Children’s Book Roundup: March 2023

  • March 13, 2023

Big new titles perfect for the littles.

Children’s Book Roundup: March 2023

Ancient Night by David Bowles (author) and David Álvarez (illustrator) (Levine Querido). “At the start of things, the elders say, the universe was hushed and still. The moon alone shone bright and round in the star-speckled dark of the sky.” So begins this ethereal tale which re-imagines two figures from Mesoamerican myth: the rabbit long ago set atop the moon by Feathered Serpent, and Lord Opossum, who once held dominion over the earth and who ignited the sun with fire stolen from the gods. (A Spanish version of the book, Noche Antigua, is also available.)

Twenty Questions by Mac Barnett (author) and Christian Robinson (illustrator) (Candlewick). “How many animals can you see in this picture? How many animals can you not see in this one, because they’re hiding from the tiger?” From here, the questions — which don’t really have any answers — get sillier and sillier, prompting tiny readers to come up with their own plausible solution to the queries. After all, somebody needs to figure out “Who gave Mr. Beckett a bump on his noggin?” and “Which of these children is dreaming of peaches?”

My Baba’s Garden by Jordan Scott (author) and Sydney Smith (illustrator) (Neal Porter Books). “My Baba lives in a chicken coop beside the highway, behind a sulfur mill shaped like an Egyptian pyramid, bright yellow like a sun that never goes to sleep…When my dad drops me off, my Baba doesn’t come to the door, but I know where she is.” The young boy and his elderly grandmother exchange few words — he speaks English, she speaks Polish — but they communicate nonetheless through laughter, touch, and a love of food that hints at the privation she suffered during World War II.

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