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5 New Books Cultivate Childhood Curiosity

Picture Books

Today’s inquisitive youngsters will be tomorrow’s future-shapers; it is important that they be equipped with the curiosity and the creativity to confront the challenges we leave behind. These wonder-prompting picture books, reviewed in our upcoming Winter 2017 edition, may serve as an early set of tools for them—encouraging them to think beyond the box about why and how problems arise (and how they might be defeated); moving them to awe in and shape the sciences; reminding them of the universe beyond the world’s immediate problems, and inspiring them to push boundaries to explore and chart it.

Cinderstella

A Tale of Planets Not Princes

Book Cover
Brenda S. Miles
Susan D. Sweet
Magination Press
Unknown
978-1-4338-2270-4
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Cinderstella is a retelling of a classic fairy tale, but in this version, the young lass has dreams that go far beyond finding a prince. Cinderstella’s stepsisters demand her help each day to get ready for the ball, but at night, she studies the sky and dreams of becoming an astronaut. The story, intended for children ages four to eight, is accompanied by charming, humorous illustrations, creating a work that gently encourages children to expand their dreams beyond traditional gender and socioeconomic roles. A note to readers at the end of the story offers suggestions on how caregivers can foster a child’s interest in STEM subjects.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (November 11, 2016)

I Want a Bedtime Story!

Book Cover
Tony Ross
Anderson Press USA
Hardcover $17.99 (32pp)
978-1-5124-1629-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

I Want A Bedtime Story! is an endearing tale about a princess who cannot go to sleep without a bedtime story from her daddy. When he is gone, everyone else in the castle tries to tell her stories, but none of them do it well enough. Finally the maid takes her to the castle library and shows her the picture books. The little girl quickly discovers the joy of reading. Watercolor illustrations express the frustration of the castle inhabitants as they try to get the princess to sleep, as well as the happiness that she finds in her new books. For children ages four to nine, and very effective in encouraging young children to learn to read.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (November 11, 2016)

A Child of Books

Book Cover
Oliver Jeffers
Sam Winston
Candlewick Press
Hardcover $17.99 (40pp)
978-0-7636-9077-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

A Child of Books is a gorgeous book about creativity, imagination, and a love of books. The first-person narrative describes the joy and the adventure of stories. In simple pen-and-ink drawings, two children roam through a landscape of words from well-known stories that many adults will remember from childhood. Appropriate for children ages four and up, this is clearly intended for anyone who appreciates the gift of imagination and all the places a good book can lead to.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (November 11, 2016)

Blip!

Book Cover
Barnaby Richards
Toon Books
Hardcover $12.95 (40pp)
978-1-935179-98-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Highly appealing, Blip! introduces children ages four to six to the sequential art found in comic books. The book tells the story of a robot exploring an alien planet and consists of very few words. In fact, the only words in the robot’s vocabulary are ’blip,“ with an occasional “bleep” thrown in. The limited language does not limit the story. The simple yet engaging artwork does a wonderful job filling in the details.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (November 11, 2016)

My Mega Monsterpedia

Book Cover
Catherine Leblanc
Roland Garrigue, illustrator
Insight Kids
Hardcover $16.99 (72pp)
978-1-60887-709-6
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

My Mega Monsterpedia is a clever and amusing look at everyday fears and annoyances and the monsters that cause them. Aimed at children ages six and up, the book gives children a way to name and then manage their fears while at the same time making them laugh. Colorful and very creative illustrations of fifty different monsters personify a large range of possible nuisances—from a stuffy nose to a thunderstorm to lice. Each monster is presented with strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, exactly what a child must do to get rid of it.

CATHERINE REED-THURESON (November 11, 2016)

Michelle Anne Schingler

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