Every Color of Light by Hiroshi Osada, illustrated by Ryoji Arai, translated by David Boyd (9781592702916)
This picture book explores how weather impacts the sky and its light. Starting with just a pitter patter of rain, the rain steadily grows heavier and louder. Soon the lightning cracks across the sky and thunder booms. Colors swirl in the storm as the wind rises. Just as suddenly, the rain stops and light returns to the sky. Raindrops form crystals in the sunlight. Evening comes, spreading colors across the sky. The white moon rises in the darkening sky. Stars sparkle above, the moon reflected in a pool as everyone falls asleep.
The text in this Japanese import is marvelously poetic. It speaks to the impact of a storm on the sky and on the light you see. The drama of the storm is captured in both the text and the illustrations, just as the returning calm is. Both are celebrated in the book, something quite unusual as the quiet is allowed to be truly focused on.
The illustrations are what sets this picture book apart. Illustrated with glorious paintings that show nature and the changing light, the book shimmers and shines. The changing light sweeps on the pages bringing sun shafts, pink lightning strikes, dark night, and a bright moon.
Unusual and intensely beautiful, this picture book beckons you outside to linger for awhile. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Enchanted Lion Books.
I Hate Reading by Beth Bacon (9780062962522)
Exactly the right book to pick up when a child has to read for 20 minutes but doesn’t want to. Filled with humor and plenty of empathy for their plight, this book will have the pages turning quickly. Done with very little text on each page and large graphic elements, the book first looks at the rules of reading: Eyes on book. Butt on chair. Easy words are then offered in a list, and then a handful of hard words too, though you are encouraged to just skip words like “plutonium” and “photosynthesis.” Ways to escape your reading exile are also suggested like going to the bathroom or getting a bloody nose. A few blank pages make them turn even faster. Still, in the end, the book actually will get reluctant readers to not only open it up but to read!
The tone of this book is exactly right. There is a wonderful sneakiness to it, inviting children to scheme along with the narrating voice about how to stop reading. And yet, in order to play that naughty game, they have to read. The humor is broad and inviting, while still offering real tips for readers that actually work.
The book design plays a huge role here too. With minimal text on the pages done in large fonts, the rest of the page is designed to be bright and lively with large graphical elements like zippers, flashlight beams, movie film, and the play of black pages and white.
Funny and effective, get this into the hands of reluctant readers. Appropriate for ages 6-8.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by HarperCollins.