The People Remember by author Ibi Zoboi and illustrator Loveis Wise

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

A poetic telling of the history of African Americans from their tribal life in Africa through slavery, the Great Migration to today. The author discusses sorrowful times as well as times marked by African American achievements and achievers i.e. Madame CJ Walker, Garrett Morrison, Aretha Franklin and Barak Obama to name a few. Within this thorough nonfiction picture book, the author shows how events are tied to the seven principles of Kwanzaa which are: umoja, kujichagulia, ujima, ujamaa, nia, kuumba, and imani. Illustrations beautifully assist in revealing events of this book.

Who Eats Orange? By author Dianne White and illustrator Robin Page

Reading Age: Baby – 8 years

Publisher: Beach Lane Books

Publication Date: August 14, 2018

In this rhyming picture book children learn about animals and the colors of foods they eat. 23 animals are pictured with a brief mention of their food and habitat. Most of the animals are familiar however My Book Eyes enjoyed seeing animals rarely mentioned in children’s books such as Grunt, Waxwing, Finch, Marmot, and Quetzal. The following colors are seen: orange, green, red, yellow, purple and blue. Illustrations of realistic collage on white background make the details stand out. In the back of the book is more in-depth information about the animals and their lifestyles.

Jazz for Lunch! by author Jarrett Drapier and illustrator Eugenia Mello

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grace Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

This rhyming picture book is told from the point of view of a nephew whose aunt loves jazz. Auntie Nina frequently attends a jazz club for lunch. She decides to share her experience with her young nephew. Unfortunately, from a child’s perspective the club is too crowded for his size to see anything, it’s hot, people are talking too loud and stepping on his feet and he does not get a meal. His aunt decides to have him visit her the next day for lunch. This duo listens to jazz while cooking and having fun. Jazz artists names and words associated with foods pepper this book making a creative read. The fonts are varied in style, color and size adding to the visual stimulation. Illustrations are vibrant with lots of movement and good times between aunt and nephew as they prepare and play. Could the two eat this humongous lunch alone? Of course not! The club crew visits and keeps the joint jumpin’. When the affair is over, nephew and aunt stand side by side cleaning up. My Book Eyes adores the illustration of Auntie Nina playing the celery! In the front and back matter of this book the following jazz greats are briefly described with food vocabulary weaved into their bios: Harold “Shorty” Baker, Junior Cook, Mary Lou Williams, “Philly Joe” Jones, Art Tatum, Reuben “River” Reeves, “Papa” Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, “Big Sid” Catlett, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Nat King Cole, Jelly Roll Morton, John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith and Nina Simone.

In the Nick of Time by author Deedee Cummings and illustrator Charlene Mosley

Publisher: Make A Way Media, LLC

Publication Date: October 4, 2019

In this picture book, a reversal in name placements on an envelope lands a letter intended for Santa in the hands of a boy named Nick Saint. The letter, from a boy named Cooper E. at Nick’s school, describes the misfortunes of the family. Cooper’s family needs a home and his mother needs a job. Nick learns that this task is larger than he can tackle alone. His parents get involved, organizing a job fair and toy drive, at Nick’s school. This story teaches readers to think bigger than their wants and consider others. Illustrations pair nicely with this story.