The Amazing Watercolor Fish/El Asombroso Pez Acuarela

A lonely pet fish longs to know what exists in the world beyond her bowl. “I wish I could see over there / Behind the wall, / Behind the chair.” She imagines a giant tree, a wooly goat and a purple sea. She wonders if there could be someone out there who looks like her, so she leans close to the glass and hears some fish-like cries! “Hello? Is someone there?” she hears. “Are you a bird? / Are you a bee? Or are you a fish with fins like me?” She realizes there’s another fish close by and his name is Mike! When Mike asks what her world is like, the amazing watercolor fish has a great idea. “I ll show Mike what I think could be!” Using watercolors, she paints a picture of a world with trees and swirling rainbows. Every day she paints more, “birds that swim, / ships with wings, / and books that do all sorts of things!” Then Mike uses his paint to illustrate more than just the water and the door.

Uncle Holland

When Holland is arrested for the thirty-seventh time for stealing beautiful things, he must make a very difficult decision. A police officer says that he must either go to jail or become a soldier. He chooses to join the army and is sent south, where he finds himself surrounded by beautiful things: palm trees, parrots, flowers and big blue waves…and fish! Holland starts painting pictures of the fish, which he sells at the market on the weekend. Soon, he has money to send home to his parents. They are worried that he’s gone back to his stealing ways, so his father writes to ask if he earned the money honestly. Holland writes back to reassure him that he has decided to paint instead of steal because “not everything that’s pretty can be stuffed in your pockets!” Based on a true story about JonArno Lawson’s uncle, and accompanied by Natalie Nelson’s collage illustrations, this quirky picture book is about making choices – and art.

Luis Paints The World

Nico doesn’t have to join the Army to see the world–that’s what younger brother Luis tries to show by painting a mural in the neighborhood alley. But Nico is deployed and his small brother paints the world in the alleyway to hold on to him.

Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

Master of the historical fiction picture book, Hopkinson takes readers back to Victorian England and the home of budding young artist and animal lover Beatrix Potter. When Beatrix brings home her neighbor’s pet guinea pig so that she can practice painting it.