From Category: Children’s Literature
I’ll Meet You in Your Dreams
By Jessica Young, illustrated by Rafael López. This tender story, illustrated in rich, soothing colors, follows a brown-skinned mother and son as he grows up, has a child of his own, and feels her presence among the stars after she has become an ancestor.
My First Book of Haiku Poems
Translated by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen, illustrated by Tracy Gallup. This artistically designed, bilingual picture book features 20 poems by Japanese haiku masters such as Issa and Basho. Each poem has breathing room in its own two-page spread featuring the original Japanese verse (in script and Romaji), Ramirez-Christensen's translation, a dreamy painting reminiscent of Magritte's surreal images, and a prompt for imaginative reflection on the pairing of art and text.
By Jerry Craft. In this engaging and important middle-grade graphic novel, Black 7th-grader Jordan Banks is transplanted from his Washington Heights neighborhood to a mostly white and rich prep school in Riverdale, where he uses humor and cartooning to process the challenges of making new friends and coping with microaggressions from students and teachers.
The Book Rescuer
By Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst. This inspiring picture-book biography of Aaron Lansky, founder of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, is enhanced with Chagall-inspired paintings of Jewish history. A good story in its own right, the book can also prompt educational conversations about heritage and assimilation, for children of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds alike.
The Little Mermaid
By Jerry Pinkney. Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale is reconceived by acclaimed author-illustrator Pinkney as an empowering fable about friendship, exploration, and the power of a girl's voice. Lush paintings in gold and blue tones, featuring Black characters, make this one of the most delightful retellings of a famous story. Definitely superior to the Disney version, or at least an essential text to have on hand when your child watches the movie.
The Witch Boy
By Molly Knox Ostertag. This lovely middle-grade graphic novel features a youth whose magical skills transgress the gender roles of his community. All the girls in Aster’s extended family are supposed to become witches, and the boys, animal shapeshifters who defend them from evil spirits. However, Aster’s passion is for witchery. With the help of Charlie, a non-magical girl from the neighboring suburb, he uses his forbidden talent to fight a monster in a way that only he can. Charlie, who has two (off-page) dads, is uniquely sympathetic to Aster’s dilemma because she’s a female athlete struggling for equal opportunities at her school. Both children are people of color, and Aster’s extended family includes a variety of ethnicities. The artwork, in cozy earth tones, is clear and expressive, and not too scary for younger readers.