I thought I missed my chance to review these March debuts, so imagine my surprise when I opened a big box (filled with the nicest bubble wrap) and discovered the lovely hardcover books B IS FOR BABY and NOAH BUILDS AN ARK. A huge thank you to the Candlewick team for zipping these out to me!
B IS FOR BABY is a beautiful book written by Atinuke and illustrated by Angela Brooksbank. Each page features a word beginning with B, but also conveys a heartwarming story arc colorfully set in West Africa. Big Brother brings a basket of bananas (via his bike) to Baba in the next village. Neither he or Mama realize, however, that Baby has climbed inside the basket! The double page spread that shows Baby reaching for Baba, Baba’s delight, and Big Brother’s shock is exceptionally illustrated. Kids will love the simple words and bright pictures, but adults will feel Mama’s relief when she hugs Baby in the last “B is for Baby” reunion page.
Atinuke is the author of many wonderful books, including 2017’s BABY GOES TO MARKET. To connect with her, click here.
NOAH BUILDS AN ARK, authored by Kate Banks and illustrated by John Rocco, is written in a lush, poetic storytelling style that I deeply admire. When a big storm approaches, Noah’s mother and father prepare for a long siege. But while they take care of the grown-up stuff, Noah turns his red wagon into a refuge for the backyard animals and insects. I’m hard pressed to find one favorite passage, since they’re all so good. But here’s one when the rain first starts:
“Suddenly, the sun snapped off its light. A curtain of darkness drew across the sky. The rain tiptoed at first, pitter-patter, pitter-patter.”
When the young boy sets up the refuge with all the creature comforts of home (including a muffin tray filled with nuts, seeds, grass, and berries), my heart goes pitter-patter. This book is sure to generate wonderful discussions at home or in the classroom setting. Award-winning author Kate Banks writes picture books to YA. To connect with her, click here.
B is for BRAVO to the authors and illustrators of these wonderful books. Both are available on Amazon or your local bookseller. I’m thrilled to have them in my personal library and know you will be, too!