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Toys are great and all, but these colorful and engaging reads will keep the little ones entertained and spark their curiosity about the world around them.
By Adriana Erin Rivera, Illustrated by Eugenia Nobati
Stone Arch Books (2023)112 pages (pbk, library binding)
A stirring book aimed at kids and young adults, Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico is a sincere portrait of a 12-year-old girl whose world is turned upside down when the U.S. invades Puerto Rico in 1898 to wrest it from Spanish rule. Written by a Greenburgh local of Puerto Rican descent and part of the Nuestra Voices series of books, the story was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Latino. Penned in diary format, Paloma’s Song for Puerto Rico depicts a young lady and her family navigating issues beyond their control as they struggle to maintain their way of life and, above all, hold out hope for a brighter future.
By Sasha Forman and Dana Mason Forman
Illustrated by Samantha Caponera
Luminaire Press (2022) 58 pages (pbk, kindle)
Thanks to a Larchmont-based second-grade teacher and her teenage daughter, children now have a new way to learn about determination, the value of hope, and the importance of hard work. In their new book, The Hoop Troop, Dana Forman and her 16-year-old daughter, Sasha, tell the tale of students Hudson and Savannah, who are at a loss when faced with the prospect of their third-grade talent show. Thankfully, their babysitter, Jazmin, is there to save the day when she teaches the girls all about hoop dancing. Inspired by Sasha’s own pandemic experiences, The Hoop Troop teaches young readers how to persevere when faced with trying times.
By Jonathan Ross Notis and Deborah Raider Notis
Illustrated by Jennifer Kaye
Raider Reads (2022) 56 pages (pbk, kindle)
In this richly illustrated book co-authored by a Pleasantville-based high school junior and his mother, little ones can learn a thing or two about sharing, being open to new adventures, and including others during playtime. Shipwrecked on Fudgepop Island tells the story of four students from Mr. Stanley’s third-grade class — Michael, Adam, Ross, and Jay — who wander away from the rest of their group during a field trip in search of snacks. After a few funny misadventures, the friends end up on a fantastic island full of mouthwatering treats. Written in verse and conceived by Jonathan Ross Notis when he was just 14 years old, this colorful kids’ book offers an extra-fun way to learn why sharing with others is so very sweet.