I firmly believe that picture books are for everyone. In my work as a marriage and family therapist I utilize bibliotherapy (the use of books to help people heal emotionally) with clients ages five to fifty. Picture books may appear simple, but many contain deeper messages that resonate with all ages.
I recently read and reviewed three picture books that can be used to evoke discussion and healing. Happy Book birthday to Soldier Song and Dormouse Dreams! In only one week Bob, Not Bob! will be available for purchase!
Bob, Not Bob!, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell speaks to the inner child in all of us. Coming out of Valentine’s day, this book shows the love between a mother and son and the challenges of taking care of people when we’re sick. My kids and I laughed out loud at the bright illustrations that enhance the already hilarious text. Little Louis is so sick and stuffed up that he can’t pronounce the word MOM without the dog (whose actual name is BOB) running to his rescue. Filled with comedy and wordplay, this lively text begs to be read aloud repeatedly.
Whether you’re sick or well, you’ll end up feeling better because you’re laughing out loud. Isn’t laughter the best medicine after all?
Soldier Song; A True Story of the Civil War by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Gilbert Ford is a moving non-fiction picture book. Armed with powerful words and illustrations this book explores a heavy topic, (war), finds the silver lining and shares how music brings people together.
Debbie Levy uses quotes from soldiers letters and written music to convey the story of the battle of Fredericksburg and how soldiers from both sides came together to sing “Home Sweet Home.”
In Debbie’s lyrical words: “…everyone who heard the song and who heard the cheering knew this: The enemy was also a son, a brother, a husband, a sweetheart. All suffered the same cold and muck, bad food and sickness. All longed for an end to the fighting. all wanted to go home–North, South, East, and West.”
Dormouse Dreams, by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Renata Liwska is filled with lyrical rhymes and engaging illustrations.
The lilting rhythm of well chosen words lulls you into a dreamlike state, helping you join dormouse in his dreams. Use of rhyme, onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance and other figurative language make this story fun to read and to listen to. The illustrations only add to this books appeal with expressive characters and other surprising details (like the snoring bird in the hollow of a tree).
Perfect for a calming bedtime story, a discussion on seasons and how they affect animals or the power of friendship, this book begs to be read and re-read.
What new releases have you read recently that got you thinking on a deeper level?
*Disney Hyperion provided review copies of these books. Thank you!*