams Books for Young Readers, November 5, 2019) written by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts
Sofia Valdez's beloved Abuelo is injured one day at a local landfill and this further motivates this spirited young girl, who does as much as she can for others, to build a park in the place of the rubbish heap. Her can-do mindset soon has others championing for her cause. In a word---inspirational.
Up the squirrel ran to the top of the hill
made of leftover junk for the local landfill.
They reached the tip-top of that mountain of trash
which jiggled and broke with an earsplitting CRASH!
Down they tumbled and hit with a THUD
on a moldy old pumpkin surrounded by mud.
"Ouch!" cried Abuelo. He struggled to stand.
"A dangerous mess!" he said, grasping her hand.
Pluto Gets The Call (Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, November 12, 2019) written by Adam Rex with illustrations by Laurie Keller
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
The Children's Book Podcast
After receiving the shocking news, he's no longer a planet, Pluto takes readers on a tour of the solar system introducing them to planets and other space objects. Conversations will have readers laughing and learning. In a word---space-tacular.
Are you awake?
This is Neptune. He's closer to the Sun than me, but he's still so far away that it takes him 165 years to orbit all the way around! It only takes Earth one year! One year exactly! That's what a year is, actually.
AHHH, a BLACK HOLE!
Don't get sucked in!
The Cool Bean (Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, December 3, 2019) written by Jory John with illustrations by Pete Oswald
Here come the cool beans!
The cooooool beans.
Oh yeah . . .check out how they move.
Look at the way they swagger.
Notice their sunglasses. Yow!