Picture Books

Easter Books Collage

Picture Books for Easter

Easter baskets are a huge deal for my family. 13 years away from home, and Mom still sends a box filled with the usual suspects: Cadbury Creme Eggs, Peeps, Robin’s Eggs, and Jelly Beans. And, of course, a book. Easter has always been a time for my parents to get a special book for each…

Black Book of Colors

The Black Book of Colors

Listed as one of the best illustrated books of the year by the New York Times, I finally got my hands on a copy to review. It really is a delightful book, and makes a difficult subject approachable and engaging. I don’t know that I’d call it the best illustrated book of the year–it’s not really…

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Best Children’s Books of 2013

Last year, oh my, there were probably three picture books I liked. It was not a good year, alas. But this year has more than paid off. Here’s a quick recap of some of my very favorite picture books that came out in 2013 – listed in alphabetical order, because who can pick a real favorite?…

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Christmas, Remembered by Tomie de Paola

Tomorrow: my annual roundup of the best picture books of 2013! TITLE: Christmas Remembered AUTHOR + ILLUSTRATOR: Tomie dePaola PUBLISHED BY: Puffin/Putnam, 2006 In the first of 10 stories about Christmas in Tomie DePaola’s Christmas, Remembered, he tells us of the first Christmas he remembers: the Christmas of the miraculous fireplace. When he was three…

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A Small Nativity by Aquiles Nazoa and Ana Palmero Caceres

TITLE: A Small Nativity AUTHOR: Aquiles Nazoa ILLUSTRATOR: Ana Palmero Caceres PUBLISHED BY: Groundwood Books Nazoa, a winner of the Venezuelan National prize for Journalism, created this little poem about the birth of Christ. Embellishing tradition somewhat, he brought the figures of Mary and Joseph into the culture and context of Venezuela. His poem captured…

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The Books of Las Posadas

Las Posadas is one of my most treasured Christmas memories from growing up. A Mexican tradition (I wonder if it has roots in the Old World, or if it is only a New World custom), in the nine nights before Christmas (ending on Christmas Eve), families re-enact the journey through Bethlehem of Joseph and Mary…

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Mary Mother of Jesus by Mary Joslin and Alison Wisenfeld

TITLE: Mary, Mother of Jesus AUTHOR: Mary Joslin ILLUSTRATOR: Alison Wisenfeld PUBLISHED BY: Loyola Mary Joslin is perhaps the second best (second to Tomie dePaola) children’s book author dealing with religious subjects.  She is a fine writer, and never makes her stories too didactic — rather they are filled with life and character.  In this beautiful book illustrating the life…

Mary The Mother of Jesus

Mary: The Mother of Jesus by Tomie de Paola

TITLE: Mary: The Mother of Jesus AUTHOR + ILLUSTRATOR: Tomie De Paola PUBLISHED BY: Holiday House, 1995 In anticipation of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, let’s focus on Mary.  This is, by far, the most remarkable, beautiful, moving, joyful, present picture book dealing with the life of Mary that I have ever seen.  It breaks my heart…

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The Story of Christmas by Barbara Cooney and Loretta Krupinski

 TITLE: The Story of Christmas AUTHOR: Barbara Cooney ILLUSTRATOR: Loretta Krupinski PUBLISHED BY: Harper Collins, 1995 Well, as long as we are talking about Barbara Cooney (who, I am discovering, had quite the Christmas Book repertoire), I thought I’d like to bring to your attention her The Story of Christmas.  Originally, she wrote and illustrated this book (though, I understand, it…