September 9, 2013
Yahoo for New Picture Books!!
Dear Picture Book friends,
As I write, I cannot believe that the summer of 2013 has come to an end! It seemed to fly by… as it seems each year is now flying faster than the last. The best part of summer was spending time with my sweet granddaughter! She turns 18 months old today and is full of wonder and fun! My next granddaughter will be arriving in November and that is going to be here before we know it! I am beyond excited!! The other fun part of my summer was reading… I read some great books over the summer! If you need a recommend that isn’t a picture book, please message me for some ideas. And if you need picture book recommendations, well, you know where to come!
Written and Illustrated by Aaron Becker (2013)
Available in Hardcover
I love wordless picture books. They lend themselves to imagining and storytelling of our own. This one is a beauty! The muted tones are calming, while the girl protagonist uses her imagination with bright red marker in hand to create the story.
Ignored by her digitally distracted family, a girl draws a red door on her bedroom wall and steps through. A lush green forest twinkles with lanterns and strung lights; a dizzying castle towers, its gates, turrets and halls linked by complicated waterways; a hovering aircraft festooned with propellers and wheels holds an imprisoned purple-plumed bird. Amid these marvels, the girl appears markedly ordinary with her common pageboy haircut, minimal facial features and simple clothes. She could be anyone, really, and readers will easily appropriate her journey as their own. Putty-colored grays and flat, boxy city shapes defined the girl’s urban reality, but here, color rules, modulating from mossy greens to slate blues to dusky purple–all punctuated with her crayon’s brilliant red and the yellow of a golden bird cage. White pages highlight action (the girl’s crayon whips up a boat, a hot air balloon and a magic carpet when needed), but most spreads deliver fantastically intricate pen, ink and watercolor architectural illustrations that remain playfully engrossing. They conjure contextual questions with no clear answers, or perhaps with so many answers one’s imagination finds itself opening door upon door and crossing thresholds, just as the girl did to escape loneliness. After freeing the bird, she needs its help for a quick escape through a small purple door back to her everyday street and back to a boy who wields an equally powerful purple crayon (an obvious and moving homage). An imaginative adventure story whose elaborate illustrations inspire wonder, careful examination and multiple reads. (Picture book. 2-6)
The Blessing Cup
Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco (2013)
Available in Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Patricia Polacco! This book is a prequel to Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt. Her beautiful books always leave me with something to think about. This one is a generational family story and more sophisticated than most picture books. I would suggest it for older children and adults.
Polacco has a gift for turning her own family stories into picture books that can touch the hearts of all. The Keeping Quilt is now 25 years old. In this brand-new companion, Polacco turns to her great-grandmother Anna’s story of how she came to America. The pictures, vibrant and brilliantly suggestive of movement, are mostly black-and-white, shaded with her signature use of color to highlight certain details. Devotees of The Keeping Quilt will recognize Anna’s babushka, which became the border of the quilt, on the young Anna when the czar’s soldiers come to their Russian town to burn the temple and expel all the Jews. The family packs up its most precious possessions, including her papa’s sewing machine and the beautiful china teapot and cups that were a wedding present. Even as they travel, they continue the ritual of drinking from the cups for God’s blessing, breaking bread so they will never know hunger and using salt so that their lives will have flavor. When Anna’s papa’s health breaks down from hauling the cart with all their possessions, a widowed doctor takes the family in and cares for them until, once again, they are forced to leave. In gratitude for the doctor’s care and for his supplying them with passage to America, they leave him the tea set, save for one cup. Polacco closes with the journey of that particular cup to the present day. History, religious persecution, immigration, and the skeins of faith and love that connect a family are all knit together in this powerful, accessible and deeply affecting story. (Picture book. 6-10)
I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love
Written and Illustrated by Nancy Tillman (2013)
Nancy Tillman is a favorite picture book author/illustrator of mine. Her newest installment in her “love” series does not disappoint! This book would make a lovely gift for a newborn or just celebrating a family’s love. Simply beautiful!
Barnes & Noble:
There are things about you quite unlike any other.
Things always known by your father or mother.
So if you decide to be different one day,
no worries… I’d know you anyway.
Every child is special and unique, but every child also loves to dream of being something different. In I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love, bestselling author and artist Nancy Tillman has created another heartfelt masterpiece celebrating the joys of imagination, and the comfort of always knowing that “you are loved.”
Ask any roomful of children what animals they would like to be and barrages of answers will greet you almost instantly. On the Night You Were Born author/illustrator Nancy Tillman takes that core connection and turns it into a cute, sweet book about parental love so deep that it can penetrate any disguise. Bound to be a gift.
Written and Illustrated by Virginia Brimhall Snow (2013)
Available in Hardcover
I cannot wait to share this gorgeous book with my little granddaughter! She loves being outside and touching leaves and flowers. I also love that the Grandmother in the book is called “Grammy” which is what she calls me!
Leaves rustle, crunch, twirl, scatter, and dance in the wind as “Grammy” takes some of her favorite grandkids on an autumn stroll.
Beautifully illustrated and with rhyming narrative, the storybook teaches children to identify 24 different kinds of leaves by their shapes and fall colors. From maple to mulberry and peach to pecan, kids will have fun learning about common and fascinating trees and their leaves. And at the end of the day, they learn how to press the gathered leaves in a book and make a leaf rubbing.
READ AN EXERP:
I went for a walk in the leaves today. They rustled and crunched as I kicked them away.
Red, orange, yellow, purple and brown, They flew into the air and then fluttered down.
My grammy told me the name of each one, Remembering was hard, but I still had fun.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown (2013)
Available in Hardcover and eReader Editions
Do you want to have more fun? Are you bored with being proper? Yes? Then this book is for you! Mr. Tiger knows how you feel and decides to go wild! This would be perfect for a small group story time event and keep little ones engaged in the story!
