Amara’s Farm by author JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrator Samara Hardy

Reading Age: 3 – 7 years

Grade Level: 1-2

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company

Publication Date: September 1, 2021

Amara needs a pumpkin to share with her friends at a potluck. What does a pumpkin look like? Readers learn about shape, color, size, textures and inside and outside contents of a pumpkin to make it easily distinguishable from other fruits and vegetables. The problem? On her farm, Amara has fruits and vegetables that share some attributes of pumpkins. Will she find a pumpkin in time for the potluck? At the feast, viewers are asked to find foods mentioned throughout the book.This is a wonderful picture book that educates youngsters about differences between a variety of fruits and vegetables. My Book Eyes enjoyed seeing edibles that are not often mentioned in books such as okra, kumquat, persimmon, cauliflower, fig, and kiwi. Also, illustrations include warm autumn colors and diverse characters at the potluck. A recipe is included. Many projects could be generated from this book.

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.

Hugo Sprouts and the Strange Case of the Beans by John Loren

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Reading Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

In this rhyming picture book, Hugo P. Sprouts is an inventor and smallest person in his family. He is tired of being overlooked for sports, being too short for amusement rides and having to go to bed early to name a few. His dad advises Hugo that he will grow if he eats liver and beans however this solution does not produce immediate results. Disappointed, Hugo rushes to his lab and concocts a growth potion that he drinks. He instantly grows into a beast. Hugo is finally able to do things that larger people do. Greed gets the best of Hugo as he enjoys and destroys. With the help of his dog, he realizes his wrongdoings and shrinks back to size. Illustrations are amusing with slightly eerie green and gray tints on pages. Can be read anytime of the year. Consider reading for Halloween to deliver a message in a fun way.

23 Halloween Crafts for Kids: Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas and Spooky Decor Kindle Edition

Publisher: Prime Publishing LLC

Publication Date: August 25, 2014

This ebook offers a variety of costumes and Halloween decorations to make. Most people will have many materials for these items already in their homes to cut down on costs. The ideas are not complicated so adult beginner crafters should not feel intimidated. Children can also participate with adult supervision. Included are websites from the contributors to this ebook to gain more crafting ideas. My Book Eyes enjoyed the Spooky Clay Skeleton, Paper Mache Plastic Bag Pumpkin, Beaded Jack-O-Lantern Ornaments, Three Dimensional Monster Hands, Party Poppers, Foam Animal Masks, Menacing Monster Gloves, Fairy Princess Wand and Tutu and No Sew Monster Costume.

A Friend Like You by authors Frank Murphy and Charnaie Gordon and illustrator Kayla Harren

Reading Age: 5 – 8

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Publication Date: August 15, 2021

What is a friend? People connect with each other for different reasons. Whether it is short term, long term, for external or internal reasons or for causes no one else can understand except those involved, people bond. This picture book explores several ways that people can be friends. My Book Eyes learned much from this book. Illustrations are of diverse people with a host of scenarios for eyes to explore. A catalyst for discussions and projects centered around friendships and getting along with others.

The Cot in the Living Room by author Hilda Eunice Burgos and illustrator Gaby D’Alessandro

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Kokila

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

This is a touching story about a family that babysits children whose parents work at night. The children sleep on a cot in the living room. The young daughter in this story is envious of the special treatment that the babysat children receive until one night when the cot is empty. The young daughter gets to experience life alone on the cot. This story show’s the young daughter’s emotional growth. Illustrations match the sentiment of the text. A must read picture book.

Every Cake Has A Story by author Christina Tosi and illustrator Emily Balsley

Reading Age: 3 – 5 years

Publisher: Dial Books

Publication Date: September 21, 2021

Imagine living in a world where everything is a shade of gray. That is life in Sameville where a girl named Sammi lives. The dwellings, the vehicles, the clothes, the food…just gray. Sammi wants change. She goes to sleep one night with something tucked under her pillow. When she wakes up, a variety of hues and pigments brighten her world. She enlists the help of her diverse friends to create a cake made of an array of tastes, textures and colors. Illustrations support the theme of the book. A recipe is included.

My Dad Is A Grizzly Bear by author Swapna Haddow and illustrator Dapo Adeola

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Date: April 29, 2021

A youngster discusses why his dad is a grizzly bear which includes dad’s eating and napping habits, rough fur, love of long walks, climbing and camping which all seem to bother the child until someone else in the family tops dad! This is a funny story and one to read all year as different seasons are seen in illustration settings. Illustrations will keep readers laughing and feeling good about the relationship between a father and son in this picture book.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Reading Age: 4 – 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Formed in a pile of leaves is a figure that resembles a man. On a gusty day, Leaf Man blows away. The storyteller wonders where Leaf Man goes and shows various scenes of where he could possibly have blown if he went east, west, north or south. One thing is for sure. Leaf Man goes where the wind blows. Much of the illustrations are creatively made out of leaves and include ducks, geese, chickens, turkey, birds, cows, turtle, fish, butterflies, dog, mouse, trees and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Included are pictures of different leaves and where they come from. My Book Eyes will always remember school bulletin boards filled will leaf art inspired by this picture book. Ms. Ehlert will be missed.

Abby Invents The Foldibot by author Dr. Arlyne Simon and illustrator Diana Necsulescu

Reading Age: 4 – 9 years

Publisher: Abby Invents

Publication Date: September 15, 2021

In this Abby Invents series picture book, Abby sees how time consuming it is for her mother to fold clothes. With her mother’s encouragement, Abby decides to create a folding machine. She gets assistance from her cousin, Miko. The two survey people in their neighborhood, draw sketches, gather supplies and build their folding machine. As most inventors discover, it takes perseverance and several experiments to perfect their creations! This book sparks ingenuity in children, describing in words and illustrating in pictures work that needs to be done to become an inventor.