Book Corner: These special picture books stand out | Arts

I stayed behind in my picture book last year and took some time on vacation to catch up with me. There were so many good books! I wanted to try to come up with a smart, overarching topic to describe this group of books, but I decided to ditch that idea and just say that each of these books is fun for its own particular reasons.

“The Blue House” by Phoebe Wahl. Leo and his father love their blue house, even though the paint is peeling and there are leaks. It’s the perfect home for building ceiling fortresses, baking cakes, and dancing in the living room. When the neighborhood around them is under construction to build apartments, Leo and his father watch from the Blue House. Leo believes the Blue House will be theirs forever, but his father is concerned. One day his father tells Leo that the Blue House is being torn down and they have to go. Leo is angry and so is his father. Leo kicks and screams, then he and his father dance and stomp together in the living room and romp and afterwards they feel a little less angry. Their new house doesn’t feel like it and Leo is still sad, but little by little they settle down and Leo realizes that his heart has room to love a new home.

“Evelyn Del Rey Moves Away” by Meg Medina. Having a best friend is often the most important part of a child’s world. If that friend moves away it can be devastating. Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend and they do everything together. But Evelyn moves away and on moving day the two friends do their best to pretend everything is normal. They run up and down the stairs as usual. They play with empty boxes and hide under furniture. But it’s far too soon for Evelyn to go with her family. Sonia Sánchez’s beautiful illustrations practically breathe with the energy and love of this childhood friendship. Although it ends with a friend moving away, this book is truly a celebration of the special power that true friendship has.

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