#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 16—Super-Short Edition!
Hello everyone! I haven't had much time to read or blog the last few days, so I'll keep it short. Today I'm posting an accelerated set of reviews for four picture books, most that have been waiting on my shelves for a while!
What book is it? A Blue Kind of Day, written by Rachel Tomlinson and illustrated by Tori-Jay Mordey
Who recommended it? Cheriee Weichel at Library Matters, Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsberg at Unleashing Readers, and others!
What does the publisher say? "Coen is having a sniffling, sighing, sobbing kind of day.
His family thinks they know how to cheer him up. His dad wants to go outside and play, Mom tells her funniest joke, and his little sister shares her favorite teddy. Nothing helps. But one by one, they get quiet and begin to listen. After some time, space, and reassurance, Coen is able to show them what he needs.
With poignant text and stunning illustrations, A Blue Kind of Day explores how depression might feel in the body and shows us how to support the people we love with patience, care, and empathy."
What stood out to me? Written by psychologist Rachel Tomlinson, this book is a beautiful, thoughtful look at childhood depression that is clear without ever becoming pedantic. We see the gravity of Coen's sadness, his inability to describe it (something I never thought about happening in young kids with depression), and his family's progress from trying to fix his problems to simply being there for him (a message that pairs nicely with the picture book The Rabbit Listened). Tori-Jay Mordey's expressive artwork infuses the story with heart and diversity (and an adorable blue teddy bear whose expressions subtly change to reflect the story).
What book is it? War, written by Jose Jorge Letria and illustrated by André Letria
Who recommended it? Myra Garces-Bacsal at Gathering Books!
What does the publisher say? "A recipient of the prestigious Nami Concours prize, this remarkable book of striking, often surreal illustrations and sparse prose reveals the many sides of war: where it comes from, how it creeps up on us, and how it destroys everything in its wake.
This evocative and bold work is an excellent resource for educators in facilitating difficult yet necessary discussions about wars that continue to be fought around the world.
As Deborah Ellis, author of the Breadwinner series, says: “If children are tough enough to be bombed and starved, they’re tough enough to read about it."
What stood out to me? This compact, poignant picture book tackles the unenviable challenge of explaining war to children—and it does it with aplomb. In short, perfectly crafted sentences and dull, beautiful, sometimes-abstract illustrations, this book reminds us how war is spurred not by reason but by our deepest, darkest emotions, and how the few always benefit while the many are destroyed in endless, varied ways. This story is not one to miss.
What stood out to me? This wordless tale of protecting one's home after a wildfire is shown from the perspective of a marmot and a bird, whose journey replanting trees is full of determination and small but meaningful details. The illustrations are stunning—against mostly white backgrounds, the textured monochrome of the forests and characters, and the small bursts of color as new plants grow, both stand out. And the ending is a bold choice—I think it will prompt readers to consider the scale both of the marmot's commitment and the problem itself. This is a surprising, beautiful story.
That's all I've got for today—I hope you found a new book to take a look at!
My favorite book of the week: Once Upon a Forest