Undies Please! by author Sumana Seeboruth and illustrator Ashleigh Corrin

Reading Age: 1-4 years

Grade Level: Preschool and up

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Publication Date: February 7, 2022

A toddler learns from his older brother and father as he gets toilet trained. He admires his older brother as many children do and wants to be like him. The father takes the toddler shopping for undies. The toddler wants underwear that look like his brother’s. During toilet training nothing is perfect. Sitting on the potty doesn’t mean something will happen. Nor does wearing underwear mean that accidents don’t happen. This is an endearing board book that shows family support while a child learns to control his body. Illustrations are wonderful and show the highs and lows of a toddler getting toilet trained.

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family and Freedom by author Glenda Armand and illustrator Steffi Walthall

Reading Age: 4-8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

A girl named Frances learns about the history of many foods traditionally prepared by African Americans during her stay with her grandparents for a New Year’s celebration. An informative account from the Atlantic Slave Trade to the Emancipation Proclamation for young readers. Illustrations are detailed and a wonderful addition to the story. My Book Eyes liked seeing information in sidebars about foods. A recipe for pralines, authors note, sources and further reading are included.

Only My Dog Knows I Pick My Nose by author Lauren Tarshis and illustrator Lisa Bronson Mezoff

Reading Age: 3 – 5 years

Publisher: Orchard Books

Publication Date: October 19, 2021

In this picture book a big brother confesses to what he does i.e. Shares toys,well maybe not all of them. Eats his broccoli well maybe not all of it. He never splashes in the tub, well maybe his dinosaur does etc. Throughout the only witness to this child’s antics is his dog. This is a funny book. Illustrations are cute.

Anansi and the Golden Pot by author Taiye Selasi and illustrator Tinuke Fagborun

Reading Age: 3 -5 years

Publisher: DK Children

Publication Date: February 15, 2022

A young boy nicknamed Anansi goes to Ghana with his family during a winter vacation. While Anansi the boy sips from a coconut, a spider named Anansi magically turns a coconut shell into a golden pot. The spider imparts wise words for the boy to adhere to however the boy does not adhere. Every time the boy says a magic chant, his favorite food appears in the pot. He eats so much that he gets a stomachache. His grandmother shares her wisdom. The boy changes his ways. In this picture book , generosity wins over greed. This is a charming book with luscious illustrations that could be shared with children up to 8 years of age. My Book Eyes feels transported to a warm and pleasant vacation when looking at the pictures.

One Thursday Afternoon by Barbara DiLorenzo

Grade Level: 1 -2 

Publisher: Flyaway Books

Publication Date: September 5, 2022 

After school, a grandad picks up his granddaughter, Ava. She is sad . The two go on a picnic. It isn’t until grandad takes out his art supplies and shares some artist tips that Ava discusses that she was afraid during a school lockdown drill. Grandad shares his experience in school that was similar and scary to Ava’s school lockdown. She further divulges that she is upset by the media. Grandad didn’t have to deal with media reminders in his youth. The fall illustrations are beautiful. This picture book shows a close relationship that can be compared and contrasted between a grandfather and grandchild and be used in therapeutic and non therapeutic settings to confront ways of dealing with life’s difficult times. A Note from the author/Illustrator includes recommendations for coping with difficult situations. 

Playtime for Restless Rascals by author Nikki Grimes and illustrator Elizabeth Zunon

Reading Age: 4 years – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

A high energy level child shows a glimpse of play activities that most children are familiar with and can be done in the rain, sun, autumn, winter, inside and outside the house with at times assistance from parents. Illustrations demonstrate fascinating designs and patterns.My Book Eyes likes the fact that both males and females can enjoy the activities i.e. jump rope, ball, dolls, teddy bear, airplane, building trains and trucks, puzzles etc. This book can generate conversations and activities centered around the kinds of things children like to do for fun.

Mama’s Home by author Shay Youngblood and illustrator Lo Harris

Reading Age: 4-8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Make Me a World

Publication Date: October 18, 2022

A mother’s job forces her to travel away from home often. During these times her young daughter is babysat by different women in the community on varying days of the week. We learn of these women’s occupations i.e. beautician, nurse, entrepreneur, to name a few. Spending time with these ladies ignites thoughts of future careers i.e. pilot, writer, entrepreneur. Occupations not named could be discussed by looking at items in illustrations i.e. solar system. Illustrations portray a warm and caring community. Tasty foods are displayed throughout the book. My Book Eyes liked viewing different homes, foods, occupations and the emphasis on different days of the week. A recipe for Sweet Pink Punch is included which is an easy recipe that children can help make. Also there are an author’s note and a section about Make Me a World by Christopher Myers.

Forever Cousins by author Laurel Goodluck and illustrator Jonathan Nelson

Reading Age: 4 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Amanda and Kara are close cousins. They are Native Americans. Kara’s family is moving to the Rez (Reservation). Clutching dolls that their maguu (grandmother) made, they say goodbye. The girls stay in touch throughout the year and are reunited in the summer to rekindle their close relationship during a family reunion. This picture book is sprinkled with Native American rituals and words i.e. Rez, powwow, maguu, frybread, tipi rings, Hidatsa name however much of the book espouses experiences that all can relate to like playing with dolls, getting new lunch boxes, splashing in puddles, playing tag, and swimming. Illustrations match the story with emotions depicted. There are author’s note and an explanation about moving from the reservation to the city in the back of the book.

My Hands Tell a Story by author Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrator Tonya Engel

Publisher: Reycraft Books

Publication Date: May 13, 2022

Zoe spends time with her grandmother learning to make the family’s traditional cinnamon bread. Zoe doesn’t have her grandmother’s experience so she needs grandmother’s hand over hand assistance to learn the rhythm, push and pull of the dough. Her grandmother’s hands tell of various family roles she plays i.e. sister, mother to name some. Also her grandmother explains covert roles that she filled as she travelled down life’s unexpected roads. Zoe thinks about the things she can do presently and wonders about roles the future holds for her. Illustrations are bold and bright. This book would be great to read prior to a cooking activity and/or an activity about who we are and what we can do. For a young child such roles could consist of block builder, line leader, door monitor, big sister, big brother to name a few. A cinnamon bread recipe is included.

I Am Thankful: A Thanksgiving Book for Kids by author Sheri Wall and illustrator Holly Clifton-Brown

Reading Age: 2 – 8 years

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Publication Date: August 11, 2020

This rhyming picture book is about the meaning of present day Thanksgiving to different people. Thanksgiving is cooking, visiting family and friends, traveling, sharing, kindness, shopping, love, pumpkin picking, crafts, looking at family photo albums, welcoming a sibling that comes home from college for the holiday, an autumn hike, watching the parade and football, donating food and enjoying a meal. My Book Eyes likes the examples given that evoke memories of Thanksgiving. Illustrations are diverse, warm and make readers and viewers feel happy.