Valerie Koehler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshops, shares her favorites.
For more of her picks, visit www.BlueWilliowBookshops.com
It’s award season: here are our winners for the month of March!
Kitten’s First Moon
written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Caldecott Medal Winner
A brave young kitten sets out into the world on a quest that leaves her bruised, bewildered, and hungry but that ultimately leads her back home, where something special is waiting.
Thank You Omu
written and illustrated by Oge Mora
Caldecott Honor Award
When the aroma of Omu’s homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.
by Junot Diaz, illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Pura BelPre Honor book for illustrations
Lola is from a place that she calls the Island. She doesn’t remember the Island herself, so she embarks on a quest through her tight-knit city neighborhood to collect memories.
written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Pura BelPre Winner for illustrations
Dreamers is a celebration of what migrants bring with them. It’s a story about family that reminds us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam.
The Remember Balloons
by written by Jessie Oliveros and illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book
James has a bunch of balloons, each of which holds a special memory. As his grandfather ages and loses his own balloons, James discovers that he is gaining new ones.
Rescue & Jessica: A Life Changing Friendship
written by Jessica Kensky and illustrated by Scott Magoon
Schneider Family Book Award
Rescue is a service dog, anxious to perform well. He meets Jessica, who needs his help to accomplish everyday tasks, and the two move forward together.
written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Caldecott Award Winner
This lovely picture book explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper.
The Book of Boy
written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Newbury Honor Book
Boy is an outsider until a strange pilgrim engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe.
The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle
written by Leslie Conner
Newbury Honor Book
Mason is dyslexic, the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and he struggles to explain a friend’s death. With help from technology, family and friends, Mason perseveres in this poignant story.
Merci Suarez Changes Gears
by Meg Medina
Newbury Award Winner
Sixth grader Merci must navigate the confusing changes she confronts as a scholarship student in middle school as well as the changes that are occurring in her family and herself.