Sharing Nature Through Seasons: A Review of Emile and the Field

Emile and the Field 
Kevin Young 
Illustrated by Chioma Ebinama 
Make Me a World 
March 15, 2022 
Ages 4-8 

Young Emile loves the field close to his home, spending time alone in the field where he appreciates all the animals. He sees the field as a living being itself, thoughtfully wondering about things the field cannot experience that are far away from it, such as the sea. He also contemplates how the field changes during the seasons. He is upset that in the winter he must share his field with others who come to loudly play in the snow. When Emile shares this thought with his father, his father explains that no one owns the field and that sharing it ensures that it will continue to exist. The book closes with an illustration of Emile playing in the field with someone else in the spring. 

This is Young’s first book for children, though his experience with poetry and essays comes through in the lyrical writing style. The book is written in rhythmic verse, with many rhyming lines. The text on each page is sparse and appears in a variety of placements. This highlights the watercolor illustrations which bring the vibrant field to life through the usage of a wide color palette. The textured look of watercolor further brings the field to life. The initial textual description of Emile’s field even takes pause early on to allow for a full two-page illustration which depicts the lush field. The illustrations are key to storytelling as at the end of the book we see that Emile has learned to share the field only through illustration. This ending highlights the theme of thoughtfully enjoying nature while sharing it with others. The eye-catching illustrations and rhythmic writing make this book a great option for story time and new readers. 

Bedtime Q&A: A Review of Goodnight, Butterfly

Goodnight, Butterfly 
Ross Burach 
Scholastic Press 
March 3, 2022 
Pre-k to 3rd grade 

In the third installment of Ross Burach’s Butterfly series, the titular Butterfly is awakened in the middle of the night by Porcupine as they are eating their breakfast. Initially, Butterfly is ecstatic at the new experience of being awake at night, learning about what it means to be nocturnal through word play and asking more questions than poor Porcupine can handle. The art shows this through an abundance of brightly colored images in Burach’s signature naïve style of mixed media art. However, as Butterfly tires, the fast pace of the early pages slows down significantly. The puns and traditional wordy jokes of the front half are replaced by sight gags, like Butterfly accidentally mistaking Porcupine for a pinecone. Questions from Butterfly peter out, even if Butterfly is still trying to make night time adventures for the pair to get into, and Porcupine is able to give some advice about falling to sleep. Burach shows the switch in tone using the color of the space between illustrations from a white to the more calm colors of lavender and indigo towards the end of the book. Burach’s use of framing and pace in service of comedy is impeccable. In early jokes, he uses cluttered dialogue and page turns to build tension while releasing it through punchlines. These are given room to breathe by the switch to a single, simpler composition for a spread. While the jokes are less set up later in the story, to aid in winding down, the page turns are still used to hide silly fun, like Butterfly using a book as a bed. In the last few pages, Butterfly finally decides to stop fighting sleep and Porcupine encourages them to think about calming ideas, teaching readers that if you want to go to sleep, it’s better to focus on calm ideas instead of questions you cannot answer. A colorful and funny addition to any bedtime book collection, just be careful, it might be too much fun to fall asleep to.

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features recent arrivals to the Butler Center, highlighting works by and about African-American creators such as The Faith of Elijah Cummings by Carole Boston Weatherford and Laura Freeman. This picture book biography follows congressman and civil rights advocate Elijah Cummings from his beginning as a struggling student through his success as a lawyer and politician advocating for equality. Check it out along with a variety of other selections below!

Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky
Written by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and Illustrated by Daniel Minter
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman
Written by Kristen R. Lee
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Operation Sisterhood
Written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Available now!

I’m Growing Great
Written and Illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe
Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Written by Mara Rockliff and Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Published by Random House Studio
Available now!

The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Published by Random House Studio
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon! This week’s Butler Bookshelf celebrates the holiday with books about Valentine’s Day as well as books about love itself, in all forms. Love Grows Everywhere by Barry Timms and Tisha Lee showcases love between families, neighbors, friends, romantic partners, and more through a family that grows and sells plants in their local community. Check it out along with the other titles below!

Valentine’s Day Jitters
Written by Julie Danneberg and Illustrated by Judy Love
Published by Charlesbridge
Available now!

All the Right Reasons
Written by Bethany Mangle
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available February 15, 2022

Glimpsed
Written by G.F. Miller
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Bananas for You!
Written by Sabrina Moyle and Illustrated by Eunice Moyle
Published by Abrams
Available now!

Rebel Boys and Rescue Dogs, or Things That Kiss with Teeth
Written by Brianna R. Shrum
Published by Sky Pony
Available now!

Love Grows Everywhere
Written by Barry Timms and Illustrated by Tisha Lee
Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

Today is the start of Lunar New Year! This year we ring in the year of the tiger! Check out featured titles by authors of Chinese heritage below including Friends Are Friends, Forever which tells the story of a young child who moves from China to America. In China, she spent every Lunar New Year making ornaments with her best friend and is initially unsure if she will have anyone to continue this tradition with in America. Inspired by the author’s immigrant experience, this picture book highlights the importance of friendship. Check it out along with other great titles below!

I Am Golden
Written by Eva Chen and Illustrated by Sophie Diao
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Available now!

