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Moose's Book Bus


Author & Illustrator: Inga Moore

Genre: Fiction Picture Book

Target Ages: 3-7

Prime Audiences: All Readers Who Love Libraries

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Year: 2021


When Moose runs out of stories to tell his family, he attempts to borrow books from his neighbors— but nobody has any books!  So Moose goes to the city and borrows books from the library, and soon his family's home is overfilled with neighbors who enjoy listening to him read stories.  Moose's solution?  Transform an old bus into a book bus and drive the countryside providing books for his neighbors!


Inga Moore's Moose's Book Bus is a quaint story about the love of stories, and anyone who has experienced the joy of getting books from a bookmobile/book bus will enjoy reading about Moose and his neighbors.  It's a story that promotes storytelling, literacy, and neighborly goodwill, and Moore's illustrations deftly capture the tone and mood of her tale about tale-telling.  After the final page, readers will be on the lookout for a book bus in their neighborhood!



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All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom


Author: Angela Johnson

Illustrator: E.B. Lewis

Genre/Format: Historical Fiction Picture Book

Target Ages: 5-9

Prime Audiences: African American Descendants of Slaves and Former Slaves and All Americans Who Value Freedom

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Year: 2014


On the morning of June 19, 1865, a slave girl wakes to the smell of honeysuckle, sweet but not enough against the bitter reality of slavery.  And on the morning of June 20, the honeysuckle will once again come to wake her and her family, but all will be different because of the proclamation that has finally reached the slaves of Texas— You are free.


"To be given freedom for the first time in your life-- wouldn't that be truly awesome, but also somehow surreal and dreamlike?"  These words of E.B. Lewis from his Illustrator's Note of the picture book All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, capture the tone of Angela Johnson's story of a group of slaves in Texas experiencing their first day of freedom on June 19, 1865, now known and celebrated as Juneteenth.  Lewis's watercolor scenes of a first day of freedom match the thoughtful and straightforward words of Johnson through her fictional narrator, nameless yet symbolic of all those real souls who suffered enslaved, whose sufferings are not forgotten though their names may be unknown to us today.  Lewis also writes "I illustrated not just jubilation and celebrations, but expressions of repose, disconnect, surprise, and contemplation."  And this is a book of all those things, a book that speaks quietly, yet clearly to all who enjoy freedom today, a book that speaks in solemn remembrance of those whose precious dream of freedom finally became a reality.  



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Big Papa and the Time Machine


Author: Daniel Bernstrom

Illustrator: Shane W. Evans

Genre: Picture Book

Target Ages: 4-8

Prime Audience: Children Who Don't Like School; Children Who Struggle with Fear; Children Who Are Close to Their Grandparents

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Year: 2020


When Big Papa shows up with his time machine because his grandson doesn't want to go to school, he takes him on a ride through his personal history.  And during each stop on their ride through time, Big Papa's grandson sees Big Papa overcome a fear.  "That's called being brave," Big Papa says before they move on.  And by the time they return to the present day in front of the school, Big Papa's grandson understands many more things about life and, most importantly, Big Papa's love for him.


Big Papa and the Time Machine is a heartful story of a grandfather and his grandson, one that echoes Daniel Bernstrom's relationship with his own grandfather as he depicts in his author's note at the end of the book.  Shane W. Evans's bright, bold colors bring the present and the past to life, and the reader rides along with the grandson in experiencing the important moments in Big Papa's life.  This book will prompt the grandchild to ask and it will prompt the grandparent to share as it reminds us that our memories— our histories— matter to the ones we love.



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Summer Color!


Author: Diana Murray

Illustrator: Zoe Persico

Genre: Picture Book

Target Ages: 4-8

Prime Audiences: Children Learning Colors; Families Who Love the Outdoors

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publication Year: 2018


What can happen on a hot summer day?  You can sit on the porch eating popsicles with your cousins, you can explore nature beyond the yard, you can watch neighbors fish from the dock…and you can run back inside and wait for the storm to pass!


Summer Color, a rhyming picture book by Diana Murray and Zoe Persico, is a colorful look at what happens on a hot, summer day.  Murray's verse emphasizes the colors that Persico puts in her illustrations, making a fun pairing of word and picture throughout.  And Murray's verbs she uses to describe the actions contribute to a book that's sure to grow the vocabulary and wonder of its young readers and hearers!



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