Oh, my, the Northern Hemisphere is having wintry weather! On the Pacific Coast, that means lots of rain and even unusually generous snowstorms. In the Midwest and along the Northeast, it’s been wind as well as fast moving snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures. Our friends in the UK, meanwhile, also are having snowstorms. All in all, it’s a good time to pull up a pile of warming new picture books and settle indoors.
From Cassava Republic, there’s plenty of warm feelings rising from the bouncy illustrations throughoutHair, It’s a Family Affair, with text and art by Mylo Freeman. The exuberance of one extendedfamily’s heads of hair—and how each person has styled or wilded it—gives kids everywhere an #OwnVoices take on hair on the heads of people of African descent. There’s humor, there’s pride, there’s a lot to read in the illustrations beyond hair alone as we notice family members’ postures as they interact with each other, too.
From Gecko Press (and where, since they are in New Zealand, we must point out that it’s now summertime!), Leo Timmers’s nearly wordless Monkey on the Run can keep kids and adults alike giggling and exploring again and again. Yes, there is a monkey; even more exciting, however, is that there are all manner of vehicles, a whole zoological garden of animals, and the combined possible interactions of these two sets of characters practically bound off the landscape-oriented page spreads. Settle in. This one could keep you flipping back and forth and around for hours.
Trying to snuggle with a rambunctious preschooler? Gently, Bentley!, written and illustrated by
Caragh Buxton, and published by Child’s Play, makes good company. The eponymous Bentley is a young anthropomorphic rhino who just overflows with enthusiasm—to the point that anything in his way is likely to be turned over, scattered, or otherwise upended. Except…for his baby sister. Check out the endpapers, front and back, for ideas to engage your little co-reader in telling you other adventures in which Bentley might be featured.
Stay cozy! There’s plenty to share on a wintry day.