The Book for the Instagram Trend
Whether you can’t scroll past them fast enough or you still find beauty and draw comfort from them, there are definitely trends on Instagram that seem to have some lasting power. I thought it might be interesting to try to pair books, both picture books for kids and a range of books for adults, to various trends that I see pop on my feed. What trends am I missing? Any you particularly love or don’t want to see anymore?
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The plant shelfie
- Tami Charles’s and Sara Palacios’ My Day with the Panye
Just like plants breath life anywhere they’re put, there are certain books that feel fresh and full of life and wonder. My Day with the Panye tells the story of Fallon, who wants more than anything to be able to carry the panye on her head like her mother. Our daughter very much responds to the lesson of not giving up even when things are hard at first and clearly loves the vibrant illustrations. I love the depiction of Haitian culture and resilience and the beautiful market that the daughter and mother go to. This is definitely one to add to your shelves. Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy!
The hand on the back of the brown hat in front of some beautiful landscape
- Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age
I look like a five-year-old playing dress-up in a hat like that, but, man, those travel influencers make it look good. In that same vein, this book is effortlessly cool. It sweeps you up for the ride and and then lingers in your thoughts. It’s stylish, but there are so many layers of substance there and it’s a journey you should take if you haven’t already.
The bath tray with the book
- Alexander McCall Smith’s Your Inner Hedgehog
It’s just so darn cozy. Never mind that the person might have kids banging outside that bathroom door or that the water may have gotten cold while getting the perfect shot, we all are immediately envious and want to hop right in. Er, we want to hop right in our OWN version.
McCall Smith is one of my go-to writers when I’m seeking something cozy whether it be joining Mma Ramotswe solving mysteries in Botswana or following the quirky lives of the residents of 44 Scotland Street. This Professor von Igelfeld series is set in “the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due—a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray.” I have not yet read the rest of the series, but I plan on doing so and can tell you that I was completely fine starting with this one. McCall Smith is a professor himself (among so many things- do yourself a favor and go down some rabbit holes about this delightful man) and the humor of his insider views sparkle in this read. Readers who enjoy authors like P.G. Wodehouse or mark things like eccentric characters and dry humor high on a list of things that make them happy while reading, this one is for you. Thank you to Anchor Books for my review copy!
The goofy dancing reel
- Kyle Sheele’s and Andy J. Pizza’s A Pizza with Everything On It
Whether it’s someone hopping around to the beginning of the Black Eyed Pea’s “Where is the Love?” for the Me on My Way trend or showing off some good moves while making us laugh, there are certain Reels that can’t help but make you smile. A Pizza with Everything On it, about a boy whose dad owns a pizza shop (yes, please) and asks for everything on a pizza…yes, everything… is the exact kind of silly you want. Thank you to Chronicle for our review copy!
The delicious, beautifully plated food accompanied by two disembodied, non-claw-like hands
- Edna Lewis’s The Taste of Country Cooking
If you’ve ever taken one of these, you know how hard they are to get right, but, they look so effortless and inviting. Edna Lewis’s writing draws you right into her childhood and you WILL want to make all the food. I know a lot of you out there love food writing, so why am I not seeing this one more? Do pick it up!
The kitchen sink with the flowers
- Sarah Jacoby’s Can I Sit With You?
I mean, my kitchen sink is never clean to put anything in it, but maybe a white farmhouse sink the size of a small bath might make me scrub it clean and then I could put flowers in there. Seriously, though, it’s so darn fresh and pretty. The colors of the beautiful illustrations in this book absolutely remind me of those photos. The story feels just as peaceful and sweet with its lyricism and exploration of companionship with a dog and little girl. Thank you to Chronicle for our review copy!
The tall funfetti cake with the icing only between each layer
- Annie Barrow’s and Sophie Blackwell’s Ivy and Bean Get to Work!
If you don’t know the Ivy and Bean series and have a kid who either likes to be read early reader books or can read them on their own, these are wonderful. They feel classic and fun(fetti), reminiscent of the wonderful Beverly Cleary who knew how to portray real kids. In the latest in the series, Ivy and Bean go to their career fair where they discover a treasure hunter and get treasure fever, along with the rest of their class. We smiled our way through the first time and have read it several times since. Thank you to Chronicle for our review copy!
The charming English village street
- Jasmine Warga’s Other Words for Home
It makes me happy every time I see it. It’s timeless feeling, but also doesn’t cease to strike me as something special. Any time anyone posts a picture of an English village, I want to be there. Any time anyone posts a picture of Other Words for Home, I want to be rereading it. This book was an immediate favorite for me, just like I immediately fell in love with England when we traveled there. When the pandemic’s over, do plan a road trip to England. Do share your pictures. In the meantime, do pick up this special novel in verse about a girl who moves from Syria to America that is beautiful through and through.
The powerful words with the swirling paint
- Rebekah Taussig’s Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body
Morgan Harper Nichols is the master of those words that you find yourself sitting with thinking over for a while. Sitting Pretty is a book that I know I will never forget and that has made me reconsider so much in my ableist world. I cannot urge you enough to pick this one up.
Those neon, unusually shaped candles
- Kim Norman’s and Pierre Collet-Derby’s One-osaurus Two-osaurus
I have no idea how some of these candles actually burn without creating total chaos, but they’re fun to look at and add whimsy to all the spaces I’ve been seeing them in lately. This book shares that color, boldness, and joy. It’s a book to romp through with your little one giggling on your lap. I appreciate that it’s a counting book, but so much more, and I know a whole lot of kids who will want this just for the fact that it’s dinosaurs. Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy!
The colorful boats lined up on a lake
- Jenna Evan Welch’s Love & Gelato
This was just a cute, feel good YA that might make you feel like those pictures do: ready for an adventure and in a good mood.
- Debora Vogrig and Pia Valentinis’s Line and Scribble
Okay, this comparison is obvious. But you know those drawings you seem everywhere of one connected line that makes up a woman’s outline or the like? Line and Scribble is the sweet story of two unlikely friends who like to do things differently. I really appreciated how this book imaginatively shows that friends can embrace differences and the power of art in the way we see the world. Thank you to Chronicle for our review copy!