Yours in Books by Julie Falatko

Cover image for Yours in Books.

Yours in Books by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo (9781951836207)

Owl is looking for peace and quiet to be able to read his books. So he reaches out to a local bookshop to get titles that might help. After getting the store’s catalog, he asks for titles like “How to Soundproof Your Forest Dwelling” and “The Can-Do Guide to Moving to a Remote Tropical Island.” However, the store doesn’t have those titles, instead sending other books, ones that are helping as the youngsters of the forest begin to listen to Owl read stories aloud, bake treats together, and make crafts. Happily, the books selected by the cheery squirrel are just what Owl actually needs.

Told entirely in the letters being exchanged, the emerging relationship between Owl and Squirrel is a joy. At first businesslike, the accurate assessment by Squirrel of the book that Owl truly needs leads to exchanges of jokes and invitations to tea parties and visiting the bookshop. The entire book is about accepting a changing neighborhood complete with young and eager visitors who may also be exactly what Owl needs in his life.

The simple illustrations evoke the warm and lovely life in the woods. From the book-filled shop to the often spattered Owl looking surprised that some things are actually working out well. Readers will want to join in on their tea party and also head out to visit the bookshop and have Squirrel pick a tome just for them.

Full of friendship, letters, books and baking. What a treat! Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Bright Brown Baby by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Cover image for Bright Brown Baby.

Bright Brown Baby by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (9780545872294)

Spending happy time together with a baby is made simple with this new offering from the prolific and marvelous Pinkneys. Starting each chapter with a quotation from a major Black figure sets the tone for this treasury, ensuring that each story celebrates being a Black baby. Some of the stories focus on counting, others play peek-a-boo, and they all speak to self esteem and love.

The text is simple enough for the youngest of children, each page looking more like a board book. That makes sense when you know that each of the chapters in the treasury are going to be released in board book format as well with one of them out already. Still, there is a beauty in seeing them all together in one book, because the movement from one chapter to the next works well and keeps the lap time going.

The illustrations are bright and full of warmth. They are filled with families and little ones of different genders and sizes all hugging, playing and spending time with one another.

Lots of love for brown and Black babies and families. Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Orchard Books.