There’s a lot to go wild for in this picture-book celebration of individuality and self-expression. Mr. Tiger lives a peaceable, if repressed, life alongside other anthropomorphic animals in a monochromatic, dreadfully formal little town. All the other animals seem content with their stiff, dull lives, except for Mr. Tiger, whose bright coloring is a visual metaphor for his dissatisfaction. When child (animal) characters scamper by, a bipedal horse admonishes them, “Now, children, please do not act like wild animals.” This plants a seed in Mr. Tiger’s mind, and a few pages later, he embraces a quadruped stance. The spread following this wordless one makes great use of the gutter, positioning aghast townsfolk on the verso as Mr. Tiger proudly marches off the recto on all fours. This is just the beginning of his adoption of wild ways, however: He sheds his clothing, runs away to the wilderness, roars and generally runs amok. But, much like that other Wild Thing, Max, Mr. Tiger comes to miss his friends, his city and his home, and so he returns to find “that things were beginning to change.” Ensuing pages show animals in various states of (un)dress, sometimes on all fours, sometimes on two feet, cavorting about in colorful settings, and (to paraphrase the closing lines) all feeling free to be themselves. Hooray for Mr. Tiger and his wild ways! (Picture book. 3-7)
Peck, Peck, Peck
Written and Illustrated by Lucy Cousins (2013)
Available in Hardcover
This is a fun, new book from the creator of the “Maisy” books. I enjoy her bold, black outlined drawings. I also enjoy a picture book for younger children with a sing-song rhyme to them. There are little cut-out holes that baby bird “pecked” into the book. So cute!
Cousins’s black outlines and cozy colors (which will be instantly recognizable to Maisy fans) tell the story of a young woodpecker learning to peck. “Now hold on tight. That’s very good,” says the woodpecker father to his offspring. “Then peck, peck, peck, peck, peck the wood.” The junior woodpecker’s first efforts are revealed with a small, die-cut hole: “Peck peck peck ‘Oh, look, yippee!/ I’ve pecked a hole right through this tree.’ ” Eagerly, the bird ventures closer to a house and then inside it, turning successive pages into something that comes close to Swiss cheese. “I peck, peck, peck a magazine,/ a picture of Aunt Geraldine,/ an armchair, a teddy bear,/ and a book called Jane Eyre,” boasts the small bird. Exhausted, the pecking student heads home to bed. The father woodpecker appears to be a single father, and the sex of the young woodpecker is unstated. The story is stripped-down and expertly paced, and the idea of receiving warm praise from a parent for poking holes in a bunch of random objects stays funny all the way through. Ages 2–5. (Aug.)
Warning: Do Not Open This Book!
Written by Adam Lehrhaupt; Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe (2013)
Available in Hardcover and eReader Editions
This monkey-infested romp of a book will have you laughing out loud as you are warned time and time again to not continue reading it. Children love this kind of silly humor and will definitely enjoy this book!
Debut author Lehrhaupt and New York Times Notable Children’s Book illustrator Forsythe (My Name Is Elizabeth!, 2011) team up for a laugh-out-loud romp through monkey-infested pages. From the title and the endpapers’ warning signs (“I guess you don’t mind being mauled by mo___s”) to the opening pages’ admonishments not to venture further, the narrator repeatedly warns readers not to open this book. Those who do not heed these pleas release a troop of artistic monkeys that wreak havoc on the book itself. Nothing is safe from these wild invaders–not the art and not the text. When the narrator again urges readers to turn back, toucans join the fracas. Forsythe uses the same warm palette for the toucans as the monkeys, adding a nice continuity to an otherwise strange addition that slows down this well-paced story. Before the toucans can do much, an alligator shows up, frightening everyone. With chaos reigning supreme, the narrator turns to readers for help in laying out a plan to snare the animals inside the book. Forsythe’s digitally rendered art is hilariously expressive and laugh-worthy in its own right, and it is well-paired with Lehrhaupt’s spare comic text, successfully creating a book that is enjoyable both to read and behold. In the tradition of humorous metafictive offerings of the past, this celebration of chaos is a veritable festival of fun. (Picture book. 3-7)
Hello, My Name is Ruby
Written and Illustrated by Phillip C. Stead (2013)
Available in Hardcover
Oh my GOSH!! This is one of the cutest picture books I have seen in a while! This is perfect for reading aloud to your little ones, offering up a great opportunity for them to join in with silly sounds. I love it!!
School Library Journal:
PreS-Gr 1—This deceptively simple tale eloquently explores the universal theme of making friends. “Hello, my name is Ruby,” says a small yellow bird as she encounters a variety of avian counterparts and discovers the shared pleasures of flying and walking. Another bird shows her that she need not feel small when she is among friends. But then one of her overtures, “Would you like to be my friend?” is met with rejection when a large bird with striking plumage says, “No, thank you.” In a poignant wordless illustration, Ruby stands in the rain, singing a sad song. After the sun dries her feathers, she meets a “curious bird” who peers at her from a great height. Ruby explains that a name “is a sound that is all yours,” and the pair exchange names: “ROOO-beee, ROOO-beee-OOO-beee-OOO-beee./SKEEP-wock, replied the bird. SKEEEEEP-wock-wock-wock.” Skeepwock is glad to meet her and tells her that he’s heard her name before, leading her to a tree full of yellow birds just like her. Stead pairs a minimal amount of text with ingeniously crafted, mixed-media illustrations. Varying perspectives and brilliant use of color and line give voice to Ruby’s emotions: from shy wonderment to abject rejection and, finally, infectious delight. This irresistible read-aloud, with its recognizable and much-loved theme, will resonate with children.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA