As Omu cooks her dinner, an enticing smell wafts throughout her neighborhood. The fi rst knock on her door comes from a child who asks about that delicious aroma. Omu shares her thick red stew with the grateful boy, and continues to do so with others who come calling. Though she ends up having none left for herself, one fi nal knock brings everyone back with a tasty potluck supper to say Thank You, Omu! (Little, Brown, $18.99). Author/illustrator Oge Mora presents an engaging, handsomely illustrated story of a community that comes together over a shared meal. Ages 4-8.
Join a boy in a red hoodie and his white dog on a walk as the sun begins to set. They stroll through their neighborhood as Windows (Candlewick, $15.99) light their way, each presenting a glimpse into other people’s lives, each with a different story. In her picture-book debut, illustrator E.B. Goodale presents a familiar town in detailed, luminous watercolors that show everyday hustle and bustle in a new light. Julia Denos’s lyrical text follows the child and dog as they explore their town and eventually return home, where “someone you love is waving at you.” Ages 4-7.
When we meet Rapunzel (Peachtree, $16.95) in author/illustrator Bethan Woollvin’s retelling, she’s already imprisoned in her tower. Her long, yellow tresses are the only way up and down just as in the original tale, but here, her witch captor is the only one who uses this curious ladder. There’s no prince in sight, but no matter; he’s clearly not needed. Strong black lines and snappy text demonstrate that this Rapunzel is clever, resourceful, and creative. She figures out how to escape the tower and get rid of her jailor. Simple, bold illustrations accented by the bright yellow of Rapunzel’s long, swirling hair depict the shrewd girl and an unsympathetic witch. Children and adults familiar with the more traditional tale will appreciate this Rapunzel’s take-charge approach. Ages 4-8.