Five favorite picks from The Carle Bookshop

Manager of The Carle Bookshop at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art 
Friday, August 04, 2017

Here are a few books, both new and old, that I’ve loved recommending to customers at The Carle Bookshop this summer.

“Baby’s First Words” by Christiane Engel 

This wonderful new board book follows a young girl and her two dads throughout their busy day, introducing essential nouns, verbs and more to support language development. Board books are perfect for little hands, and the bright, colorful illustrations and clever tabs in this new title offer important stimulation for even the youngest audience. I especially love that the book depicts a diverse family without fanfare, making it a wonderful addition to any home library. While the pages are quite busy, kids will enjoy poring over all the details and trying to spot the woolly mammoth “teddy bear” on each page.

“Little Fox in the Forest” by Stephanie Graegin 

In this wordless picture book, a young girl takes her favorite stuffed fox to show-and-tell but is surprised when it is stolen by an actual fox! With the help of a friend, she sets off on a rescue mission through a magical parallel world of animals and ultimately forms an important new friendship. I was completely swept away by this sweet story. The charming illustrations employ such a clever use of color and comic paneling and contain delightful details that will make you want to revisit this book again and again. 

“Toys Go Out” by Emily Jenkins,pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky 

Adorable, funny and sweet, this short chapter book brings to life the adventures of three toys: a stuffed stingray, a stuffed buffalo, and a plastic ball. I love recommending this book to families because it makes such a terrific read-aloud for a range of ages, especially for the four-to-six set who are ready for longer stories but not ready for the sophisticated or scary plots of some longer chapter books. This relatively simple yet well-written book is perfect for fans of Winnie the Pooh and the Toy Story movies. 

“This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World” by Matt Lamothe 

A beautifully illustrated look at the lives of seven children and their families in different parts of the world. From Russia to Uganda, Iran to Peru, this picture book explores their similarities and differences, such as the clothes they wear and the foods they eat, while emphasizing the common threads that unite us all. It’s fascinating to learn about cultures, experiences and families different from our own, but I especially love that this book avoids making broad generalizations about the regions and cultures depicted by featuring real families (including their photographs). 

Lumberjanes Vol. 1, “Beware the Kitten Holy,” by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis, illustrated by Brooke Allen

In this first volume of Lumberjanes, the popular graphic-novel series for ages 10+, five fiercely awesome campers kick off the summer uncovering magical and supernatural creatures, embarking on exciting quests that draw on their unique strengths, smarts and bonds of friendship. The action-packed illustrations, laugh-out-loud funny hijinks, and strong, diverse female characters are beloved by readers of all ages — myself included!