Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Entertaining & educational picture books on families, bravery, & sharing [Review & Giveaway]

Candlewick’s January and February 2024 releases are the perfect additions to any child's collection . These lyrical and beautifully illustrated picture books are educational and entertaining. 

My Mother's Tongues: A Weaving of Languages by Uma Menon & illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

My thoughts:  Growing up as a child in the southern part of the USA, I spoke, read, knew only one language - American English. In my adult life I have engaged with many people from various countries across the world. The world has become small with travel, communication, and technology so abundant and vast. I truly envy those who know more than one language and especially those who are fluent in them.

In My Mother's Tongues this sweet little girl recounts how her mother, born in Kerala but living in America, fluently speaks both languages. The girl also recounts how she is learning both languages even though she is American born. They travel. They engage many extended family members who are fluent in numerous languages. The girls hopes to one day be fluent in many languages.

This is truly a book to share with children. This is truly a goal to desire - that of learning to speak and understand many more languages than the one which is your "first tongue."

I highly recommend.

About the book: In a sparkling debut authored by a sixteen-year-old daughter of immigrants, this ode to the power of multilingualism gives voice to the lasting benefits of speaking with more than one tongue.

Sumi’s mother can speak two languages, Malayalam and English. And she can switch between them at the speed of sound: one language when talking to Sumi’s grandmother, another when she addresses the cashier. Sometimes with Sumi she speaks a combination of both. Could it be she possesses a superpower? With awe and curiosity, young Sumi recounts the story of her mother’s migration from India and how she came to acquire two tongues, now woven together like fine cloth. Rahele Jomepour Bell’s inviting illustrations make playful use of visual metaphors, while Uma Menon’s lyrical text, told astutely from a child’s perspective, touches lightly on such subjects as linguistic diversity and accent discrimination (“no matter how they speak, every person’s voice is unique and important”). This welcome debut, penned when the author was still a teenager, is an unabashed celebration of the gift of multilingualism—a gift that can transport people across borders and around the world.

How to Be Brave by Karl Newson & illustrated by Clara Anganuzzi

My thoughts: The adorable illustrations show a lone boy engaging with a variety of animals - mostly wild, jungle animals or creatures from the seas. The text flows beautifully and gentle encouraging "you" to try anything. Be brave. Get up when you fall. Make friends.

There's a sun in the sky and a world at your feet; just waiting to be explored...

The illustrations are soft watercolors and beautifully done. Lots of opportunity to engage a young child with seek and find, discussions about what's happening, etc.

I highly recommend.

About the book: Join a child and their animal friends as they learn the importance of trying new things in this heartfelt story from the creators of How to Help a Friend.

Wherever your adventures take you, lead with your heart and your smile!

This uplifting picture book empowers children to explore a world of possibilities. Join a child and their animal friends as they tackle new experiences and discover that it’s OK to try things without knowing how they will turn out. And even though it can be a little scary, trying something new can also be rewarding when it means making memories, and even new friends. The important thing to remember is to always try your best and be yourself.

One Sweet Song by Jyoti Rajan Gopal & illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

My thoughts: Such a sweet story that beautifully captures the community sense of togetherness during the Covid pandemic when "shelter in place" required people to stay at home. Isolated, they opened their windows and sang together or played their instruments together.

In One Sweet Song a little girl sits at her opened window and hears the trill of one-sweet-note. She picks up her musical triangle and joins in the song. Soon another, a violin, joins and there are 3 sweet notes. On the count goes as does the song.

Sweet lyrical rhymes tell the story as the sound builds in the readers mind.

I highly recommend. This is a good opportunity to recall to young children the days of the pandemic and the isolation felt by all. Also, how people still connected via balcony and window musical expression.

About the book: In an ode to the power of music and community, this vibrantly illustrated picture book steps out on the balcony for a shared moment of spontaneous joy and celebration.

In a quiet neighborhood, a single note trills through the air. Another note joins, and then another. One by one, curious people are drawn to their windows, doorways, and balconies to support the medley. Professional musicians play instruments from around the world, while others bang pots and pans. All are welcome as the notes swirl and dip and crescendo, coming together to make one sweet song. And when the music fades and this diverse neighborhood is once again silent, the reverberations of unity remain. Written by a kindergarten teacher and inspired by the balcony singing in Italy during the pandemic—with a countdown from one to ten and back gently woven in—this rhythmic synergy of text and art is a buoyant, global-minded celebration of how music connects us, even in the darkest of times.

Winner may choose 1 book from reviewed.
Begins February 21
Ends March 17 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway prize is provided by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. Secret word: Music

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