By Pam Heller
For Younger Readers
by Jo Empson
Close your eyes and let your imagination take over—wonderful advice. This book opens the door to the possibilities for young readers to experience, and begin to master, the power of imagination. The young girl in this story proclaims nothing exciting ever happens to her…“Never, ever! Humph.”Then she closes her eyes and sets off on a stroll, which just happens to involve an ever-changing abstract of vibrant colors and an array of unusual characters including a flying pig, a purple gorilla and a dandy lion, among others. This is an entertaining, wry and wise read. Go ahead…close your eyes. Ages 2 to 6.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
by Dan Santat
Poor little Beekle has been waiting on an island filled with a wonderful assortment of imaginary friends. They are each waiting to be imagined by their own special child and given a name. But nobody ever picks Beekle. So, he courageously chooses to go off on a journey to hopefully find his own special friend. And he does. And it’s wonderful. The illustrations bring such expression, movement and charm to make this a truly huggable story. Ages 3 to 7.
For Older Readers
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
by Jen Bryant
Horace Pippin (1888 –1946) was a self-taught artist who “couldn’t stop drawing.”Jen Bryant, the author of this multi-award winning biography, lets Pippin’s story be told through her eloquent text, along with the artist’s palette of colors, his perseverance of character and humble words. The exceptional resources provided at the end of the book are especially useful in continuing the discussion of Horace Pippin, his art and his place in history. Ages 6 to 12.
Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin
by Liesl Shurtliff
He’s twelve years old, and his name is his destiny, but he doesn’t know that yet. Actually, he doesn’t even know his full name. He only knows that everyone makes fun of him. Then he finds an old spinning wheel and discovers his talent for spinning straw into gold. As he spins himself deeper into a magical curse, his friends, courage and odd sense of humor help him survive and triumph in this fairy tale odyssey filled with poison apples, pesky pixies, trolls and of course, a wicked—yet foolish—witch. A great read-aloud or read alone. Ages 8 to 12.