On the eve of Juneteenth, when young Mazie grows tired of always being told no, her father gently embraces the moment to talk with her about history, family, and the holiday’s importance. He explains the significance of June 19, 1865, the date soldiers finally arrived in Galveston, TX, to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery. Floyd Cooper’s rich oil paintings and thoughtful, simple language convey an arc of history that moves from the declaration through 150 years of civil rights struggle, culminating in the inauguration of Barack Obama. Juneteenth for Mazie (Capstone, $15.95) is a nuanced and informative introduction, appropriate for very young readers and a potential entry point for deeper historical discussions with older elementary readers. Ages 4-9. Amy Dickinson

Juneteenth for Mazie (Fiction Picture Books) Cover Image
By Floyd Cooper, Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781623701703
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Capstone Young Readers - February 1st, 2015

Author Christopher Franceschelli and illustrator Peskimo tackle numeric territory in Countablock (Abrams Appleseed, $16.95), an interactive journey from one to 100. The book’s cut-out numbers will entice little hands, and its durable pages can withstand months of preschool exploration. Numbers one to 10 receive two-page spreads, and each page turn reveals an exciting transformation: One acorn becomes one tree! Three boxes become three forts! The cause-and-effect play continues as the text counts by 10s to 100. The occasional silly subversion of expectations—40 eggs become 39 chicks and one dinosaur—will appeal to young and old. Though the book will inspire frequent re-reading, adults need not fear: Peskimo’s distinctive retro style is a pleasure to peruse again and again.  Ages 2-5.  ACD

Countablock Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419713743
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 5th, 2014

Based on his experience in the winter of 1978, John Rocco’s latest picture book recounts the days of a great Blizzard (Hyperion, $17.99) and the heroism it inspires in the young protagonist. Furiously falling snow overtakes a small town, yet no plows appear. Initially, the deep snow is thrilling. The narrator and his sister scramble out windows into drifts, digging tunnels and secret rooms. But as supplies dwindle and cabin fever mounts, the intrepid narrator must develop a plan of action. With a little ingenuity and some tennis racquets, he takes care of the neighborhood’s needs. Rocco’s text recreates the suspense of a storm, and his illustrations’ attention to detail and color build a wondrous world, in which a hero still stops to make snow angels.  Ages 4-8. ACD

Blizzard Cover Image
By John Rocco, John Rocco (Illustrator), John Rocco (Cover design or artwork by)
ISBN: 9781423178651
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 30th, 2014