Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Children's Books for September 2016
Fall is here, and the books are plentiful! Books about stories, our first holiday books, and one very fluffy kitty feature on this month's picture book list.
Though inspired by a real astronaut's childhood fear of the dark, this picture book felt more narrative than biographical in the best way. The illustrations by the Fan Brothers, who did The Night Gardener earlier this year, depict reality, dreams, and nightmares with equal depth. A wise picture book with nice touches of humor, about facing darkness and living your dreams.
1 / 7
The child of books, born from classic children's stories and lullabies, takes a boy on an adventure through all kinds of stories, escaping reality. The illustrations incorporate passages from works like Robinson Crusoe, Alice in Wonderland, and Rapunzel, threaded gorgeously throughout. This collaboration between two book lovers' combined art forms celebrates the creativity that comes from many voices.
2 / 7
A. N. Kang
A kitty so fluffy it floats - it's as funny and sweet as it sounds. As someone who owns a rather fluffy kitty, I loved this quite a bit, with illustrations are just as light and lovely as the cat himself. Papillon proves when you feel like you're lost and drifting, friendship keeps you grounded.
3 / 7
We've had a lot of books that personify books, but not many that personify stories. This is an amazing overview of the history of the narrative, from cave paintings to words on a tablet screen, all with colorful pictures and an easy-to-follow narrative. I particularly appreciated how no form of story sharing was regarded as better than others - all stories and forms of storytelling are important.
4 / 7
"A hop is up. A bend is down. A spin is round and round and round." A Hop is Up is a bouncy, fun work full of action words for kids to learn and enjoy as they follow a boy and his dog through their neighborhood.
5 / 7
What happens when one of Santa's elves stumbles upon the celebration of Hannukah? One wouldn't think these two would mesh well, but Shelf is a fun exploration of the Jewish holiday through the lens of magic the North Pole brings. That plus the diversity in the illustrations make this book a great addition to the growing list of Hannukah books - especially considering the two holidays happen simultaneously this year!
6 / 7
The last installment in the beloved Penguin series should not be missed! The holidays may not always go the way we plan, but Penguin shows us, as he always does, that friends and heartfelt gestures are what truly matter.
7 / 7