The Night Before My Dance Recital by author Natasha Wing and illustrator Amy Wummer

Age Range: 3-5 years

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

This rhyming picture book reads to the tune of Twas The Night Before Christmas. We follow a young girl starting from her dance rehearsal the day before through her dance recital. The illustrations show details like the young girl being too nervous to eat breakfast. The text uses details not often discussed in children’s picture books i.e. using bobby pins and hairspray to set the dancer’s bun. My Book Eyes chuckled when the dancer makes a mistake in her dance routine yet can continue successfully to the end. The emotions of the characters are well depicted throughout the story.


Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by author/illustrator James Dean and author Kimberly Dean

Age Range: 4 – 8 years

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

This rhyming picture book is a mystery about ten gradually missing cupcakes that are made by Pete and Gus. The cupcakes sit on a windowsill for a party that will begin at 3 PM. Pete guesses that the culprits are animal friends who he encounters however each of them have alibis. Clues lead to the wrongdoer who redeems himself by making cupcakes for everyone. My Book Eyes noticed high contrasting colors and large illustrations which are easily seen in a group. This book could lead to a discussion/debate about consequences for actions and forgiveness.


Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems

Age Group: 4-8 years

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

A picture book that mostly rhymes with the characters name, Nanette, who is a frog. The setting, a French Village, is immediately displayed in a 2 page spread at the beginning of the book. Nanette’s duty is to purchase a baguette by herself from the bakery. While there are distractions along the way, Nanette stays the course. She lacks impulse control so the baguette never gets to her house. Unfortunately a second baguette doesn’t get home either. The author shows how scrumptious the baguette is by using sensory words i.e. warm, smells, tastes and the “krack” of the crust. Nanette’s emotional experience is a visual feast for My Book Eyes.  This is a very humorous story.


In Plain Sight by author Richard Jackson and illustrator Jerry Pinkney

Age Group: 4-7 years

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

This picture book depicts the relationship between a granddaughter and her grandfather who happens to be in a wheelchair. Everyday when Sophie visits grandpa, three generations live in a brownstone, grandpa asks her to find something that he had and can’t seem to find i.e. a lemon drop, rubberband etc. She always finds the objects.  The illustrations are cozy and exuberate warmth. My Book Eyes perused pages filled with intricate details that beckon the storyteller to ask listeners questions about the setting and characters both inside and outside the home. This book could also lead to discussions about elderly people  and people with disabilities.


Some Pets by author Angela Diterlizzi and illustrator Brendan Wenzel

Age Range: 4-8 years

Publisher: Beach Lane Books

Publication Date: August 23, 2016

A rhyming picture book about a pet show that takes place in a city park. All of the lines of the story include the words, some pets which is helpful for those learning to read. My Book Eyes detected cultural diversity in the children illustrated. Many different animals are included in this book. In the back, the reader can find What’s That Pet?! which identifies the animals names and if the animal is not a pet.


Bring Me A Rock! By Daniel Miyares

Age Group: 4-8 years

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

A picture book. King grasshopper wants a tall throne built of large rocks. The large insects can carry large rocks on their backs. When a small insect brings a pebble, he gets a nasty rejection. Because rocks have uneven surfaces, the throne slants. As some as the king is on the throne, it topples, leaving him hanging off the side. The little bug saves the day with his pebble. My Book Eyes examined each happy character in this satisfying ending.


Before Morning by author Joyce Sidman and illustrator Beth Krommes

Age Group: 4-7 years

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

A picture book that relies heavily on pictures and less on words however text that is included is meaningful. A snowstorm gives a busy pilot mother time to spend with her family much to the desire of her daughter. My Book Eyes surveyed the sequence of events from rushing to get to work before the storm to the crippling effects of the snowstorm to the carefree glistening snow filled play day and the comfort of cupcakes and hot chocolate. While the story centers on the mother’s occupation, a father is also present. It is pleasing to see family members taking on different roles.


The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

Age Group: 5-7 years

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Publication Date: May 10, 2016

The title says most of it. This picture book tells the story of a family of four leaving their home to travel to see relates via airplane. The story begins in the front end papers where the family’s city home is depicted and ends in the back end papers with the family enjoying warmer weather on a beach. Many details are given pictorially and textually throughout. My Book Eyes read this book several times and found new details each time. The book resembles an actual airport experience including often seeing the same characters that will be on the flight over and over again occupying themselves in different ways.


Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by author Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrator Sean Qualls

Age Group: 4-8 years

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

This picture book is about a boy, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, born with part of his right leg missing in Ghana, Africa. Despite hardships of loosing family members, poverty, society’s negative views about people with disabilities, Emmanuel perseveres. He learned to ride a bike with the use of one leg to pedal. He rides across Ghana and proves that disability doesn’t mean inability. My Book Eyes found the illustrations to be emotionally moving and the text laden with information. This book could lead to a discussion about inclusion.


Animal Spots and Stripes by Britta Teckentrup

Age Group: 2-4 years

Publisher: Chronicle Books. Ltf edition

Publication Date: February 22, 2012

A lift the flap book. Includes a variety of living creatures that either have stripes or spots with the exception of one chameleon that has both stripes and spots. My book eyes observed beautifully colored illustrations. This book can be included in a discussion about patterns.


Hank’s Big Day The story of a bug by Evan Kuhlman, illustrated by Chuck Groenink

Age Range: 3-7 years

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

This picture book is about a slice of life for a pill bug named Hank and his friendship with a little girl who pretends to be Amelia Earhart on this particular day. A long shot illustration alerts the reader that Hank lives close to the little girl’s yard where they meet. My Book Eyes inspected details of Hank’s outdoor world through close ups of his activities, scenery and other bugs that he encounters such as a beetle, ant, grasshopper, cricket and worm as Hank journey’s to the area of the yard where the little girl is playing.  After they travel around the yard together and have a snack, Hank returns home. The message of looking both ways before crossing is cleverly included and could lead to further discussion as well as a discussion about women aviators.


Where Do Pants Go? By Rebecca Van Slyke, illustrated by Chris Robertson

Age Range: 3-12 years

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

This picture book is about getting dressed. It asks where each article of clothing goes beginning with underwear and sequentially and repetitively continues to jacket. The text is to the point yet silliness included make young children laugh. My Book Eyes eagerly turned pages to find answers to questions. Questions make this a page turner. Illustrations are bright and warmhearted. The payoff for getting dressed? Going out to play!


Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green

Age Group: 5-8 years

Publisher: First Second

Publication Date: May 10, 2016

This graph novel also includes two-page spreads. An amusing story about a red panda and a hippo that leave a dilapidated zoo in search of a better life on the outside. They try various occupations in order to survive. My Book Eyes applauds the plethora of careers introduced to this age group. Bankers, plumbers and art restorers are not as common in children’s books as other occupations are. While red panda and hippo aren’t great at every career, especially red panda, they both find their niches and give back to their community.