Meaningful Moments in Picture Books

Nearly every single picture book I read holds meaningful moments for me, some sliver of specialness or hug-full of hope that can empower and illuminate. These next few examples exhibit strong messages using memorable characters in ways young children can easily interpret and appreciate. A few words about each hardly do them justice, so please look these ones up to enjoy them for yourself.

Reena’s Rainbow by Dee White and Tracie Grimwood

Subtle, sweet and oozing with that sort of sophisticated simplicity that makes you love a story when you are not even sure why. Reena and Brown Dog feel a little outside of normal, not quite the same as everyone else. Reena is deaf but not oblivious to the world around her. Brown Dog is homeless but not without a need to love and protect. Together they find their true worth and meaning and along the way, lasting friendship. Gracefully told and delicately illustrated, Reena’s Rainbow will fill your heart with colour. Highly recommended.

EK Books September 2017

La La La A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jamie Kim

An eloquently told, almost wordless symphony of colour, light and sound reverberating the liberating quality of hope. It’s about making a call, daring to speak out, and enduring the quiet moments in between waiting for a response with grace and patience. As Kate proclaims, ‘it is a story about singing your song and the world answering you back…a story that needs intimate reflection’. I encourage you to do so.

Walker Books Australia October 2017

Eric Finds a Way by Robert Vescio and Ann-Marie Finn

Not only does this charming picture pique imagination and delve into creativity, it subtly encourages youngsters who are not visually or literally motivated to explore their creative sides in other ways. This is precisely what Eric does after attempting to express himself in words and pictures but finally discovers there are many other equally engaging ways to tell a story. Whimsical illustrations and beguiling narrative add up for a highly meaningful read.

Wombat Books September 2017

The Big Bad Mood by Tom Jamieson and Olga Demidova

A funny, typical and accurate interpretation of the terrible temper tantrums under 7 year-olds are wont to experience as they attempt to develop emotional recognition and control. Fortunately, for our George, he learns how to rein his big Bad Mood in (who bears a striking resemblance to Leigh Hobb’s Old Tom in a good way) and live in harmony with him. This story is not about doing away with anger and hurtful feelings but rather learning to manage them and to recognise how you act and what you say can affect others. Entertaining and enlightening.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books June 2017

Finn and Puss by Robert Vescio and Melissa Makie

The enticing sparseness in this latest picture book by Vescio is unlike any of his other picture books. The crisp staccato tone of this narrative deftly allows young readers to identify with the moral dilemma presented to Finn when he happens across little lost Puss. Puss fills Finn’s lonely gaps but he belongs to someone else. A warming tale, sympathetically illustrated by Melissa Mackie, that suggestion that kindness and generosity will eventually become their own rewards.

EK Books October 2017

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

A tender gentle tale with a beautiful pawsome surprise at the end. This is the read to encourage reluctant readers to take heart and read on. Dogs are pure wonders. Papp illustrates this well through sensitive first person prose and expressive illustrations. Part proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Pets as Therapy read2dogs program in the UK. Marvellous.

Old Barn Books August 2017

The Chalk Rainbow by Deborah Kelly and Gwynneth Jones

Kelly’s narrative positively sings. This story is thoughtful and immediate, told through the eyes of Zane’s older sister. Zane is a young lad who is a bit different from other kids, a bit more exact and fearful of things, like the colour black. Zane’s family find it difficult and frustrating at times to live with his irregularities, not his sister though. Her imaginative way of helping Zane overcome his anxieties is both ingenious and beautiful. The fluid, rainbow coloured typesetting of this book and sensationally sensitive endpapers all help to make this important story very special. Helpful and healing.

EK Books July 2017

Glitch by Michelle Worthington and Andrew Plant

Glitch is a tiny bug who touts around a substantial amount of self-doubt. And although a bug’s ability to carry weights far greater than their size is indisputable, Glitch’s load constantly worries him because it affects his best mate, June. June’s ability to drive any billycart is matched only by Glitch’s creative flair with junkyard treasures. Together they make a formidable team but will Glitch’s anxieties get in the way of their winning the Big Billycart race yet again or will he overcome his fears and take home the best prize of all, enduring friendship. Worthington’s uplifting text interacts beautifully with Plant’s bold cheeky illustrations creating a picture book with plenty of thrills and spills, generous heart and the occasional apple core. Perfect for small people needing a little extra reassurance and self-esteem.

Ford St Publishing July 2017

Published by

Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell likes to fill every spare moment with words. She writes and reviews stories exclusively for kids and is the Managing Editor for Kids’ Book Review. Her word webs appear in anthologies, school magazines, junior novels, as creative digital content, and picture books. Her junior novel, PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? debuted in 2012. The Fix-It Man is her first published picture book with EK Books in 2017. Dimity is a useless tweeter, sensational pasta maker and semi-professional chook wrangler. She believes picture books are food for the soul and should be consumed at least 10 times a week.

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