by Carol Hinz, Associate Publisher of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books
How do we prepare our children for hard times? And how do we help them recover from trauma? As a parent, I don’t like to think about my children–or any children–experiencing bad things. Many of the picture books in our home prompt smiles, spark curiosity, and inspire empathy. Yet children also need books that gently, respectfully tell them the truth about difficult experiences and offer them tools that might help as they navigate their own difficult times. And honestly, these books do not speak only to children. The following books have something to offer us all.
We begin our tour of the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction with Kao Kalia Yang. Her most recent picture book, The Most Beautiful Thing, draws from her childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee and offers a window into the life of a family with little money and a great deal of love. Read on to find out how important storytelling is to sharing the truth of nonfiction, and learn more about Narrative Nonfiction.
Your belly is full of tiny creatures! A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut by Masha D’yans uses striking watercolors and lively text teach kids about the garden of microscopic flora growing inside them, how it keeps them healthy, and how they can help it thrive.
Masha wrote and illustrated A Garden in Your Belly, and today we’ve asked her a few questions about her artistic process.