Chaiwala! by author Priti Birla Maheshwari and illustrator Ashley Barron

Reading Age: 3 -7

Grade Level: 2 and up

Publisher: Owlkids

Publication Date: October 15, 2021

Have you ever had a cup of chai? This is a tea beverage from India. In this picture book, A girl travels with her mother via train. Between train connections there is just enough time to stop at the tea vendor called Chaiwala. The scents of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper swirl deliciously through the air. Viewers watch Chaiwala make the milky sweet tea. Mother and daughter savor their drinks. Yum! This book is beautifully illustrated in collage capturing a slice of life in Indian culture.

If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Random House Studio

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

In this rhyming picture book, the author explores items that can be created with found autumn leaves. For example leaves can be made into a hat, kite, wheel, camp fire, part of a boat, hammock, mask, cape, balloon and much more. There are a plethora of ideas pictured that spark creativity. Illustrations show different children happily engaged. End papers introduce a variety of colorful distinctly shaped leaves labeled with their names. In the back of the book the author gives a detailed description of how to make collage. Happy Creating!

Thank You, Mama by author Linda Meeker and illustrator Sandra Eide

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

PublisherThomas Nelson

Publication Date: April 19, 2022

A boy named Grey, who is of Vietnamese heritage, wakes up for breakfast. He names the foods he likes. His mother prepares breakfast. After his meal, Grey participates in pretend play. When he is hungry, he names the snack foods that he likes and shares them with his dog. He has lunch. He imaginarily plays throughout the day. At dinner time his dad, aunt and grandmother are in attendance. At the end of the day he shares a snack with his mother. Illustrations are easily read and many foods are shown such as cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, egg rolls to name a few. Grey is thankful for the foods he receives and the ability to share them with his family.

It’s a Sign by Jarrett Pumphrey, Jerome Pumphrey and Mo Willems

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

In this Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! early reader, Gerald and Piggie share one of their favorite books with the audience called It’s a Sign. A small animal named One makes paper hats. He cannot write. Another animal named Two can write letters and some words. A third animal comes along but is not named Three which My Book Eyes finds funny. Instead the animal’s name is Kat. Kat is experienced in writing and spelling AT family words. A fourth animal comes along named Four who can write more words than Kat. They need a name for this club that has its members wearing paper hats. Youngsters will love this early reader. It addresses many concepts that are appropriate for this age group in a fun and funny way. All 4 animals are different colors in addition to the gray and pink of Gerald and Piggie. The Pigeon makes a guest appearance at the end of the book adding the color blue. Numbers and sequencing are introduced. What number could Kat be called in this sequence? Size is addressed as the animals go from short to tall. Spelling and a love of writing are observed. Additionally, cooperation and working as a group are seen throughout. Children will think about knowing more as they grow. Illustrations are adorable! Gerald and Piggie make appearances and speak at the beginning and end of this book. A must to add to young ones libraries.

Everybody in the Red Brick Building by author Anne Wynter and illustrator Oge Mora

Reading Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: October 19, 2021

On a quiet street, in an apartment in a red brick building, Baby Izzie wakes up with a loud cry. Her cry travels to another apartment and wakes a parrot that squawks and talks. Noises continue careening to different apartments within the building. Three boys wake and make noise on the floor while playing. The story continues using words that sound like sounds (onomatopoeia) throughout the book until the story reverses and everyone and everything goes back to sleep. Children will delight in hearing and saying noisy words. Diverse characters shown. Creative collage patterns in illustrations are a must to see. This book won multiple awards including an Ezra Jack Keats Honor.

Big Kid Bed by Leslie Patricelli

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

A toddler is excited to sleep in a big bed. The bed is soft and tall. Will the child fall out of such a tall bed? Parents place pillows on the floor around the bed as a safety precaution. The bed is so big. Parents fill the bed with stuffed toys so the bed does not seem so big. The toddler demonstrates independence by leaving the bed and searching the house to find that pets and parents are sleeping. Sleepiness has the toddler returning to the big bed for a night’s rest. This child is clothed in a diaper or underwear with one squiggle for hair which makes this toddler be able to pass for a boy or a girl. Illustrations have few items on the pages which makes the book’s message easy to understand.

A Grand Day by author Jean Reidy and illustrator Samantha Cotterill

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books

Publication Date: July 5, 2022

Spend time with diverse grandparents and children this autumn in this rhyming picture book. There is so much to do like sleeping over, reading a story, planting, cooking, picnicking, making art, exploring the attic, exercising and more. Illustrations are vivid and infused with collage that stands out.

This is a School by author John Schu and illustrator Veronica Miller Jamison

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

This picture book recognizes all that a school represents. It is a place where people come together either in person or virtually to work, play, discover, fail, make mistakes, be silly, be loud, be quiet, share and help to name many as children and staff grow. Text includes much that people experience by being part of a school community. Illustrations depict a plethora of examples that convey the meaning of the text. Variety of characters are seen throughout the book. Pictures and words will hit home to anyone involved in a school environment. A book to be read anytime of the year to reinforce the meaning of school. A poster is included.

Creepy Crayon! by author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Peter Brown


Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: August 23, 2022

Student Jasper Rabbit is not serious about getting his homework done. He prefers to watch shows and play games. As a result, his grades are suffering. One day he finds a bright purple crayon. It completes Jasper’s work making Jasper appear to be a high achiever. The crayon goes too far and takes over the one area that Jasper loves. Can Jasper get rid of the crayon? Can Jasper become more disciplined about school? This book is great for enforcing the importance of completing homework and working to a person’s potential. Illustrations are filled with evil villainy doomy looks reminiscent of old shows and movies which work well with this book and its varied scenes. The exaggerated expressions will make viewers laugh.