Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
By Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Published 2006 by Jump at the Sun
This book is so beautiful - I don't know how Nelson continually creates such amazing illustrations. The story is a very simple biography of Harriet Tubman and describes the calling she felt, from God, to escape from slavery and lead her people out of their own slavery bonds. Everything about this book is beautiful - the simple yet exquisite text and the gorgeous illustrations. This is an incredibly appealing book for all people and should be featured prominently when focusing on Tubman or African-Americans. Highly recommended.
Those Rebels, John and Tom
By Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
Published 2012 by Scholastic
This is another recent non-fiction picture book about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, but this title doesn't focus as much on their friendship as the other book did. This book mainly focuses on how opposite they were - it's basically John on one page and Tom on the other, highlighting their opposition. This book seemed longer and wordier than the other title. But I found this book interesting as well - I just don't think it has as much appeal as the other (Worst of Friends). I like the illustration style, though - I think it's very unique.
One Cool Friend
By Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small
Published 2012 by Dial
Elliot is a very serious young man. So, naturally, he politely accepts his father's invitation to the aquarium. And here he discovers the perfect pet for him - a prim and proper penguin. This is a fun story about a unique young boy finding the perfect new friend. I think kids will love seeing how hard Elliot works to make his house suitable for his new friend and will also enjoy how Elliot pulls most of this off without his father's notice. I love the illustrations - the style is very vivid and bold. Kids will especially delight in the ending and will want to explore the book to see what they may have missed. A very fun new story.
Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo?
By Carlyn Beccia
Published 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Preparing for a circus-themed storytime, I came across this title. While it won't work for my storytime, I found this book very interesting. It presents a circus-themed alphabet, but includes along the bottom of each page information about real-life circus performers or little-known pieces of information about the circus itself (did you know the phrase "hold your horses" originated when circuses came through towns and criers warned townspeople to hold their horses from the excitement?). I think any kid interested in the circus would love to see this book and find out about the performers. I liked this one.