By Pam Heller
For Younger Readers
Little White Rabbit
by Kevin Henkes
With spring right around the corner, Little White Rabbit is a perfect board book for curious little hands. The story follows the path of an adventuresome little white rabbit as he explores his new surroundings. He is filled with questions about the natural world around him, which in turn may encourage little readers to ask their own questions. What would it be like to be as still as a rock or as tall as a tree? Best of all, little white rabbit discovers, at the end of the story, what it feels like to know the love of family and the warmth of home. For ages 1 to 4.
by Hannah E. Harrison
It’s refreshing to find a story that lets readers know they should value themselves for being just the way they are, rather than comparing themselves to others and thinking less of themselves. Jane is a small dog who is surrounded by very talented circus animals. She isn’t artistically talented like the painting elephant. She isn’t graceful like her mother, riding on the back of a galloping pony, nor is she strong like her weight-lifting father. Jane is just Jane, and her friend the Ringmaster adores her “being Jane” so perfectly. The story is further enhanced by the endearing illustrations depicting the “cuter than cute” Barnaby Beluchi Circus family. For ages 3 to 5.
For Older Readers
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art
by Barb Rosenstock
Vasily Kandinsky was an extremely intelligent man from a wealthy family in Russia. He could have followed a safe path to a successful career in math, science or law. Instead, he followed his creative passion for art and music. He became one of the foremost abstract artists and gave several of his masterpieces musical titles because he saw colors as sound. This book follows young Vasya in his journey through his “noisy” paint box and may inspire fellow young artists to see and listen to their art. The creative illustrations will invite readers into the colorful world of Vasily Kandinsky. For ages 5 to 9.
The Hundred Dresses
by Eleanor Estes
Wanda, a young Polish girl, is living with her family in Connecticut. She is the subject of teasing because she wears the same faded blue dress every day to school. She tells the girls that she has 100 beautiful dresses at home in her closet. The girls laugh at this obvious lie. Soon Wanda’s father moves the family to another city where they hope to avoid the hurtful behavior and prejudice. Originally written in 1944, The Hundred Dresses is still an excellent book to use for dealing with the subject of bullying, prejudice and the healing power of kindness and compassion. This newly-reissued edition is accompanied by a letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork. For ages 6 to 12.