Celebrating Literacy: Three New Picture Books

When we read Some Writer–the subject of an upcoming blog–we found ourselves re-energized about books about reading and writing.  We’ve focused on this wonderful little genre of picture books before (Picture Books for WritersBooks:  Eat or Be Eaten and decided it was time for a re-visit blog.  So, with great pleasure, we present to you three recently published picture books that are mini-odes to the joys of literacy.

let-me-finishLet Me Finish by Minh Le, illustrated by Isabelle Roxas

Don’t you just hate it when noisy animals keep interrupting your reading–and ruining the story because they can’t resist telling you what’s going to happen before you get to read it yourself?  Even though our young hero goes to great lengths to protect himself from these pesky animals, they follow him everywhere–his home, the forest, the jungle, the mountains, the sea.  Humorous and engaging, you and your young audiences will get a kick out of this one.  And be on the lookout for a surprise ending!

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child-of-booksA Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Our charming narrator has no name–she simply calls herself a “child of books” in this unique book on the power of story-telling. The pictures are a central focus of the book, with hand-lettered words, pictures in collage, pencil, and watercolor (by two gifted illustrators!), and objects built from words borrowed from classic stories.  The narration itself is lyrical, told in verse, and an ode to the land of make-believe.  The young girl in the tale meets a boy who seems lonely, his father only reading the newspaper and ignoring the sea of words from fiction swirling around them. She leads the boy off on an adventure of stories. Down rabbit holes, up mountains, through dark tunnels, into fairy tale woods, past monsters in castles, into the clouds for bedtime stories, and much more. They return home, to a bright colored house on a gray street, and the boy leaves with a book under his arm trailing words behind him.  A magical and whimsical book for children, adolescents, and adults, too.

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storybook-knightThe Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty, illustrated by Thomas Docherty

When you are a knight sent off to fight a dragon, what do you need to take with you?  For young Leo (a “gentle knight”), that would be a sword, a shield, and a pile of his favorite books.  Leo is a knight fond of adventures, but he prefers the kind you read in books. When he meets foes looking for fights, he tells them stories to calm them.  It turns out that even a dangerous dragon loves a good tale.  Rhyming text and intriguing illustrations combine to make this a delightful book to read–and share.

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