Jasmine’s garden is glorious, a cornucopia of “apples and apricots, kiwis and kumquats, papayas, peaches and passion fruit.” The only problem is that the fruit keeps disappearing during the night. Jasmine’s curiosity leads her to The Elephant’s Garden (Boxer, $16.95), where the fruit is not only enormous, but seems to be carved from precious jewels. A comical chain of events involving her extended family—and maybe a little bit of greed— ensues; but, ultimately, everyone is satisfied with the delectable fruit from Jasmine’s own garden. This retelling of an Indian folktale, both written and gorgeously illustrated by Jane Ray, is sure to elicit a smile and make one’s mouth water. Ages 3-6.
A sun-warmed bed of daffodils, a tub of cool water, a fresh supply of birdseed, and a new cob of corn create A Perfect Day (Roaring Brook, $17.99) for a cat, dog, chickadee, and squirrel relaxing in their human pal Bert’s backyard. But alas! The perfection lasts only until Bear arrives. As Bert and his animal friends watch from the safety of the boy’s house, Bear helps himself to the very same pleasures the other creatures were just enjoying. Textured, mixed-media artwork by author/illustrator Lane Smith bring to life the tale of an unexpected visitor. Ages 3-6.
Cynthia Leonor Garza introduces readers to the acrobatic Mexican masked wrestler tradition, lucha libre, in an exciting playground adventure. When some boys tell Lucía that girls can’t be superheroes, she gets “spicy mad.” But her grandmother has a plan, and shares a special box with Lucía—containing Abuela’s childhood mask and cape. And so Lucía the Luchadora (POW!, $16.99) arrives; she “is brave and full of heart, and isn’t afraid to fight for what is right.” Alyssa Bermudez’s opaque watercolors bring the playground kids to kinetic life, as well as the joy of Lucía’s heroics—mask or no mask! Ages 4-7.