Malaika’s Winter Carnival

malaika's winter carnival 3

Malaika’s Winter Carnival by author Nadia L. Hohn and illustrator Irene Luxbacher

Age Range: 3 – 7 years

Publisher: Groundwood Books

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

In this picture book, a young girl named Malaika shows resilience when her mother marries, not only giving her a stepfather and stepsister to live with but also thrusting her into a new country with a culture much different from the one she has lived in. My Book Eyes loves details from the text and illustrations that beautifully depict cultural differences. A very relatable story. In some ways all of us have experienced the sentiment of loss for people, places or things due to circumstances beyond our control and have learned to adapt.

Step Right Up


Step Right Up 2


Step Right Up by author Donna Janell Bowman and illustrator Daniel Minter

Age Range: 7 – 12 years

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Publication Date: October 15, 2016

This picture book is a biography about a man named William Key who was born a slave in Tennessee. Because of his gentle manner when working with and healing horses, he became known as Doc. He desired to race horses. Unfortunately, his colt, Jim, was not a race horse but a smart horse. Jim learned to spell, write and count among many other things and traveled around the country with Doc entertaining a variety of people. My Book Eyes marveled at Doc’s numerous successes despite living in a skeptical and adverse society. The afterword adds a detailed account of Doc’s life, including assisting slaves’ escapes along the Underground Railroad. The photographs add to the readers knowledge about what life was like in William Keys’ days. The illustrator’s illustrations add emotion and help tell the story.


Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland 2

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by authors Richard B. Smith and Felix Bernard and illustrator Tim Hopgood


Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: September 13, 2016

This picture book’s text is the words to the song Walking in a Winter Wonderland. No matter how many times My Book Eyes heard various artists sing this song or listened to the tune as a jingle for a commercial, when it was time for a singalong the words “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” were belted out while the remaining lyrics were reduced to a hum. In this version of the song, some words have changed to make the book more appealing to a children’s audience. This book features the words in big bold text with illustrations that show a family enjoying the snow.


Hibernation Station

Hibernation Station 2

Hibernation Station by author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Kurt Cyrus
Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition
Publication Date: August 24, 2010
This rhyming picture book involves animals taking a journey via a log train to destination hibernation. Children will easily relate to problems the characters encounter on the trip including overcrowding, hunger, and fear to name a few. My Book Eyes likes the large text and illustrations which are easily seen from a distance. There are many additional details for the storyteller to ask children about or for independent readers to discover as well as an author’s note about degrees of hibernation which make this book an asset to any book collection.

Sweets and Treats

Sweets and Treats

Sweets and Treats by author Toni Trent Parker and illustrator Earl Anderson

Age Range: 3 and up

Publisher:  Cartwheel

Publication Date: September 1, 2002

A rhyming picture book showing eight children (including the one on the cover) dressed up for Halloween. The photographs are close-up and characters are easily discernible. A quick read and perfect accompaniment to other Halloween activities that My Book Eyes would include at a young children’s holiday party.

Grandma’s Tiny House

Grandma's Tiny House

Grandma’s Tiny House by author JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrator Priscilla Burris

Age Range: 3 – 5 years

Publisher:  Charlesbridge

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

This rhyming counting picture book cooks up a lot of love and togetherness when a large gathering outgrows the space in grandma’s home such that guests cannot eat and socialize comfortably. The solution is a simple one that many children will be able to relate to if not in their house perhaps in someone else’s. Mouth watering dishes are deliciously depicted and can encourage conversations about different foods that people like to eat. My Book Eyes adored the busy scenes giving readers much to absorb.


Think Big

Think Big by author Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton

Age Range: 3 – 6 years

Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: July 12, 2012

In this rhyming picture book, text is short but exact and pairs beautifully with large stimulating illustrations about resourceful children. The youngsters’ artistic endeavors culminate into an impressive finale. Small success leading to a future career is a valuable message. My Book Eyes savored conversational details i.e. records and metronome to name a few.

Slumber Party Anyone?

Penny and Jelly

Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars by author Maria Gianferrari and illustrator Thyra Heder

Age Range: 4 – 7 years

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 14, 2016

A girl named Penny is invited to an outdoor sleepover. Unfortunately no pets are allowed so that means her beloved dog, Jelly, will have to stay behind.  The inclusion of science (the stars) and engineering (creating replicas of Jelly to substitute for the real dog) is nicely woven into this story about a girl and her dog. Illustrations portray the strong attachment between Penny and Jelly. My Book Eyes enjoyed the satisfying ending.


Don’t Stereotype Me!


BunnyBear by author Andrea J. Loney and illustrator Carmen Saldana

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Just because he’s a bear doesn’t mean that he likes to roar. Just because she’s a bunny doesn’t mean that she likes to be quiet. Attributes typically given to bears and bunnies are negated by two characters, BunnyBear and GrizzlyBun, in this picture book. Because they choose not to be stereotyped, they are initially ostracized by their communities. Watching strength in numbers increase from one isolated character to several characters who feel similarly sends a positive message that nobody is ever alone in their feelings and is delightful for My Book Eyes to read. The richly colored illustrations are attractive.

Beach? Yes, Pizza? Yes


Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster by Claire Lordon

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: little bee books

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

For the first time, Lorenzo lobster eats pizza and like most who consume it, savors every bite. Enthusiastically he shares his experience with his friend and wants her to try pizza too but he hasn’t brought any of it with him so he decides to make pizza with her. Sadly Lorenzo can’t recall the ingredients. After much trial and error they give up making pizza. His friend comes across pizza on her own and also finds it irresistible. High contrasting colors in illustrations make details distinguishable. My Book Eyes can feel the sea air and smell the pizza now!