Fall is here, bringing with it pumpkins, Halloween, and news about the upcoming election. Share these timely books with your children and create some new family traditions.
Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats, A Treasure of Chinese Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds and Leslie Schwartz with illustrations by Meilo So is organized around the Chinese holidays of New Year and the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming and the Cold Foods Festival, The Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Each section presents a brief description of the holiday and its traditions and includes a holiday tale, activities and kid-friendly recipes adapted for the American kitchen. So’s illustrations are vibrant and joyous. Celebrate the brightest moon of the lunar year by making mooncakes filled with dates, jam, coconut or raisins, and then enjoy this book all year. 8 and up. Cooking should be done with parental supervision.
Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President by Ann Malaspina with bright and crisp illustrations by Steve James. Children can learn about voting through the lens of this story of a heroine of the women’s suffrage movement. This stirring and vivid story begins with the text of the Fourteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, the first guaranteeing all persons born or naturalized in the United States the vote, the second, ensuring that no American can be denied the right to vote “on account of sex.” The reader follows Anthony as she breaks the law by by registering and then voting on Election Day, 1872. Her arrest soon follows, and then her trial in 1873, when she was found guilty and fined: “Outrageous. Unbelieveable. True.” The book ends with a brief biography of Anthony and important facts in the story of American women and the vote. 6 and up.
Toads on Toast by Linda Bailey with eye-popping illustrations by Colin Jack is a comical and Halloween-appropriate tale of a hungry fox who yearns for some delicious young toads on toast. Luckily a wise toad mom outwits him by preparing her own family recipe for Toad in the Hole (contains no toads), a classic British dish that is soon to become a favorite with your family, too. Recipe included. 3 and up.
Tad Hills’s Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin is a festive romp for kids 2 and up. The bright, sturdy and oversized board book follows two fowl who look in many unexpected places a big, bright, gorgeous pumpkin.
Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for BookBrowse.com and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.