Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Five Fabulous Picture Book Finds

Alastair Heim, author
Kim Smith, illustrator

Publisher Summary:  
What’s a town to do when hundreds of adorable, wriggling puppies invade?  Especially a place like Strictville, where no one has ever seen puppies before.  And cuteness, fun, and playing are against the rules?  The townspeople don’t know what to do. 

Luckily there is one boy brave enough to face the delightful doggies.

Why It’s Fabulous:
This creative story takes the typical “scary” premise and reimagines it in a humorous way.  From a man running away because “they’re trying to hypnotize” him to a father covering his son’s eyes and demanding he “look away,” this energetic (and adorable) text illustrates the power of the puppy dog eyes and their irresistible charm.  The townspeople learn that life is better when puppies are around.  

Ariel Bernstein, author
Scott Magoon, illustrator
Early Reader

Publisher Summary:
Owl has a

Monkey does not.

This is NOT a book about sharing.

Why It’s Fabulous:
In Monkey’s attempt to convince Owl to trade his balloon, a humorous repartee ensues.  He offers a teddy bear, a ball, and a robot.  Owl turns them all down.   Then, he entices him with something unexpected, but the plan does not turn out as expected.  Fun twists and turns until the last page.

Corinna Luyken, author and illustrator

Publisher Summary:
A little spill
could be a small mistake
or the start of a big idea.

With playful text and stunning art, this deceptively simple story shows how the biggest blunders can spark the brightest inspiration.  A celebration of creativity and exploration. 

Why It’s Fabulous:
Words cannot do justice to this perfect little gem of a picture book because so much is in experiencing the illustrations.  On a concrete level, the story shows how a blunder can become something artistic and imaginative.  However, it has a deeper level too.  A pivotal line is, “with each mistake she is becoming…who she could be.”  It is a universal “she,” in the sense that our “mistakes” and what we do with them are what make us who we are. 

Beatrice Alemagna, author and illustrator

Publisher Summary:
All I want to do on a rainy
day like today is play my
game, but my mom says it’s
a waste of time.  The game
makes my mom crazy.
She takes it away.
I take it back.
I wish Dad had come with us
on this rainy, gray weekend.
Without my game, nothing is fun.
On the other hand, maybe
I’m wrong about that that…

Why It’s Fabulous:
The protagonist wakes from his electronic game-zombie mentality to discover the wonders of nature and the joys of pure imagination.  He drinks raindrops like an animal, climbs a tree, and makes a big splash in a puddle.  During his exploration, he muses “the whole world seemed brand-new as it had been created right in front of me.”  In the end, he appreciates the joy of sitting with a loved one drinking hot chocolate on a “magical do-nothing day.” 

Susanna Isern, author
Manon Gauthier, illustrator

Publisher Summary:
He is the second of three brothers—a bear cub right in the middle.

He goes about his middle-sized life riding his middle-sized bike, catching middle-sized fish and sleeping in a middle-sized bed.  But he doesn't want to be the middle one.  He’s too small for big adventures with his older brother and too big for small adventures with his little brother. 

Then when the three brothers are sent on an urgent quest, the middle bear discovers that for this most important adventures, he’s just the perfect size.

Why It’s Fabulous:
Middle and many “average” children will relate to Middle Bear’s experience and feelings.   The story has a satisfying (and hopeful) ending to those feeling like they are in the middle.  The charming collage and mixed media illustrations round out this entertaining read.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for the fab reviews of 5 fab books! I'll check them out.


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