#Kidlit Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier

Bring a little of the great outdoors inside with this gorgeous informational fiction picture book, Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier, illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa, and translated by Sarah Klinger. Available April 14, 2020.

Young Susanne tells the reader — in the first person — how she found a special tree in the forest near her grandparents home. She returns to the tree again and again throughout the summer to discover the life that depends on the tree and how it changes from season to season.

Although fiction, leaf-shaped sidebars on many of the pages add nonfiction interest through questions, activity suggestions, and tree facts.

Mizuho Fujisawa’s illustrations are delicate, calming  and yet vibrant at the same time. Perhaps it is because all the inks a vegetable based, but the colors sing. The illustrations capture the feeling of a cool forest on a warm summer’s day perfectly.

Spending time in nature is especially important right now. For children who might not be able to talk a walk in the woods, reading this quiet, gentle book that celebrates trees might be the best alternative. Get lost in a copy of Under My Tree soon!


Check for the giveaway at GoodReads by Blue Dot Press running until March 31, 2020.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press (April 14, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1733121234
ISBN-13: 978-1733121231

Want to read more children’s books about trees? See our redwood-sized list of tree books at Science Books for Kids.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

#kidlit Nobody Hugs a Cactus, A Way to Talk About Distancing

cactus flowers

Want an adorable picture book the “pokes” a little fun at prickly characters while at the same time being a cute way to introduce the idea of distancing? Then look no further than Nobody Hugs a Cactus* by Carter Goodrich.

(*Amazon affiliate link)

Hank the Cactus sits all alone in his pot on a windowsill and that’s the way he likes it. Whenever someone tries to visit him, he ignores them. Sometimes he even yells at his neighbors, tortoise and jack rabbit. Over time, Hank realizes his lifestyle is making him lonely. Will he ever find a friend?

Carter Goodrich is an illustrator who is known for his covers on The New Yorker, so it is not surprising that it is the art that strikes you first when you open the book. The colors capture the brilliant light of the desert Southwest. Plus, Hank’s expressions range from silly to enchanting.

To gush about the illustrations, however, is not a knock to the text. The story is concise, yet lyrical enough for reading aloud. Kids are going to love the light humor.

In addition to being an introduction to social skills, Nobody Hugs a Cactus would be appropriate to accompany a unit on deserts.  Get a warm, fuzzy feeling from a copy today!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1534400907
ISBN-13: 978-1534400900

Looking for more children’s books about deserts? Try our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

#ReadYourWorld Esther’s Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim

For Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we have  Esther’s Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim by Martha Seif Simpson and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard.

On the surface Esther’s Gragger is a tale of two children who overcome a bully with the help of an adult shopkeeper and some loud noisemakers. It is based on the ancient story of Queen Esther, who is celebrated during the Jewish holiday, Purim.

If you look deeper you find multiple layers of value. First of all it, introduces the reader to words such as gragger, Purim masks, and the characters in the Purim story. For those who want to learn more, the back matter is extensive with a page of information each about Purim, how it is celebrated (with fruit-filled cookies), what graggers are, and how to make simple ones with children.

The story is also is a gateway to encourage readers to talk about bullies and what to do about them. The idea that victims should stand together, makes noise, and talk to people in authority are all answers that have lasting value.

Esther’s Gragger is one of those books that you didn’t know you needed, but that open your eyes once you discover them. Look for a copy today!

Suggested activities:

1. This year Purim begins on Monday, March 9, 2020.  Learn more about how it is celebrated in your community.

2. Make a Purim gragger (noisemaker). In addition to the instructions in the backmatter, there are also plenty online. Check out this one for multiple graggers made out of recycled materials:

3. There is a study guide, coloring page, and a crossword puzzle to download at Wisdom Tales Press.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Wisdom Tales (January 7, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1937786757
ISBN-13: 978-1937786755


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board


Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,


Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,


Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,


Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,


Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales


Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!


Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Disclosure: This book was gifted the book to me to review for this event. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Little Senses #Kidlit: This Beach is Loud!

Do you have any friends who know exactly what kind of picture book you’d like to read? I have a friend like that. She is my picture book concierge. This week she brought me This Beach is Loud! by Samantha Cotterill.

Falling in the realm of realistic fiction, this picture book captures the experience of a trip to the beach for a young boy with sensory issues. All the new sounds coupled with the weird texture of the sand overwhelms him. Fortunately, his dad understands and helps the boy soothe himself.

This Beach is Loud! allows readers young and old to glimpse what it is like to hear and feel too much. Also, young readers with sensory issues will be able to recognize and identify with someone who is like themselves. That is a rare experience.

Samantha Cotterill’s block print illustrations are amazing. The text flows over a two-page spread at times, showing visually what the boy is hearing. The experience becomes tangible. When he is having fun, she breaks a single page into a series of smaller, quieter moments, settling things down again.

On the back flap, Samantha Cotterill explains she is on the autism spectrum and she wishes there had been books like this when she was a child.  We can only add that we are glad that there finally are.

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Dial Books (June 18, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0525553452
ISBN-13: 978-0525553458

I’m adding this title to a list of children’s books about senses at Science Books for Kids. It seems an appropriate way to introduce the idea that everyone has senses, but not everyone experiences the world in the same way.