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.

The Little Mermaid by author/illustrator Jerry Pinkney

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November 3, 2020

In this version of The Little Mermaid, an inquisitive mermaid named Melody desires to encounter life on land. Her craving leads her to trade a gifted voice for legs so that she can explore an anti aquatic lifestyle. Melody does not realize that the Sea Witch who grants her wish for legs has evil plans. Mr. Pinkney’s intricate details, color variations and depictions of movements are delightful to view.

One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller by author/illustrator Kate Read

Reading Level: 2 – 6 years

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company

Publication Date: October 1. 2019

Who would have thought that a counting book for children could create tension and unnerving moments then leave readers feeling safe and victorious at the end? A sly fox thinks he found a meal in the hen house but birds of a feather flock together in this picture book. Word selection matches the books theme. Brightly colored collage illustrations with some black backgrounds add chilling moments i.e. eight beady eyes and ten sharp teeth. This is another story that can be read anytime of the year however with the right voice, a Halloween fright could be delivered before a snug ending.

Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale by author Marjuan Canady and illustrator Nabeeh Bilal

Reading Level: 3 – 7 years

Publisher: Sepia Works, LLC

Publication Date: November 18, 2013

A young boy named Winston loves eating callaloo which is a popular Caribbean meal. His aunt asks him to go to the store to buy a bush that she needs to make more callaloo. On his way, Winston stops to buy not one but two frozen treats and eats them. He boards a train and suddenly finds that he is no longer in New York but on the beautiful island of Tobago. He decides to get some crabs. Winston encounters several Caribbean folklore creatures that are somewhat creepy and mysterious after he collects the crabs and eventually releases them. He learns not to take more than he needs. This story is entertaining and teaches a lesson about greed. Unfamiliar words are bold throughout the text. There is a glossary in the back of the book. My Book Eyes enjoyed learning about the Caribbean mythical creatures. Illustrations match the text and add gloom, darkness and slight scare when needed but nothing that a young child couldn’t handle. This picture book ends happily with Winston safe at home. It can be read anytime of the year however, it would be a great read at a Halloween party by a storyteller who knows how to tell a spooky story.

I Believe in Me (Wonderful Me) by author Lorie Ann Grover and illustrator Carolina Buzio

Grade Level: Preschool and up

Publisher: Cartwheel Books

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

This board book is filled with fun rhyming affirmations for young children. It builds confidence by acknowledging tasks that little ones can do. The illustrations are large and filled with bold colors and diverse characters. Some pictures show sequential actions. A good book to share with an individual or a group.

B is for Breathe: The ABCs of Coping with Fussy and Frustrating Feelings by Dr. Melissa Munro Boyd

Grade Level: Preschool – 5

Publisher: Melissa Munro Boyd

Publication Date: February 28, 2019

Just looking at this picture book’s cover makes My Book Eyes feel relaxed and like a huge burden has been lifted. The audience learns from A to Z, activities that can be done in order to reach a better state of mind. The text is just enough description for children to understand without being overwhelmed. Illustrations are adorable and easily discernible. Multicultural people are shown throughout the book. From counting to imagine to yoga and all tasks not mentioned, this book is a treasure for any library.