Monday, November 17, 2014

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett





This is a sweet tale about a girl who finds a box of yarn and proceeds to knit for all the townsfolk. An evil archduke covets her box of yarn and steals it, only to find out that the box is empty. He curses the girl, but she gets the box back and continues to knit. There's a message to the story: it's the kindness of the girl's heart that enables her to knit with no yarn. The message is subtle though, and doesn't overwhelm the whimsy of the story. The illustrator, Jon Klassen, even includes his bear from I Want My Hat Back (wearing a sweater). Extra Yarn is a simple story with illustrations that give the book an instant classic feel.

Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty




Madame Chapeau lives in what seems to be Paris and makes hats for other people. Madame herself is a sad eyed, but fashionable young woman. Every year on a special day she goes out in her finest hat and matching outfit. But this year things go wrong and she loses her hat to a bird. The rest of the story is about Madame Chapeau looking for her hat while others offer theirs. She refuses their kind offers until a girl gives her a hat she knit specially for her.
The clever rhyming and unique illustrations make this a great book, particularly for kids who like fashion.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bad Dog Flash by Ruth Paul




If you like dogs, even mischievous ones, you'll enjoy Bad Dog Flash. Ruth Paul captures the energy of a young dog getting into trouble all throughout the house. Flash eats shoes, chases the cat, tracks mud into the house and shreds the laundry among other things; all the while maintaining a look of innocence.The text is easy for the little ones and the illustrations are soft and sweet. In the end, Flash is forgiven by the little girl who loves him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt


This is an adorable celebration of books for the little ones. Babies and toddlers are everywhere and so are books. The simple text shows children in what ways and where you can enjoy books: on sunny days, rainy days, in scary ways and funny ways. Though the text is simple, the illustrations are charming and fill out the sparse text. Lots of color and little details (like a mouse hiding on each page) are fun for kids to play search and find.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Froodle by Antoinette Portis


Froodle is a funny book, with lots of silly words for kids to say aloud. The story begins with a normal neighborhood filled with animals making normal sounds, bark, coo, cheep etc. Then a little brown sparrow decides to say something besides peep. Soon all the birds except for crow are saying weird things. Crow is not amused. Finally, he comes around and says, "Wuppy!" then the cats and dogs join in. It's verbal mayhem! Lots of puns (which will amuse the adults), simple pictures and fun words keep the story going in this book about a not-so-normal neighborhood.

Draw! by Raul Colon



This is a wordless picture book which is full of adventure. A boy drawing in his bed imagines himself on a safari and soon he is on the savannah with the animals. He has lunch with the zebras, rides on an elephant, shares his bread with monkeys and is chased by rhinos. Finally he draws himself back to his room, sketching his way across the savannah. At the end, he's at school showing his art to his classmates. To help differentiate between  the imagined scenes and the "actual" scenes, Mr. Colon uses different techniques: colored pencil for the imagined and ink/watercolor for the realistic scenes. As with most kids, the imagined world is more lush and vivid than the real one.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd



This is a simple but cute picture book for younger children. The whole book is wordless and takes place at night. It features a boy who's camping near the woods and decides to go on a walk with his flashlight. The beam from the flashlight reveals the hidden world of night to the boy. Other select parts of the woods are lit as well: birch trees, luna moths and june bugs. The moon rises and offers another source of light. Interspersed are cut-out shapes offering glimpses of critters in trees and ponds. At the end, the animals get to use the flashlight and have fun shining it on the boy. A unique and fun picture book!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey




Bluebird is a beautiful and unusually illustrated children's book. The illustrations are done in a sparse, yet delicate style with the bluebird being one of a few featured colors on each page. The occasional flowery typeface and the collaged images add a touch of whimsy to the whole look. The bluebird is in search of his friend the wind, without whom he's convinced he can't fly. He looks high and low around the city and country encountering dandelion seeds, kites and scarves who also can't fly without the wind. In his search, he realizes that he's flown to the tallest building without his friend the wind. At the end of the book his friend returns, but the bluebird now knows he can also fly alone.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle

This is a great book for a picky eater. Nacho is very picky, he only wants to eat one thing; Gazpacho.  When he learns to cook the soup on his own he realizes how many yummy things there are to try.  The story is told in a rhyming mix of Spanish and English.

Also Try:
When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith
Friends by Eric Carle