Sunday Shopping by author Sally Derby and illustrator Shadra Strickland

Age Range: 4 years – 8 years

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Publication Date: May 15, 2015

This picture book brings together three generations in an evening of simulated shopping. Evie and her grandmother create scenarios that allow them to buy items that they see in newspapers from a variety of vendors. While the mother is not in attendance, her presence is felt when we learn mom is in the army and when Evie pretend purchases gifts and places them near mom’s photo. Dialogue between grandmother and Evie is warm and leaves readers with good feelings. Illustrations are bright and contrasting making details easy to see. This book introduces it’s audience to a fun activity that can be enjoyed repeatedly using different newspapers, magazines and ads. Activity enthusiasts could also paint or draw shopping items or head to the internet and copy and paste interesting items for computer based collages. A nice way to include money management skills.

Pete the Cat’s Family Road Trip by Kimberly and James Dean

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

In this early reader, Pete’s family goes on a road trip across the United States. They visit New York, Georgia, Florida, Utah, California, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Washington and Wyoming. Occasional feline humor injected into illustrations and text will make readers chuckle. This book is a great way to introduce youngsters to historic sites within the United States while they learn to read. Also this title can ignite curiosity and a desire to further research places mentioned.

I Love Mom with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Mom cat

Age Range: 3 years – 5 years

Publisher: World of Eric Carle

Publication Date: March 14, 2017

The Very Hungry Caterpillar journeys from one mother child pair to another in this picture book. The audience learns why mom’s are loved. The words are sparse but well chosen. Only one to six words appear on two page spreads which makes this a great read for young audiences. Mr. Carle’s vivid collage designs on white background are eye-catching.

Food Network Magazine The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook: 150+ Recipes for Young Chefs by author Maile Carpenter

Kids cook

Age Range: 8 years – 12 years

Publisher: Hearst Home Kids

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

This is an excellent time for children to learn science, math, art, engineering and technology as they relate to cooking by participating in culinary projects. This cookbook boasts over 150 recipes. The photographs are mouth watering. Kids can make dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack. Food games, quizzes and coloring pages are included. My Book Eyes enjoys learning to create fake-out cakes. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by author Enigma Alberti and illustrator Tony Cliff

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Age Range: 10 years – 14 years

Publisher: Workman Publishing Company

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

In this chapter book, Mary Bowser, freed slave and teacher, becomes an undercover spy for the Union at the request of her former slave owner Bet Van Lew. Mary works as a maid for the Confederates and relays secret information to Union sympathizers. Ms. Bowser has an incredible memory that aids her in communicating details without having visual evidence in her hands. The way she shares data with her associates like Bet Van Lew and Thomas McNiven is fascinating. There are moments that will have readers sitting at the edge of their chairs however nothing is gruesome. Included in this book are a spycraft tool, a mystery to solve, Biographical Information, Historical Note, Bibliography, and Answer Key. Detailed illustrations add to the understanding of the text.

 

Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating by author Rose Vina and illustrator Claire Almon

Ice breaker

Age Range: 5 – 7 years

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

In this picture book biography readers meet Mabel Fairbanks, an African American from Florida. She moves to New York City at 8 years old to live with her brother. That experience is short lived and Mabel finds herself without a home by 9 years old. A family gives Mabel a chance to move in with them and babysit. Viewing ice skaters through a window intrigues Mabel. She saves money, buys skates and teaches herself to skate. When the weather warms, she goes to an indoor ice skating rink to skate however she is denied admission due to her skin color. Eventually she is given opportunities to skate at the rink but only when white ice skaters are not using it. She gets coached and is a very good skater but racism destroys her chances of participating in activities that could lead to the Olympics. Mabel performs on television and in different countries however racism is everywhere. Her career path leads her to coach those interested in ice skating. She plays a significant role in fighting for equality for ice skaters. My Book Eyes are amazed at how many famous ice skaters Mabel Fairbanks coached. Illustrations of ice skaters are dynamic. Included in the back of the book are sections called: About Mabel Fairbanks, Glossary of Figure Skating Terms and Selected Sources.

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by author Dee Romito and illustrator Laura Freeman

PiesAge Range: 6 – 9 years

Publisher: little bee books

Publucation Date: Novenber 6, 2018

This picture book biography sheds light on Georgia Gilmore, a cook, who made a significant contribution to the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott by preparing meals. She worked collectively with others who were interested in raising money to purchase vehicles and fuel so that the Black community could still travel in Alabama while seeking justice by boycotting public transportation. After she testified in court about the mistreatment she experienced by a bus driver, Georgia Gilmore was fired from her job. She opened a home based restaurant. All people loved her cooking. Dr. King and other civil rights leaders often ate at Georgia’s. Illustrations are large with high contrasting colors which makes this a terrific book for children to view in a group setting. Included is an author’s note and a recipe for Georgia Gilmore’s Homemade Pound Cake. My Book Eyes finds it interesting to read about how different people worked to create civil rights changes.

Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town

His town

Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town by author A. LaFaye and illustrator Nicole Tadgell

Age Range: 5 – 7 years

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publication Date: January 1, 2019

In this picture book, the Pattons family, who sharecrop, desire to own a home and land. The daughter, Dede, sees a notice about moving to Nicodemus, Kansas where the family can make their dream come true. Through hard work and a lucky break the family is able to move to Nicodemus. The Pattons survive through diligence and assistance from neighbors and an Indian Tribe called the Osage Nation. My Book Eyes appreciates the author including how much children had to work to help their families during this time period. Working children is a universal theme for many cultures throughout history. Illustrations vary between spreads and vignettes to show a variety of actions and moods. In the back of the book, information explains exodusters and The Homestead Act of 1862.

 

The Great Santa Stakeout

Santa (1)

The Great Santa Stakeout by author Betsy Bird and illustrator Dan Santat

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Just looking at the cover of this picture book with its full moon in the background and in the foreground a boy dressed in a Santa Claus suit, eyes bulging, teeth clenched and hands clamped on a Santa Claus snow globe makes My Book Eyes roar with laughter. Is he thinking, “I’m going to get you, SANTA!” Turning pages, the reader learns the boy, Freddy Melcher, not only celebrates Santa Claus during the Christmas season but all year. He is so fascinated with Santa Claus that yes he does want to get Santa. That is a selfie with Santa Claus when he visits Freddy’s house. Illustrations convince the reader of Freddy’s attraction to Santa.

 

Sweet Dreams, Zaza

Zaza 1

Sweet Dreams, Zaza by author/illustrator Mylo Freeman

Age Range: 2 – 5 years

Publisher: Clavis

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

This picture book begins with a little girl named Zaza sitting on her bed with her five wide awake stuffed animals. Since it is bedtime, Zaza places each toy in its bed where it closes eyes. Zaza caps the experience with an endearing pat, lullaby, cuddle etc.  When it is Zaza’s turn for bed, her mother appears and shares those same forms of affection with her. Illustrations are vivid and are displayed on opposite pages from the text. Pages are thick and glossy. Sewn pages instead of glued ones gives this book a nice nostalgic feel.