When illustrator and children’s book author Oliver Jeffers became a father, the Australian-born, Belfast-raised, Brooklyn transplant felt the immediate need to explain the world to his son. He manages to do this, in his latest book, Here We Are, in a simple way that belies the sheer magnitude of the task.
The story reminds us that the children’s books that come out in any given year mirror the issues and goings-on that adults, too, are processing. As a mother myself of two young daughters, my favorite picture books from this year encourage environmental responsibility, tolerance, and female empowerment, all issues that have been raised by news from the headlines. In reading these with children, we hope that they gain a better understanding of the events around them, and that we may, in turn, be able to see the world through their eyes.
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