Friday, June 22, 2012

Picture Books mini-reviews, part 7

We March
by Shane W. Evans
Roaring Brook Press
January 2012

Using just a sentence per page, this book gives a young African-American child's point of view of the 1963 March on Washington. An empowering celebration of our First Amendment rights. Employing painterly collage-style illustrations, the story ends with a silhouette of Martin Luther King, Jr. It also includes a postscript by the author with historical information.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Freedom Song: The Story of Henry "Box" Brown
by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Sean Qualls
January 2012

A lyrical take on the fascinating true story of Henry "Box" Brown, who made his escape from slavery by sending himself in the mail to Philadelphia. I loved this line: "Henry was papa proud when his first child was born." The book is appended with a bit of historical information, as well as the text from a letter from an abolitionist detailing the remarkable escape.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Scrawny Cat
by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Allison Friend
Candlewick Press
October 2011

A scrawny abandoned cat finds himself on a boat after a series of misadventures. His amazing journey takes him to a little island where he is taken in by Emma, a lone fisherwoman. I liked one of the final images of "Skipper" - showing that he's finally become a fat and happy cat. Gouche watercolor paintings with lots of blue and brown evoke the Maine coast.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Emily and Carlo
by Marty Rhodes Figley
Charlesbridge Publishing
February 2012

The story of Emily Dickinson's life is told from her dog Carlo's perspective. Beautiful watercolor paintings paired with a lengthy narrative make this a good choice for older readers. Whimsical excerpts from Dickinson's poems are presented in italics. While the story takes place over many years, puppy Carlo is first shown amidst spring blooms, lengthening into summer. Towards the end of Carlo's life, fall leaves are shown in the foreground and the color palette turns to oranges and browns. Purple shadows surround Emily at her writing desk as she contemplates her loss when he is gone. The book is appended with an author's note, biographical information about Dickinson, sources for quotes and a bibliography. If the ending of this book doesn't make you cry, you have no heart!

I borrowed this book from the library.


  1. Oh these are great finds. I'm hoping to find these as apps for my phone. I use meegenius app to read to my youngest son. But also like to purchase these in print for when we aren't traveling.

  2. I'm really interested to see how things will play out with e-books in the picture book market. I hear a lot of people say they might do e-books for everything else, but they must have picture books for the artwork.



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