Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom (Step into Reading) by author Sharon Dennis Wyeth and illustrator Kim Holt

Reading Age: 5 – 8

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Abraham Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 freeing slaves in southern confederate states. Many slaves did not realize they were free. People living in rural or isolated areas had difficulty receiving news. Unlike today, communications in the 1800s travelled slowly. Sometimes slave owners intentionally kept the news from slaves so slaves continued to provide free labor. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger presented General Order No.3 in Galveston, Texas that slaves were notified of their freedom. This early reader discusses the history of Juneteenth for children learning to read. Illustrations are filled with emotion and events pre and post Juneteenth’s beginning.

One Good Night ’til Easter by author Frank J. Berrios III and illustrator Ramon Olivera

Reading Age: Baby – 3

Grade Level: Preschool and up

Publisher: LB Kids

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

In this rhyming board book, diverse children and their families get ready for Easter. There are treats to make, cards to create, eggs to decorate and to find, chocolate to taste, guests to welcome and new outfits to wear. The illustrations are bright and leave readers and listeners feeling happy. A fun read.

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 Morgan, 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.

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, written by 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, organize 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.

The Broken Ornament by Tony DiTerlizzi

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

A boy named Jack wants a spectacular Christmas. He wants the most decorations and the biggest tree. He finds a box with an ornament in it. His mother does not want him to hang the ornament but Jack hurries to the tree and drops the ornament. His mother is upset. When nobody but Jack is around, a fairy appears from the broken ornament. She gives Jack an extravagant Christmas yet with all she can do, the fairy cannot repair the ornament. The fairy reveals the reason for Jack’s mother’s feelings and he decides that a luxurious Christmas isn’t what he needs at this time. Jack finds a way to warm his mother’s heart and the family has a wonderful Christmas. Illustrations show a range of emotions. This is another picture book that reveals a character’s growth. A story that shows that a child has to think about the feelings of others particularly the adults in their lives.

Construction Site: Merry and Bright by author Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrator A. G. Ford

Reading Age: 2 – 4 years

Grade Level: Preschool and up

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

In this lift the flap book, a crew of vehicles consisting of an excavator, crane, bulldozer and cement mixer are getting the construction site ready for Christmas. Youngsters will enjoy lifting the flap to find out what is decorating the site. The text is rhyming. Illustrations of cheerful vehicles are loaded with details for eyes to survey.

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread by author Carla Hall and illustrator Cherise Harris

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

In this holiday picture book, readers see Carla Hall as a youngster and traditions that her family partakes in to celebrate Christmas. Grandma’s cornbread is delicious. Something special is made for Santa. It is his Christmas cookie. This year Carla can’t resist biting the cookie intended for Santa. Will Santa bypass Carla’s home? My Book Eyes enjoys taking a step back in time when viewing illustrations of hair styles, clothing, home decor and cars from the 70s. A recipe is included.

My Baby Loves Halloween by author Jabari Asim and illustrator Tara Nicole Whitaker


Reading Age: Baby – 4

Grade Level: Preschool and Up

Publisher: HarperFestival

Publication Date: July 14, 2020

A child loves things associated with Halloween including the autumn season, pumpkin picking, jack-o-lantern, hayrides and costume parades to name a few. The repeat of the words “baby loves…” and the rhyming in this board book will delight youngsters. Illustrations include one family interacting with other families on some spreads. The pictures do not overwhelm and show just enough for young eyes to see.

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.

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.