These illustrated books are perfect for young readers age 6-10. Several of these were favorites in our school library at Moore Elementary. We need more diversity in our children’s books to illustrate the many aspects of the world today. These books provide this.
On cloudy days, Zoe and her father pretend that she has swallowed the sun, and then together they put it back up in the sky. After September 11th, Zoe decides she must secretly swallow the sun both to keep it safe, and to fill the void left by her missing father. As the days pass, however, the sun inside Zoe becomes too heavy a burden to bear. With her mother’s help, Zoe learns to accept her father’s death, and she puts the sun back in the sky where it belongs.
When a boy at school hurts Kamara’s feelings, she goes home and talks to her grandmother about it. Gramma tells Kamara to go upstairs and clean the old mirror in the guest room. But when Kamara starts to rub the glass, she discovers that the mirror is magical! Kamara sees brave women from the past who faced many challenges yet never gave up hope. When the mirror once again shows Kamara her own reflection, she sheds her self-doubt.
Max wants to visit a beautiful boutique that sells handmade dolls, but he worries that other children will tease him. When he finally finds the courage to enter the store, Max meets Señor Pepe who has been making dolls since he was a boy in Honduras. Señor Pepe shares his story with Max and reminds him that, “There is no shame in making something beautiful with your hands. Sewing is a skill—just like hitting a baseball or fixing a car.”
A mysterious boy from another planet chooses an unusual girl as his guide on Earth. The girl lives under a rock and lives on a diet of dreams; the boy, encased in a bubble, is unable to touch—or be touched by—anything around him. As their friendship develops, the mysterious boy and the unusual girl begin to recognize the limits of their sheltered lives. The two children find a way to shatter the bubble that separates them from one another and the world.
Best friends Carlos and Tariq love their block, but the playground has been taken over by older boys. When they decide to turn the yard of an abandoned brownstone into their secret hang-out spot, they discover that the overgrown yard is already occupied by an ancient phoenix! When the Pythons try to claim the yard for their gang, the magical bird gives the friends the courage to make a stand against the bullies who threaten to ruin their beloved neighborhood.
It took some time for Nikki to adjust to her parents’ divorce, but now she and her little sister Natalie enjoy their new routine. But everything changes when Daddy picks them up for their weekend visit and introduces the girls to his new friend Sylvia. Nikki decides not to spend the weekend with Daddy anymore. Only after talking about her feelings with her aunt does Nikki learn that her father’s love is unchanging, and that there is room in his heart to love many different people.
Have you read any of these books to your children? If so, how did they like them? Do you have any to recommend that cover the subjects covered here?