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*Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

*Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley. Roaring Brook Press, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Buckley, a young beaver, lives with his mother by the sea. While he loves everything about the sea, his favorite thing to do is to make boats: “big boats, small boats, long boats, […]

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*Water is Water by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

*Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 0-10 Most books about the water cycle show the classic diagram of ocean/lake, clouds, and land, using technical terms such as evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. In […]

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*The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts

*The Golden Plate written and illustrated by Bernadette Watts. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When Isobel sees a golden plate in her friend Elisabeth’s beautiful doll house, she slips it in her pocket hoping to improve her own pitiful doll house at home. But the stolen […]

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*Gingerbread for Liberty! by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

*Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH Books, 2015. 32 pages Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 While there’s more to it than simple cooking finesse, one German baker put his baking talents to heroic use during […]

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*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2009. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Stunning illustrations, a vast African savannah setting, and perfect pacing make this picture book a true delight. As is typical of Pinkney’s art, the story begins on the front endpapers with a sweeping panorama inspired by […]

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*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Vibrant, colorful water colors breathe new life into this familiar fable of the lazy grasshopper and industrious ants. Beginning with the front endpapers, illustrations tell of a lonely, proud, and lazy grasshopper […]

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The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2013. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Slow and Steady Wins the Race! Nearly wordless, this lively depiction of one of Aesop’s most famous fables starts right away on the front endpapers as the hare bounds over hills and the […]

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*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith. Groundwood Books, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 A little girl in a red jacket accompanies her father through the dull city streets, stopping to gather flowering “weeds” that spring through cracks in the sidewalk. In the midst of busy […]

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Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard

*This post is revisited from the archives in honor of Elisabeth Elliot’s passing into glory. Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, by Valerie Shepard, illustrated by Jim Howard. Vision Forum, 2012. 57 pages. Reading a book about growing up among the wild animals of the Amazon jungle put my recent concerns about a few […]

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*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson. Blazer + Bray, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Recommended For: Ages 0-8 If you plant a tomato seed, a carrot seed, and a cabbage seed, in time, with love and care, tomato, carrot, and cabbage plants will grow. What if you plant seeds of selfishness or kindness? A […]

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*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Stephen Meschenmoser. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 0-4, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 0-4, Ages 4-8 When Mr. Squirrel awakes one morning to find something round and bright yellow in his tree, his distraught imagination runs away with him. Someone must have stolen the moon […]

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