Let’s Play Basketball! by author Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrator Terry Widener

Reading Age: 2- 5 years

Publisher: Candlewick

Publication Date: July 8, 2004

This rhyming picture book is told from a basketball’s point of view. It wants to go outside. Text is filled with action verbs mentioning moves the ball could do outdoors with its owner. Illustrations are vivid and depict ball’s movements. A good book for children learning to read. Also, this book can be used to engage youngsters in movement activities.

The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History by authors Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace and illustrator Charly Palmer

Reading Age: 7 – 10 years

Grade Level: 2-5

Publisher: Calkins Creek

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

In the 1960s when blacks were not allowed to vote but were allowed to teach about the Constitution of the United States in the segregated south, Reverend F. D. Reese, also a high school science teacher, wanted change. He was familiar with being chased away from the courthouse when he and protesters marched there. Frustrated, he had an idea to get teachers to march for voting rights. After all, teachers were looked highly upon in the community. Educators feared loosing their jobs however with so many of them marching, could they all be fired? Especially when marching was against the law in Selma, Alabama. A visit from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assured marchers that they were on the right path. During the Civil Rights Era many groups marched. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. My Book Eyes liked the drama and tension in the text and illustrations that beckoned pages to turn. Included in this nonfiction picture book are an author’s note, illustrator’s note, Timeline, Selected Bibliography, a list of In-Person Visits and a Learn More About the Teachers’ March section.

Snowy Race by author April Jones Prince and illustrator Christine Davenier

Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books

Publication Date: November 26, 2019

In this rhyming picture book, viewers follow a little girl from the time she wakes up until the time she arrives back home. They also watch a snowstorm get progressively worse then slow down with more snow to come. The youngster accompanies her dad in a snowplow on their way to meet her mom. Illustrations are large and easy to see from a distance. The story moves quickly making it a good one to read to young ones and groups.

Scooper and Dumper by author/illustrator Lindsay Ward

Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Publisher: Two Lions

Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Two personified vehicles are critical workers during a snowstorm in this rhyming picture book. Scooper gathers salt and releases it into Dumper then Dumper salts the streets. This partnership works. They even sing together. One day Dumper becomes temporarily incapacitated. Thanks to Scooper who comes to his aid, Dumper is able to resume his responsibilities. Good story that depicts combining efforts to get the job done. Illustrations show emotions and blustery snowy scenes.

Mmmmm! Soup Joumou! by author Carline Smothers and illustrator Fuuji Takashi

Reading Age: baby – 10 years

Grade Level: 0 to grade 5

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition

Publication Date: June 5, 2017

In this picture book, a young girl partakes in the celebration of Haiti’s Independence Day by shopping with her family for soup joumou ingredients then watching the preparation of the soup. She learns about the soup’s significance. The family enjoys the meal. The colors and artwork in this book are warm and attractive. All details are easily discernible. The text is enough information for a young child. For an older child, extra research about Haiti’s Independence Day as well as varied recipes for soup joumou would increase knowledge about this important day in history.

Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee by Tonya Duncan Ellis

Grade Level: 2 – 6

Reading Age: 8 – 12 years

Publisher: Page Turner Publishing; Illustrated edition 

Publication Date: November 28, 2018

In this middle grade chapter book, 10 year old Sophie from Texas has no desire to be on the school spelling bee until she is challenged by a classmate named Nathan. Her parents encourage Sophie to excel. Sophie shows that focusing on a goal then working to achieve that goal can bring desired results. In addition to the spelling bee, readers learn about Sophie’s life which includes a loving family, a sometimes annoying little brother, and events at her private school but all is not perfect. At times Sophie finds herself having to face uncomfortable situations that she perceives will be horrible however once the event occurs she manages.

Christmas in Lagos by author Sharon Abimbola Salu and illustrator Maria Nikla

Publisher: Independently published

Publication Date: November 13, 2019

Ranti, a girl living in Lagos, Nigeria, worries when her classmates share that they are traveling during the school break. Her family will not be traveling. What will she do in her hometown? Her teacher advises Ranti to document her activities in a journal during vacation time. From December 16-December 25, Ranti is amazed at how many events she and her family partake in including greeting family members at the airport, attending a wedding, meeting Father Christmas, and attending a Christmas Concert to name a few. The illustrations use vivid and high contrasting colors and are displayed in a variety of ways from vignettes to full spreads, etc. Many details are seen in the artwork. This picture book will keep readers and listeners engaged and coming back to read again and again.

MasterChef Junior Bakes!: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Bakers: A Baking Book by MasterChef Junior

Reading Level: 7 – 9 years

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

This cookbook features photographs and tips from the contestants on the MasterChef television show. These youngsters range in age from 8 years to 13 years. The foods are delectable and are easy to more complex to prepare. In addition to baked goods this cookbook includes puddings, custards and ice creams. A getting prepared section enlightens young chefs about how to bake safely and cleanly. Additionally home challenges and science of baking are included.

The Getaway (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 12) by author/illustrator Jeff Kinney

Reading Level: 8 – 12 years

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

In this chapter book, a middle schooler named Greg Heffley is looking forward to an enjoyable Christmas at home however his parents desire to escape the busy holiday experiences so they book a trip to a tropical island for their family of five. What begins as a stress-free idea turns into a chain of stressful yet hilarious (for the reader) escapades throughout the book. My Book Eyes laughed at adults who sometimes think and act like children and children who sometimes think and act like adults. Anyone who has ever taken an airplane trip will definitely be able to relate to some of the events (flight delays, luggage mix ups, uncomfortable seats etc) encountered by the Heffleys. Once they reach their destination more adventures await this family. Illustrations and text are entertaining and provoke nonstop laughter.

Danny’s Christmas List by author Tieska Jumbo and illustrator Aquil Khan

Publisher: Jumbo House Publishing

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

In this rhyming picture book, a child named Danny spies Santa while Santa is on his break at a market. Danny has a list of questions to ask. Santa explains to Danny that Christmas is bigger than material things. Danny learns that Christmas is about family, tradition and cheer. Illustrations match the text.