Friday, June 24, 2016

picturebooks rec list (round 1)

In the 6+ months since my brother and sister-in-law announced they were expecting a baby, I've read approximately 150 picturebooks -- ranging from board books to books for elementary schoolers.

I remain a very text-oriented person, but I'm trying to be more more attentive to the art and the ways the art and text interact.

Things I have learned:

  1. Most picture books don't indicate reading level. (1a) The books I've been reading I think have tended toward older kids, but without explicit indicators on the book itself it's really hard for me (who doesn't have very much experience with kids) to guess at what age a kid would probably be reading this book.
  2. I like books that are not About The [X] Experience -- I prefer books that are clearly rooted in a particular culture/experience but are not About being X (this has made it difficult to find picturebooks with disabled protagonists that I even want to read).
  3. I want books to be written by people for whom that culture is native to them/they share that experience. (This is not so much a thing I have learned as a stance I already had and have been really reaffirmed in. Not only am I very much on a break from books by/about white dudes, but I don't want books by white people about chromatic culture/experience -- yes, I want fewer stories about white people, but I want to lift up the voices of actual people of color ... if I'm going to read a book about PoCs, I want to be reading a PoC's voice. Yes, there are some really excellent books by white people, but I would rather be spending my time hearing the stories of actual PoCs.)
Partly for my own reference, and partly because other people have expressed interest, here's my rec list so far. These are listed in approximately the order in which I read them.


I have quibbles with just about everything, but other books that would probably make my rec list are: Second tier: I also did specific dives into particular topics --



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