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: The Nian Monster Author: Andrea Wang Illustrator: Alina Chau Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. Age Range: 4 – 8
Happy Chinese New Year! 2019 marks the Year of the Pig, the symbol of wealth and fortune.
To celebrate, I’m excited to share this gem of a story, The Nian Monster, which was also recently named an APALA Honor book!
As they hang the traditional decorations for their new year celebration, Xingling’s grandmother explains that these adornments have served as protection from the wicked Nian monster. Filled with hunger at the start of the year, Nian would gobble up entire villages – but, then the people figured out how to keep him away.
“Every monster has a weakness. Nian had three – loud sounds, fire, and the color red. Our traditions have kept Nian away ever since.”
Thousands of years later, Nian has returned and is threatening to eat Xinling and the whole city. Now, it’s up to her to use her clever nature to outsmart the monster and save the holiday.
This is not only a fun read, but it’s filled with interesting facts about China and its rich history.
“Nian’s wide, wicked jaws were stuck fast. The grandmothers had used only glutinous rice flour. The stickiest kind! So sticky it had been used to build the Great Wall.”
Wang’s exhilarating storytelling matched with Chau’s vibrant illustrations makes this a truly riveting read for all ages.
BONUS! Alina Chau was kind enough to share a link to a DIY Lunar New Year Celebration kit that you can do with kids. To download, click here.
Recommended for: The little thinker The future creator The future storyteller