Book reviews: Kids books expand mind, heart

This week, we are highlighting some of our favorite children’s books that will expand the mind and the heart of your young reader.

This book reviews of "A Child of Books," by Oliver Jeffers, “Thunder Boy Jr.,” by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales, “Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History,” by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl is written by Emily Katzman, assistant manager at Off the Beaten Path. This review was originally published in Steamboat Pilot.

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A Child of Books Cover Image
By Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator), Sam Winston (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780763690779
Availability: Backordered
Published: Candlewick - September 6th, 2016

“A Child of Books” perfectly encapsulates the power of stories to transport and transform, to inspire and comfort anyone and everyone. We are all children of books, the accumulation of all the stories we read and hear and collect in our lifetime.

Children and adults will read this book over and over, always to discover something new: intricate, typographical illustrations feature classic children’s stories and fairy tales. The characters move through “forests of fairy tales” and “mountains of make-believe.” Really, it is impossible to describe how beautiful and moving this book is. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

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Thunder Boy Jr. Cover Image
By Sherman Alexie, Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316013727
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 10th, 2016

This sweet, funny father-son story explores the question: What’s in a name? Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his father, but he wants his own name, one that celebrates his own accomplishments. Together, the boy and his father pick a name that is bold, bright, and full of love ... just like the boy.

The illustrations in this book are equally bold and bright. You will love this book.

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History Cover Image
By Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399578861
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 27th, 2016

This book highlights 40 influential women — scientists, politicians, athletes, artists and activists — who have helped shape world history.

Each page is dedicated to a different radical woman from ancient and modern history and includes a portrait and biography: Frida Kahlo (one of Mexico’s most revered artists), Sophie Scholl (the German anti-Nazi activist), Qui Jin (the Chinese revolutionary poet), Queen Lili’uokalani (the last reigning monarch in Hawaii) and Malala Yousafzi (the education activist and youngest person to earn the Nobel Peace Prize).

I love this book, because it serves as an example to young people that there are plenty of heroines, not just heroes. Plus, a broad understanding of world history will help expand the worldview of your young reader. Best of all, it will inspire girls to use their own ingenuity, passion and hard work to make a difference in the world.

“Rad Women Worldwide” is directed toward readers age 10 to 17, but adults will learn plenty, as well. There were quite a few revolutionary women in this book of whom I had never heard. I recommend reading “Rad Women Worldwide” with your young one so you can discuss and learn together.

If you love this book, check out the author/illustrator team’s first book, “Rad American Women from A - Z,” an alphabet book featuring 26 important women from American history.