🍃 There are links all around us.
Links that connect
us to nature,
readers to books,
words to pages
stars to galaxies,
dust to wind,
wind to earth,
notes to music.
And on and on.
These links tend to leave an impression that is powerful enough to draw us back again and again, like a poem or a song.
Today's picture books are lyrical and touch on topics related to nature--from the dirt beneath our feet to the stars in the heavens above.
🎵What are lyrical pictures books?
Author Dianna Murray says they have a fluid, velvety rhythmic pace, hold emotional quality, and feature vivid descriptions. Author Tina Cho says they use poetic devices such as simile, metaphor, personification, and onomatopoeia. For many readers like myself, the combination of illustration and prose renders a satisfying and immersive experience.
The three books below each offer a unique approach to delivering a story in a lyrical style. Enjoy!
A River of Dust. The Life-Giving Link Between North Africa and the Amazon written by Jilanne Hoffmann, illustrated by Eugenia Mello (Chronicle Books 2023)
This beautifully illustrated story tells of the fascinating and life-sustaining connection between two biomes that are an ocean apart -- the Sahara Desert of North Africa and the tropical rainforest of the Amazon River basin in South America. The lyrical text carries readers on a wondrous journey, full of vivid imagery from the tiniest of details to the most expansive of horizons. This story is bound to spark the curiosity of young readers in exploring other vital connections in our world.
To learn more about Jilanne Hoffmann and her other projects, visit her website.
The Fire of Stars. The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of written by Kirsten W. Larson, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Chronicle Books 2023)
This dual narrative captures the birth of a star alongside the life of Cecilia Payne, a woman who found her way to studying astronomy and astrophysics and eventually discovered what stars are made of. Payne's interest in science began when she was a young girl with observations of the natural world around her. From gorgeous illustrations to inviting and descriptive prose, this story will inspire readers to be inquisitive and to notice things --just like Cecilia. Her perseverance, despite the the many obstacles, will empower dreamers to go for their own goals.
To keep up with Kirsten Larson's other books, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.
A Few Beautiful Minutes. Experiencing a Solar Eclipse written by Kate Allen Fox, illustrated by Khoa Le (Little, Brown and Company 2023)
This wonderful picture book is a must-read for any reader. Not only does the text capture the beauty of the world as an eclipse unfolds, it also shows the type of preparations that can be made in order to enjoy one safely. I've had the pleasure of experiencing two eclipses in recent years -- a solar eclipse and an annular eclipse -- and the author and illustrator do a fantastic job of sharing what these amazing events are like. From the details of sun silhouettes on the ground to the twilight-like orange hues that bathe the sky to the camaraderie felt with fellow observers. Given that another solar eclipse will occur in April 2024, along with others to follow, this title will be one to add to home, classroom, and library collections.
Visit Kate Allen Fox's website to learn more.
1) Winner's choice: a copy of A River of Dust (US address) or an AMA with Jilanne Hoffmann
2) an AMA with author Kirsten W. Larson
3) signed copy of A Few Beautiful Minutes (US address) from Kate Allen Fox
How do you earn entries? By helping these books find homes and success as we enter the holidays!
1) ✔ Reply to each blog post with a comment = 1 entry
2) ✔ Share this post on social media = 1 entry for each share (let me know where you shared)
@SKWenger on X,
@skwenger on Blue Sky
@SKWenger_books on Instagram
@SKWengerChildrensAuthor on FB
3) ✔ Ask your library to order the books = 1 entry for each (let me know you did this!)
4) ✔ Leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or BN = 1 entry each (let me know you did this!)
Lastly, be sure to follow the authors and myself on social media so that you can be connected if you win!
Winners are selected November 2nd, so there is plenty of time to participate.