Here are some great picture books we discovered in the past few weeks. A couple of these we had to buy. That’s really saying something for me – I’m a true believer in the money saving value of libraries! I am very picky when it comes to buying books. Click on the pictures for more information about each book. The link will bring you to Amazon.
One by Kathryn Otoshi is a great book for many reasons. It gives a gentle introduction to both colors and numbers, while telling a story about bullying and standing up for yourself. The color red is a hothead who likes to pick on quiet color blue. The other colors feel sorry for blue, but no one has the courage to stand up for him. No one, that is, until the number 1 shows up. This is a great story to show how just one individual standing up to a bully can inspire others to stand up for themselves. Really tastefully done!
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson is a Caldecott winner. Once again, I am late to the party on an awesome book. I looked this up on Amazon and it describes it as a classic – about time I finally read it! This book is illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Beth Krommes. This is a bedtime story that delves into the power of the imagination. It first starts at a house, then you enter a bedroom, and on the bed is a book. Then you enter the book and soar through the skies with a bird, which then gently deposits you back in the bedroom. It really is a perfect bedtime story – the whimsical illustrations and sweet text perfectly meld to whisk away stress and leave you feeling safe and warm inside.
We really got a kick out of Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy. It’s super fun to read with its use of alliteration and rhymes. The town gets involved when Mabel blows a bubble that wafts away her younger brother! Curly had me read this one over and over again.
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt was a surprise favorite. This was one Curly pulled willy nilly off the library shelf and put in the take home bag. A child is being put to bed by his mother and asks a series of questions that all start with “Would you still love me if?” He goes through swamp monster, green alien, and stinky skunk variations, among others. We’ve seen a few versions of this kind of story but for some reason Curly really loved this one.
The Adventures of Polo and its sequel Polo: The Runaway Book by Regis Faller turned out to be really fun finds. These are wordless books. I am getting more and more attached to wordless books, especially if they tell stories that include things like climbing ladders up to the moon and becoming friends with a princess that lives in the clouds. Flights of fancy like these are a delight to ‘read’ with a child.
Every once in a while I find a children’s book that stuns me with its illustrations. Journey by Aaron Becker is one, but it also has the added benefit of telling a greatly imaginative story. This is another wordless book. I can’t express enough how much I like this book, and what’s more, Curly loves it too. I love this story so much I wish an author would write a novel based on the illustrations – it has a castle, a flying ship (steampunk? I am SO there!) and a dark forest lit by gorgeous lanterns. If this guy doesn’t win a Caldecott for this book, I will be very surprised. If you can’t tell…this is one we had to buy.
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller is one that I have seen highlighted on a few blogs and I thought we would probably like it. Well, I didn’t realize how much we would! This is another one we had to buy. It’s just so sweet! It has just the right dash of humor and even a little bit of science to even things out. I really enjoyed the ending, too. Some books feel like an author has a great idea but isn’t sure how to end it, making the book start out great and have a rushed ending. I thought it was paced exactly right. Sophie and her parents go to the farmer’s market to buy food for dinner. They buy a squash that Sophie is instantly taken with; she declares the squash’s name is Berneice and will certainly not be eaten for supper. Sophie takes Berneice with her everywhere. Eventually her parents try to drop hints that if they don’t eat Berneice soon she will rot. Sophie cannot accept that, and approaches a farmer to ask how to keep her squash healthy.
Happy reading! Please share if you’ve found a picture book lately that must be on your shelf!