How the Sun Got to Coco’s House, by Bob Graham; Candlewick Press, $17.99, 40 pages, ages 3-6.
Every day the sun rises across the globe, and in his latest picture book, Bob Graham tracks it across frozen forests, vast desserts, remote mountainside villages and bustling city streets until it bursts through little Coco’s bedroom window. Graham’s watercolors create a world awash in welcoming rays of sunlight (though every corner of Graham’s world appears to be covered in snow), and with perfect cadence illustrates how each sunrise is a shared gift that every creature on earth enjoys. A lovely read-aloud for young children that gently introduces the idea of a global community.
Blue on Blue, by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth Krommes; Beach Lane Books, $17.99, 48 pages, ages 2-5.
Thunderstorms have a powerful and sometimes frightening impact on young children, but Blue on Blue dispels some of that apprehension through rhyme and rhythm. Dianne White’s first childrens book describes the swell of an impending storm with minimal, well-chosen words. In fact, the text is so spare and the pacing so quick that I am surprised at the recommended age range, which is five to eight year olds. It is a perfect selection for toddlers, however – just long enough to keep little children entertained, and White’s word repetition reinforces key concepts. Caldecott Medal winner Beth Krommes’ (The House in the Night; Grandmother Winter) instantly recognizable scratchboard and watercolors of children splashing and jumping in puddles are full of rich detail and are a welcome celebration of rainstorms.