Picturebook Reviews

Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor, Mehrdokht Amini (Illustrator)

Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 2015 by Lantana Publishing
Source: Library

Chicken in the Kitchen is an entertaining tale about a little girl called Anyaugo who wakes up the night before the yam festival to find a giant chicken ransacking the kitchen. She knows she has to stop the chicken before it destroys the food her mother and relatives prepared for the festival the next day but she cannot find the woodwit which is the only being that can help her defeat this chicken seemingly hellbent on destruction.

The art is beautiful and story full of whimsy and culture. Anyaugo finds out that there’s more to things and situations than meets the eye. Children reading this will be charmed by the illustrations and the story.

 

Ella, Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 6th 2017 by Frances Lincoln Children’s Bks
Source: Publisher

This nonfiction picturebook brings to life Ella Fitzgerald and her not well known friendship with Marilyn Monroe whose word on her behalf led Ella to land a gig in one of the racist establishments in town. Obviously the world at that point was more racist at that time and no matter how well you sung, if you were a certain, you wouldn’t gain admission in a joint that prided itself on whatever.

Anyway, the book contains a bite-sized history lesson about Ella and Marilyn and will serve to whet the appetite of those who wish to know more about them. I liked that the creator of this picturebook included some details at the end with pictures of both artists.

Ella, Queen of Jazz will be fantastic in a classroom.

The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan, Thomas Knight (Illustrations)

The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan, Thomas Knight (Illustrations)

Hardcover, 32 pages Published February 6th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Source: Raincoast Books Chances are, if you are a parent or take care of children, this scenario will be familiar to you. While picturebooks are usually the domain of children (or we pretend they are, ahem), The Big Bed is going to be more popular […]

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms

Don’t you love the title? A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms by Paul B. Janeczko (“by” in this case means “selected by”) and illustrated by Chris Raschka is a playful, creatively-inspiring introduction to poetic forms. Page by page an example of a particular form of poem is given in bold, […]

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

Sophia’s neighbor Mrs. Goldman spreads love and kindness through her knitting, keeping hearts and keppies (heads) toasty warm. But when Mrs. Goldman gives her own hat to Mrs. Chen, Sophia starts to worry about her friend and her cold keppie! Mrs. Goldman is so busy taking care of others that she forgets to take care […]

Review: Sleep Tight, Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter

Review: Sleep Tight, Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter

Sleep Tight Farm Hardcover, 36 pages August 2, 2016 : Chronicle Books Source: Library A captivating exploration of how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter, Sleep Tight Farm lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. This beautiful and informative book paints a fascinating […]

Review: What’s My Superpower?

Review: What’s My Superpower?

Hardcover, 36 pages Published 2017 by Inhabit Media Inc. Source: Publisher Nalvana feels like all of her friends have some type of superpower. She has friends with super speed (who always beat her in races), friends with super strength (who can dangle from the monkey bars for hours), and friends who are better than her at […]