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Culture Children's Books

Children's Books

Books

Children's Books

Recent picture books

Most people have heard of Winnie the Pooh, but few know of Winnie, the (female) black bear inspiration for A.A. Milne’s classic stories. Warm artwork enriches the story of veterinarian Harry Colebourn, who brings an orphaned black bear cub from Canada to Europe during World War I. After a distinguished career as military mascot, Winnie (short for Winnipeg) makes her home at the London Zoo. There, Milne’s son Christopher Robin meets her and is instantly enamored, inventing imaginary adventures for them both. Colebourn’s great-granddaughter writes this story-behind-the-story to her young son. (For ages 3-6.)

This Is My Home, This Is My School

Bean describes the homeschool experiences of many families by having a young boy introduce readers to his mother/teacher and sisters/classmates in classrooms that range from a chaotic living room to a nearby creek. We meet a crabby cafeteria lady (his mom cleaning up messes), a bully (the dog), and literal field trips. When things get tough, a substitute teacher (his dad) steps in to teach shop class, physical education, and literature at bedtime. Loose drawings with watercolors suggest the energy and chaos that often accompany a homeschool day in this delightful sequel to Building Our House. (For ages 3-6.)

B Is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet

In this 25th-anniversary reprint, new illustrations complement Wilner’s original text celebrating Christ’s birth. Beginning with A for Augustus and ending with Z for Zest, childlike collages sparkle and dance on each page, inviting readers into the Christmas story. While the text ranges from concrete (Bethlehem) to abstract (glory), it remains faithful to the source material while adding a few extrabiblical elements such as oxen. Families looking for a simple, enjoyable way to consider Christmas together will find this a helpful resource, and those familiar with the original book may appreciate the new hardback presentation. (For ages 4-8.)

I Really Like Slop!

In this easy reader, Piggie encourages her elephant friend Gerald to try the foul-smelling slop she adores. After all, it’s “part of pig culture.” Gerald’s reactions toward the reeking bowl—complete with flies buzzing around it—range from horror to trepidation. But as he realizes his rejection hurts his best friend’s feelings, he tries a tiny taste, with surprising results. Gerald does not change his mind about slop, but he does prove the importance of their relationship. A great story of loyalty that will encourage kids to try new things. (For ages 6-8.)

Spotlight

When Tita the chameleon climbs onto the shoulder of young Mu, he sets the African boy on a heart-stopping adventure that will carry along young readers, too. A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre (New Growth Press, 2015) is rich in the beauty and danger of Africa. Mu’s journey takes him through difficult circumstances, including being a child soldier. The book does contain some violence, but it isn’t gruesome, and Mu’s quest eventually leads to a moving lesson in redemption and sacrifice.

Myhre spent two decades working as a physician alongside her also-physician husband at a rural medical clinic in Uganda. The book is the first of four fiction works she wrote as Christmas presents for her children, and it will beckon many young readers (ages 12 and up) to learn more about the African continent, as well as their own fallen nature. —Mindy Belz