“Ocean Meets Sky” by the Fan Brothers (illus.) — Terry & Eric Fan

I had no idea what this story was about before reading it. I bought it solely because of the cover, which is amazing. I love the illustrations.

Genre:

Fantasy

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float.

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“Rocket Says Look Up!” by Nathan Bryon, illus. by Dapo Adeola

I bought this shortly after doing my post on picture books by Black authors. Actually, I bought a couple books after that post — I couldn’t help it. But I’m glad I got this one. It was a good read.

Genre:

Children’s Contemporary

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Meet Rocket — a plucky aspiring astronaut intent on getting her community to LOOK UP! from what they’re doing and reach for the stars in this auspicious debut picture book.

A comet will be visible tonight, and Rocket wants everyone to see it with her — even her big brother, Jamal, whose attention is usually trained on his phone or video games. Rocket’s enthusiasm brings neighbors and family together to witness a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and young science lovers excited about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Look Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big as it models Rocket’s passion for science and infectious curiosity. (Goodreads)

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“Julia’s House Moves On” by Ben Hatke (illus.)

I’ve been curious about Ben Hatke’s work for some time now and have wanted to read his Nobody Likes a Goblin, but I keep forgetting to get myself a copy. So, when I saw the cover of Julia’s House Moves On on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it and was glad that I was granted access to it. So shout out to the publisher — First Second. (Thanks!)

(So yea, I got an ARC from the publisher, but my review below is my honest opinion of the book.)

Genre:

Children’s Fantasy

Series:

n/a (but there’s a book before this one with the same protagonist called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures)

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Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot”

I read these three picture books for the OWLs readathon back in April. It had been a while since I’d read a picture book and since I had one out from the library and many unread on my bookshelves, I decided to give in and read some of my favorite types of books.

These three are very different from each other. Spot & Dot is a wordless picture book and the second in a series, while The Book With No Pictures has nothing but words. However, Hello Lighthouse is like your typical picture book that uses both pictures and words to tell the story.


The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Genre:

Children Humor

Pubbed:

2014

Goodreads summary:

At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share — and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Of the three, The Book with No Pictures is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh! It’s charming, it’s simple, it’s funny. It was a delight to read and is even more fun when read aloud. I didn’t have anyone to read aloud to, so I read aloud to myself. 😥

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“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (illus.)

A beautifully illustrated children’s book about friendship.

Genre:

Children’s…. Self-Help?

Pubbed:

October 2019

Goodreads summary:

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come. (Goodreads)

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“The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World” by Clive Gifford, illus. Marc-Étienne Peintre

The Colors of History is one of the best picture books I read in 2019. It is also the least popular book I read that year, so I hope this review will get more people interested in it to share with kids.

As the title says, this is a nonfiction book all about colors and their impact and use throughout history.

Genre:

Children’s Nonfiction — Art; History

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which color is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future?

Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colors, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colors in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each color group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colorful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthrall budding artists and historians alike. (Goodreads)

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“The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair

This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read this year. I learned much from it, and I’m glad I own a copy. Not only is it a great read that presents facts about a common topic in an engaging way, but I also love the design and format of the book.

The edition I own is a white, naked hardback with spots of color on it. From a distance, one gets the impression that it has a dust jacket that hides a rainbow cover beneath. The cover is appealing and matches well the title — The Secret Lives of Color.

Indeed, it is as if we are being told scandalous tales about colors, in some cases. I was unaware of most of the information I learned from this book, which covers 75 colors, shades, and hues and shares fascinating stories and facts about each. The book is divided into broad color families. A section is dedicated to each — white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, green, brown, black — with chapters within each section that discuss variations of the particular color. For example, the first color discussed is white. First, we get an overview of the color as an introduction to the section, and then we begin a chapter on a variation/type of the color. The first is lead white, the second chapter is on ivory, and the third is about silver. The amount of chapter in each section varies, but the chapters are no more than three or four pages, and each page contains a simple border in the color being discussed.

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