Forest Baby – Elmquist.Robinson

Forest Baby, a 2018 release from Canada-based Orca Book Publishers, showcases the profound simplicity of a walk through the forest with a child.

Robinson’s illustrations are dynamic, indicating movement on each page–a baby’s hand dipping into a pond of fish, the spray of lake foam grazing the hands of the mother and child, the butterflies that “shimmy and dip”.

Elmquist’s poetic descriptions of this gentle and calm outing into nature are sighs of relief in an age of screen distractions for children.

Forest Baby by Laurie Elmquist, illustrated by Shantala Robinson

2018 Orca Book Publishers

Why Am I Me? – Britt.Qualls.Alko

This 2017 release from Paige Britt, Sean Qualls, and Selina Alko showcases a profound question with few words but plenty of visual appeal.

“Why am I me?” begins this stunning and colorful book. But don’t expect a clear answer. The question, and variations thereof, are repeated on every page throughout the book, only to conclude with a vague suggestion on the last page via Alko’s poignant illustrations.

Despite the apparent lack of philosophical complexity here, the illustrations cleverly connect the question to complex notions of race, culture, and identity, all occurring among scenes from a busy urban center; subway, shops, parks, etc.

Young children will be drawn to the intense visuals, large illustrated faces and bright colors. Older children will be prompted to discuss.

Why Am I Me?

By Paige Britt, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko