Children’s Books

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Children’s Books of the Year | NOVEL OF THE YEAR: A New York story about a family in Harlem and a misanthropic landlord shows the benefits of living in close quarters
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/01/18, 03:57 pm

The Vanderbeeker family lives in a century-old brownstone in the heart of Harlem: Papa and Mama (who are called Papa and Mama), 12-year-old twins Jessie and Isa, 9-year-old Oliver, 6-year-old Hyacinth, and 4¾-year-old Laney, along with an assortment of furry four-footed family members. As their story opens, Papa announces he has good news and bad news. First the good: “You kids all know how much Mama and I love you, right?”

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Dissolving identities

Children’s Books of the Year | Gender fluidity for preschoolers
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/01/18, 03:49 pm

A British newspaper headline from last summer explains a lot—sort of: “Mother writes children’s book about Tilly the transgender teddy bear after being inspired by her father who transitioned into a woman.” The Daily Mail article reported that Jessica Walton of Melbourne, Australia, was raising money to publish a picture book that would help her baby son relate to his new “grandma.” Walton reached her Kickstarter goal and Introducing Teddy made its appearance last year.

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Off the pages, into the heart

Children’s Books of the Year | PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR: WORLD’s 2018 Children’s Books of the Year section begins with a psalm-inspired story of classmate reconciliation
by Susan Olasky
Posted 2/01/18, 03:46 pm

We publish in each issue one page of children’s book reviews, and we feature each year a special section spotlighting what our reviewers believe are the previous year’s most attention-worthy kids’ books in the fiction, nonfiction, and picture book categories. Of all the books published in 2017, our WORLD Picture Book of the Year is The Watcher (Eerdmans). Author Nikki Grimes and illustrator Bryan Collier developed it for an audience older—8 and up—than typical picture book users. It begins with the text of Psalm 121 laid out above a collage cityscape.

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