Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! I hope everyone has survived the heat. It’s been brutal, and I’m tired of spending all my time indoors. I *think* it’s supposed to be cooler this week. Last week my daughter had her first school pictures. She was so excited! The school let students depart from standard school attire so they could pick any outfit. She chose a rainbow heart dress with a red polka dot bow in her hair. All her ideas—I left her in charge of her outfit. Today I thought I’d review some children’s books about school pictures.
Before I get to those reviews, let me tell you about Book Riot’s New Release Index! Delighting velocireaders since 2017, Book Riot’s New Release Index will keep you in the know about all the latest books. New books for days. Subscribe today — you won’t be able to read them all, but it’s fun to try!
Girl Reading in Tree Print by LAKoerner
One way to beat the heat is to hide under trees, or read in them. $33+
When Moon Became the Moon by Rob Hodgson (picture book)
This follow-up to When Cloud Became a Cloud is so very cute and informative. It’s longer than most picture books and divided into chapters, but it’s still really accessible and easy to read aloud. I honestly don’t think I knew how moons were made until I read this! Nonfiction picture books for the win.
Miles Lewis: Track Star #4 by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Wayne Spencer (chapter book)
The Miles Lewis chapter books are entertaining and very relatable. They combine science with sports. In the fourth book, Miles really wants to place in the top five of his elementary school’s Fun Run competition. He struggles running long distances, so he plans a nutrition and exercise regimen that will help him. But is winning really the most important thing? These can be read in any order, but if you like going in order, the first book is King of the Ice.
The theme for today is school pictures! I have vague memories of primping for school pictures in elementary school. This was the 90s, so it involved a lot of hairspray and a pick, lol. Things are different now and I did not use hairspray or force my daughter to wear an uncomfortable dress, ha! Several of these books, unsurprisingly, deal with outfits or hair, hot picture day topics. They also all center girls, and I wonder why there isn’t more gender diversity in children’s books about school pictures? If you know of any, send me an email! Address below.
Molly’s Tuxedo by Vicki Johnson, illustrated by Gillian Reid (picture book)
While there isn’t much gender diversity in children’s books about school pictures, this one is different, and very LGBTQ+ friendly. Molly’s mom frames and hangs all school pictures in a place of honor, and Molly wants this year’s picture to be perfect. But Molly’s mom wants her to wear a frilly dress, and Molly definitely doesn’t want to wear a dress. She can’t convince her mom to let her pick out her own outfit, so she sneaks to school with her brother’s old tuxedo in her backpack, the perfect outfit for Molly’s dream picture.
Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Fahmida Azim (picture book)
Amira is so excited to celebrate Eid with her entire family, and she’ll be missing school for the holiday. However, she then remembers that she’ll also be missing picture day. Her mother tries to reassure her that she’ll get plenty of pictures at the Eid celebration, but it’s not the same. Amira wants pictures with her class! Thankfully, she’s able to attend just for pictures. This is a good reminder for teachers and school departments to remember all student holidays and not plan big events when minority students might be absent.
Geraldine Pu and Her Cat Hat, Too! by Maggie P. Chang (early reader)
The Geraldine Pu books are slim, early reader graphic novels that are great for beginning readers. This is the second book in the series, and currently three have been published. Each can be read as a stand alone. In this one, Geraldine really wants to wear her favorite cat hat for school pictures because she dislikes her own hair. It would be so much better to cover it up with her hat, but there’s a no hat rule. Can Geraldine learn to like her hair?
Picture Day by Sarah Sax (middle grade)
It’s middle school, and Viv wants to be more like the most popular girl in school, who has a ton of social media followers and is constantly making viral videos. For school pictures, Viv decides to cut her hair and style it like her favorite media personality, and has one of her friends film it for social media. The video goes viral and everyone wants Viv to give them their big happy moments. Meanwhile, she’s alienating her friends in her quest to be popular. This is an entertaining middle grade graphic novel.
Here’s my kindergarten school picture! My hair is actually less dramatically big than it was in later years, but gotta love those smiley-face bangs.
If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is email@example.com.
All the best,