Niko Draws a Feeling written by Raczka, Bob and illustrated by Shin, Simone; Carolrhoda/Lerner, 2017.
Biracial Niko carries around colored pencils and a pad of paper because he’s never sure when the mood may hit him to draw how he feels, in this story of a misunderstood, sensitive boy who is so in tune with his feelings that he wants to give them permanence. (Grades P-2)
A Perfect Day written and illustrated by Smith, Lane; Roaring Brook, 2017.
Some neighborhood animals have perfectly wonderful experiences until a bear comes lumbering along, ruining the day for everyone but himself. The mixed media illustrations are swirled and layered using a variety of artistic techniques, while the simple, repetitive structure to the text makes the ending land all the more firmly. (P-2)
Triangle written by Barnett, Mac and illustrated by Klassen, Jon; Candlewick, 2017.
“Sneaky trick” player Triangle learns that what goes around, comes around. Klassen’s watercolor and graphite illustrations, highly reminiscent of his hat trilogy, are very effectively employed in the sly humor about a prank battle between two highly recognized shapes. (P-2)
Bronze and Sunflower written by Wenxuan, Cao and illustrated by So, Mielo; Candlewick, 2017.
A tragedy causes young girl from the city to be adopted by a poor village family during the Cultural Revolution in China. Their life, with all its joys and hardships, is vividly depicted by 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award-winning author Cao Wenxuan in this outstanding and highly readable translated work. (2-5)
The Hate U Give written by Thomas, Angie; Balzer + Bray, 2017.
When 16 year-old African American Starr Carter witnesses her best friend Khalil being killed by a police officer, she realizes she needs to find justice for him and all the other “hashtags” like him. This is a novel which teens (and adults) will find thought-provoking, insightful, and stunningly of the moment. (8-Adult)