Book Title: Pilar’s Worries Author: Victoria M. Sanchez Illustrator: Jess Golden Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. Age Range: 4 to 8 years
Pilar worries about everything. Whether it’s being called on in class or messing up in PE, just about anything can cause her to panic. Especially the thought of having to perform in front of people.
Luckily, she has the help of her friend Sebastian who reminds her to “breathe.”
The one thing that eases all her worries is ballet class. The warmth of the barre and her toes pressing down on the studio floor can make all her troubles melt away. But when Pilar realizes that auditions for her favorite ballet are happening the next day, she has to decide if she’s going to let her worries keep her from doing the thing she loves the most, dancing.
This is a wonderfully gentle and inspiring book for anxious children and their parents looking for ways to talk about and to cope with anxiety. Sanchez’s Author’s Note shares her personal journey with her daughter, whom Pilar is based on. She also provides helpful resources for more information on the subject.
Book Title: Another Author/Illustrator: Christian Robinson Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Age Range: 4 to 8 years
What if, one night, a portal appeared in your bedroom? And, when you stepped through it, you found…another you. Christian Robinson’s debut children’s book, Another, is a magical exploration of that premise.
Told only in pictures, the story follows a young girl who awakes to the light of a portal that appears in her bedroom.
When her cat chases what looks to be its twin, the girl follows and enters a bright and colorful world.
Soon, she stumbles upon other children in this mysterious world; and, quickly realizes that they are playing with alternate version of themselves. One little girl wears a red hair tie, and her opposite sports a blue one. Two boys chase each other, one has a pink cast and the other a yellow one. But the girl can’t seem to find anyone who looks like her.
And then, she does.
Throughout the book, Robinson moves the reader through the book with fun illustrations and portals leading to other places. Every character we’re introduced to has an equally fun opposite. There are also quirky surprises hidden throughout, so it feels like a new experience with every read.
In a recent interview on Matthew Winner’s podcast, The Children’s Book Podcast, Robinson explained his motivation for creating the book:
“I knew it was important for me to create a picture book in which as many kids as possible saw themselves on the page…And I thought, well what if they literally saw themselves, like in a parallel universe?”
This book is a captivating read that little ones (and adults!) will get lost in for hours.