Eyes That Speak to the Stars
Written by Joanna Ho and Illustrated by Dung Ho
Published by HarperCollins
Available February 15, 2022

Friends Are Friends, Forever
Written by Dane Liu and Illustrated by Lynn Scurfield
Published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Available now!

The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly Mei
Written by Christina Matula
Published by Inkyard Press
Available April 5, 2022

New from Here
Written by Kelly Yang
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available March 1, 2022

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
Written by Lisa Yee
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features recently released and coming soon titles! These include The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan. This debut middle grade novel explores the troubled friendship of Sam and Asha, both autistic middle schoolers. As Sam is accepted into a prestigious school and Asha is not, their friendship is put at risk. In addition to being told from the perspectives of both Sam and Asha, the very best house in town also has its own perspective in this story.

Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life
Written by Cheryl Blackford
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

Ready for the Spotlight!
Written and Illustrated by Jaime Kim
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Wayward Creatures
Written by Dayna Lorentz
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

The Monarchs
Written by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

On the Move: Home Is Where You Find It
Written by Michael Rosen and Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Published by Candlewick
Available February 8, 2022

The View from the Very Best House in Town
Written by Meera Trehan
Published by Walker Books US
Available February 8, 2022

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features some recent arrivals to the BCLC! These include Lawless Spaces, a novel in verse by Corey Ann Haydu that tells of Mimi’s coming of age through her own journaling and the discoveries she makes looking through the journals of the women in her family line. Check out more new and coming soon titles below!

The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess
Written by Shannon and Dean Hale and Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Lawless Spaces
Written by Corey Ann Haydu
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Available now!

Ear Worm!
Written by Jo Knowles and Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Published by Candlewick
Available January 25, 2022

Not That Pet!
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Published by Candlewick
Available February 1, 2022

Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution
Written by Diane Stanley and Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Published by Paula Wiseman Books
Available now!

Even Robots Aren’t Perfect!
Written and Illustrated by Jan Thomas
Published by Beach Lane Books
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf includes Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt and Jasmin Ainslie, which shows the importance of celebrating even the little things. Best friends Audrey and Lion celebrate everything ranging from birthdays to days of the week to colors. Yet one day, Audrey sees Lion looking down and must remind him that even ordinary days can be a cause for celebration.

Freddie vs. The Family Curse
Written by Tracy Badua
Published by Clarion Books
Available May 3, 2022

The Burning Swift
Written by Joseph Elliott
Published by Walker Books US
Available now!

Every Line of You
Written by Naomi Gibson
Published by Chicken House
Available March 1, 2022

Wutaryoo
Written and Illustrated by Nilah Magruder
Published by Versify
Available January 25, 2022

Sloth Sleuth
Written and Illustrated by Cyndi Marko
Published by Etch
Available June 7, 2022

Sometimes Cake
Written by Edwina Wyatt and Illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie
Published by Candlewick
Available now!

Butler Bookshelf

This week’s Butler Bookshelf features new arrivals to the Butler Center for all ages! Among them is the upcoming Wild by Sam Usher which depicts a boy and his grandad trying to figure out how to appease a cat they are taking care of who eventually leads them into the wild. Check out the following variety of recently arrived titles!

Graceling: The Graphic Novel
Written by Kristin Cashore and Adapted & Illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Published by Etch
Available now!

The Last Chance for Logan County: A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure
Written by Lamar Giles and Illustrated by Derick Brooks
Published by Versify
Available now!

Ace Takes Flight: B.E.S.T. World
Written by Cory McCarthy
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available now!

The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass
Written by Anna Priemaza
Published by Amulet Books
Available now!

Princess Unlimited
Written by Jacob Sager Weinstein and Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
Published by Clarion Books
Available now!

Wild
Written and Illustrated by Sam Usher
Published by Templar Books
Available December 14, 2021

Butler Bookshelf

With the holiday season incoming, this week’s Butler Bookshelf showcases books about food! The selection includes both fiction and nonfiction as well as books about families and communities of various types. In A Feast for Joseph, Joseph must adjust to his new lifestyle as he was used to eating with many people when he lived in a refugee camp in East Africa. Now, he is only accompanied by his mother and his neighbor. He must learn that a feast can still be enjoyed, even on a smaller scale. Check out this week’s titles for more food related readings, including inspirational, informational, and humorous selections!

Bake, Make, & Learn to Cook: Fun & Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks
Written by David Atherton and Illustrated by Rachel Stubbs
Published by Candlewick Press
Available December 7, 2021

A Feast for Joseph
Written by Terry Farish & OD Bonny and Illustrated by Ken Daley
Published by House of Anansi Press
Available now!

Feast Your Eyes on Food: An Encyclopedia of More than 1,000 Delicious Things to Eat
Written by Laura Gladwin and Illustrated by Zoë Barker
Published by Magic Cat Publishing
Available now!

The Cookie Maker of Mavin Road
Written by Sue Lawson and Illustrated by Liz Anelli
Published by Candlewick Press
Available December 7, 2021

Our Table
Written and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Published by Orchard Books
Available now!

Interrupting Chicken: Cookies for Breakfast
Written and Illustrated by David Ezra Stein
Published by Candlewick Press
Available now!