A story about a birthday gone terrifically awry. Harold Snipperpot is turning seven and it’s his first real birthday party ever. His parents hire cool Mr. Ponzio to plan an extraordinary afternoon that Harold will never forget. The special day is here, the doorbell rings and before Harold and his family know it, a raucous jumble of wild animals is stomping through their house, wreaking havoc in wild, unimaginable ways. Stunned by the fiasco unfolding before him and unable to give it too much thought, Harold goes along for the ride. He discovers that strangely enough, even extraordinarily bad things have their silver lining — proof that sometimes the worst disaster in the world can be the best disaster ever.
Seemed like a perfect moment to share Hey, Water! since we are nothing if not wet from today’s deluge of rain. As can be surmised from the title, the book is all about water — its forms, facets and nuances — from the tiniest, silent tear to a wide, rushing river. And indeed, water does “roar and pour” (like today’s rainstorm). Antoinette Portis brings a colorless subject to life, making it playful and enjoyable for little ones. As always, she brings magic and wonder to the quotidian, and we love her for it. Author’s notes about water forms and conserving water close this delightful book.
The story of extraordinary librarian, storyteller and author Pura Belpré. The remarkable contributions she made to children’s literature and vibrant spirit of her work are captured in this glorious new picture book biography. She was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City and wrote some of the first mainstream Spanish children’s books in the country. She brought a special energy, magic and joyful creativity to whatever she did.
The seeds she sowed indeed established deep roots whose impact can still be felt and seen today. She would probably agree that there is still much more to be done to better represent diversity in children’s books. We’re thankful for her example, her warmth and devotion to Spanish-speaking immigrant families, the cuentos that she shared and how they will continue to inspire new voices and stories today.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré was written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar and published by HarperCollins.
Mr. Finch’s best friend, a usually cheery and chirpy bright red bird named Pip, has fallen into a malaise as of late. One afternoon, despondent Mr. Finch happens upon an unusual shop selling a quite intriguing plant which bears the promise of happiness to whomever it is given. Back at home, Mr. Finch’s hopes are dashed when the plant doesn’t quite deliver on its claims, and he’s back at square one with an unhappy bird. The next morning he wakes up to find out that the plant has grown wildly and exponentially into a jungle overnight and Pip is nowhere to be found. It’s time for Mr. Finch to leave his quiet life and embark on an extraordinary journey through the jungle in search of his dear friend and hopefully, restored happiness.
There’s nothing more that Harold loves than his woolly hat. It makes him feel very special and not a day goes by when he doesn’t wear it. When a crow suddenly swoops down and takes his prized possession, he is resolute to recover it. Until he sees something that changes his mind...and heart. A heartwarming story about what we gain by giving up our possessions.