8 Picture Books That Celebrate the Joys of Life

New work from Satoshi Kitamura, Lynne Rae Perkins, Shawn Harris, Bruce Handy, Hyewon Yum, Nikki Grimes, Elizabeth Zunon, Micha Archer, Julie Flett and Vera Brosgol.

By Jennifer Krauss

Written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

A boy wearing a red scarf stands out at a muted-pastel street market. Having saved his pocket money, he’s excited to buy himself something “for the very first time.” When he stops to look at the fruits and vegetables, they blush — “such wonderful colors.” When he breathes deeply at an Indian food stall — what “tempting smells!” He opens a book that opens a world, toots a horn that releases a sound. Then his coins get knocked from his hand and the market fades to gray. Ultimately, the boy learns it’s his humanity that imbues the world with color, his appreciation of a pear or a person that gives back a thousandfold. All the while, Kitamura’s art warms us like the red scarf on a cheerful boy, a smile stretching ear to ear.

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