Here are a nice summery bunch of picture books all published in the month of July. They have all gotten some buzz in review journals.
Catch that Chicken! by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim
Finding Francois by Gus Gordon
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison
If You Want a Friend in Washington: Wacky, Wild and Wonderful Presidential Pets by Erin McGill
We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
In the Woods by David Elliott, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey (9780763697839)
Enter the woods through this book of poetry for children. The picture book volume shares insight into the different animals living in the woods. First is the musky bear, emerging from his den in the early spring. The red fox also appears in the melting snow, hunting to feed her kits. A scarlet tanager flashes past announcing spring alongside the cowslips. Soon the grass greens, the opossum and her babies bumps along with skunks and their perfume too. Porcupine and fisher cat are also there, quiet and fierce. Hornets buzz in the air while millipedes munch on rotting leaves. Moose, beaver, turkey, raccoon, bobcat and more appear here, each with their own poem that eventually has winter returning with deer appearing ghostlike through the snow storm.
Elliott chains his poems together leading readers steadily through seasonal changes as each animal appears on the pages. The focus is not the seasons though but the animals themselves. Some get longer poems while others get a couple of lines that capture them beautifully. There is a sense that Elliott is getting to the essence of many of the creatures he is writing about here. Each poem is focused and very accessible for children.
Dunlavey’s illustrations in watercolor and mixed media are rendered digitally. Their organic feel works well with the subject matter. Each creature is shown in their habitat and turning the pages feels like rounding a new corner on a walk in the woods.
A poetic journey through the forest that is worth taking. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Candlewick.