Where’s Rodney?, by Carmen Bogan, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Yosemite Conservancy, Yosemite National Park, 2017
Rodney is that kid who can’t sit still. He’s the kid who learns by being outside and doing. This is a story about the transformative power of the natural world and how it can provide the arena in which children can harness a creative spirit that might otherwise remain unrecognized.
The Nutcracker in Harlem, by T.E. McMorrow, Illustrated by James Ransome
Harper, HarperCollins, 2017
This retelling of The Nutcracker Suite pays tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and musicians like Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and vocalist Adelaide Hall. It also transforms the central character, Marie, from someone who needs saving to someone who saves herself from a bad dream.
Manjhi Moves A Mountain, by Nancy Churnin, Illustrated by Danny Popovici
Creston Books, 2017
The story reads like a fable, but Dashrath Manjhi was a real person who almost single-handedly worked for 22 years to dig a path through a mountain in India so that the riches of one village on one side could be shared by the poorer village on the other side. This is a bedtime story that will be happily read over and over.
Alfie, Written and Illustrated by Thyra Heder
Abrams Books for Young Readers 2017
Even though he’s not soft, he’s very quiet and he doesn’t do any tricks, Nia loves her pet turtle Alfie, though she does sometimes forget he’s there. But then he disappears! Nia looks everywhere.Where did he go? And why? Only Alfie knows. And this is his story. For anyone who loves a pet, this is a go-to story.
My Daddy Rules the World; Poems About Dads, Written and Illustrated by Hope Anita Smith
Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt & Company, 2017
Told through the voice of a child, this collection of poems celebrates everyday aspects of fatherly love, from giving guitar lessons to bedtime stories, from haircuts in the kitchen to sharing breakfast. Together with bold, folk-art inspired images, the poems convey the strength and warmth of the father child relationship.
Sam & Eva, Written and Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2017
The illustrations in this lovely book about strong willed friends resolving conflict, brings the subject to comic life. Sam and Evie are engulfed by their own drawings, the very cause of the their combat. The book lets us know, along the way, that strong boys can like strong girls, and that compromise is a two way street.
Far Apart, Close in Heart; Being in a Family When a Loved One is Incarcerated, by Becky Birtha, Illustrated by Maja Kastelic
Albert Whitman & Company, 2017
This accessible and warmly illustrated book portrays a range of situations children may experience with moms or dads behind bars, reassuring them they are not alone and including tips for talking about an incarcerated loved one. It also provides insight for friends who might need help understanding the heartbreak involved.