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Wednesday/Thursday Book Review

February 17th, 2022

All the feels today.

One of my library kids, years ago when I first went into teaching, really, really wanted to help shelve books. I noticed her take books from the cart, copying how the other children did it, and then walk to the stacks. She spent a lot of time looking at the books in her arms, the books on the shelf, back to the books in her arms, and then casually returned them to the cart.

She waited until the other students left to return to class, then asked me, again, so chill, “Ms. Nancy, the books? You organize them by color, right?” So we took a few minutes to re-learn the Dewey Decimal System. I loved that experience, because it had never occurred to me that someone would see just the colors in the stacks, not the classifications (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Easy Readers, etc.), not the titles, not the authors.

“You know that one book, with the bright red cover?” “Sure, it’s right over here in the red section.”

Later, I was flipping through interior decorating/home design magazines and noticed a trend with the bookshelves — books arranged by color. That kid was onto something.

Which brings me to “Thankful” (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021, ages 4-8 and older, $17.99), a recent title from Elaine Vickers, with pictures by Samantha Cotterill. I want to climb inside this book, for real. Shrink myself like Alice in Wonderland and venture in. The snow falls, and a little girl begins her family’s annual tradition of cutting out slips of brightly-colored paper and writing out everything she is thankful for. The list includes her home, her parents, the poem they whisper to her nightly, love, dreams, her dog, stars, candles, everything. All of it.

The story is lovely, and the art is really special. The artist made paper dolls, tiny sets, dioramas, little beds and bedding, and just for me? A bookstore and bookcases with the teensiest books, arranged… you guessed it… by color.

Thanks for this title, Cotterill, Vickers and the team who put it together. Highly recommend, not just for the littles, but for the artists and dreamers in the audience, too.

“The Blessing of You” (WaterBrook & Multnomah, 2021, ages 3-8, 40 pages, $12.99) is another new release, this one from authors Mark Batterson and Summer Batterson Dailey, with illustrations by Benedetta Capriotti. Rhymes and illustrations guide children in learning about God’s generosity and grace. Sweet book.

Glorious illustrations by Khoa Le grace “Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week.” The book is written by Mitali Perkins (WaterBrook & Multnomah, 2022, $15.99). The new release hits the shelves on Feb. 2022, be sure to look for it.

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