Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ category

A Gift of Imagination

December 7, 2017

If someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I’d say a green umbrella. Why?  Because it’s much more than an ordinary umbrella. It’s an object that tickles your imagination and takes you on extraordinary adventures.

umbrella

The Green Umbrella is written by Jackie Azúa Kramer and illustrated by Maral Sassouni. On a rainy day, Elephant is taking a walk with his umbrella when he meets Hedgehog who insists Elephant has his boat and tells him of his boat adventures. When Elephant says Hedgehog is mistaken, Elephant offers to share his umbrella with Hedgehog. Along comes Cat who insists Elephant has his tent and tells of his tent adventures. Elephant says Cat is mistaken but offers to share his umbrella. The story continues as Elephant meets different animals who are convinced his umbrella is not really an umbrella but something else. In the end, despite their differences, they all become friends. Maral Sassouni’s illustrations are whimsical and rendered in soft pastels. The Green Umbrella is a delightful book of imagination, sharing, and friendship.

Get me that green umbrella!

 

 

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Goodnight Everyone

November 30, 2017

We’ve all had those nights when our kids just don’t want to go to sleep. Well, Chris Haughton knows how to solve that. He’s the author/illustrator of many award-winning books, including my favorite, Shhh! We Have a Plan.

haughton

In his book, Goodnight Everyone, the forest animals are sleepy – the mice, the hares, the deer, and Great Big Bear. However, Little Bear is wide awake. He wants to play, but all of his friends are too tired. Soon Little Bear gives a huge yawn and decides it’s time to go to sleep like everyone else. The story is simply told, but the techniques used by Chris Haughton are what make this book so likable. The color palette is vibrant and reminiscent of the evening sky after the sun sets. The cut pages will delight readers as they see the animals get bigger with each page turn. As the size of the animals grows, so do their yawns and their sleeping sounds. The endpapers are another treat to behold. The beginning of the book depicts the southern night sky and its constellations and the placement of the planets, moon, earth, and sun. The end of the book depicts the northern night sky and the placement of the planets, moon, earth, and sun and the constellations where Little Bear and Great Bear are easy to pick out. This charming book is sure to get your wide-awake youngster yawning and ready for some zzz’s.

 

 

 

 

A Winning Team

November 16, 2017

wolf

Author, Mac Barnett, and illustrator, Jon Klassen, have teamed up once again to create another winner. The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is a tongue in cheek or a-duck-and-a-mouse-in-a-wolf’s-belly tale. Everything about this book is perfect – the pacing, the dialogue, the humor, and the delightfully funny illustrations done in muted tones and mixed media. The story is simply told. A mouse is gobbled up by a wolf and meets a duck who lives inside the wolf’s belly. The mouse sees life is good for the duck and wants to stay. The two celebrate with a dance and give the wolf a woeful stomach ache. Things go well for the duck and the mouse until a hunter tries to shoot the wolf. The duck and the mouse fight to defend their home and save the wolf who is thankful not to have perished at the hands of the hunter. He grants the two a favor. What did they ask? To find out the rest of the story, you’ll have to read this hilarious book!

Four Words = A Clever Book

November 9, 2017

I’ve always enjoyed Emily Gravett’s books. I recently came across one I hadn’t seen before and fell in love with its creativity.

orange pear apple

Orange Pear Apple Bear is an excellent read-aloud for the very young. Emily Gravett repeats the title’s four words throughout the book until the last page where she adds the perfect illustration and word to end her story. Orange, pear, apple, bear are arranged in varying order and in different scenarios. The clever simplicity of this book will keep readers engaged as each page turn reveals illustrations done in pencil and pastel watercolors in an imaginative setup of bear, fruit, and words. Gravett’s genius in art and wordplay make this a fun story to read over and over.

Check this out and the many other books from award-winning author/illustrator Emily Gravett.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Mistake

October 12, 2017

What if no one ever made a mistake? That would be the biggest mistake of all. Throughout history, mistakes have led to great strides in making our world a better place.

mistakes

A perfectly delightful picture book written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken is The Book of Mistakes. The endpapers begin with a splat of ink and end with a charming surprise. Luyken begins her story with spare text and seemingly simplistic sketches rendered in black ink and surrounded by white space. The reader learns the artist has made a mistake. She corrects it by coming up with a good idea, but then there are more mistakes followed by more good ideas. With each page turn, colors seep into the illustrations. In the middle of the book, there are five wordless spreads in which the artist’s illustrations become more intricate and more colorful. At the end, Corinna Luyken poses the question, “Do you see—” which makes readers pause to think. The final illustrations and text give the reader a closer look into the creative mind of the author/artist who demonstrates how inspiration can change a simple mistake into something amazing.

Make no mistake. Grab hold of this book now!

 

 

 

 

It’s a Wonder!

September 21, 2017

 

Wonders

We’re All Wonders is a picture book written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio. It’s based on her award-winning novel, Wonder. As in her novel, the main character, Auggie, has a physical disability. On the first page, readers meet Auggie and his dog, Daisy. We find out immediately that Auggie is different. Even though he does things like every other kid, he is not ordinary. His mom calls him “unique” and “a wonder.” Because Auggie’s face doesn’t look like everyone else’s face, people stare and say things, which makes Auggie feel bad. When this happens, Auggie puts on his helmet, and with his dog, Daisy, the two blast off into their own world. They hope for better things because as Auggie says, “We’re all wonders!” R.J. Palacio tells the story with spare text that easily elicits an emotional response from readers. Her colorful illustrations invite readers to keep turning pages as they become part of Auggie’s story. I recommend this book for its themes of acceptance, kindness, and hope.

Get Ready to Turn these Pages

September 14, 2017

 

birds2

If you’re looking for a book to get your toddler/preschooler moving, take a look at Lucy Cousins’ picture book, Hooray for Birds. This book is filled with bold, bright colors and invites the child to imagine he/she is a bird and do what the birds do. The fast–paced rhymes begin with a “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” in the morning and continue throughout the day until it’s time to say good night. Don’t be surprised if your little one insists you read the book again and again, and you’ll oblige because this book is fun for everyone!

bear

Bird, Balloon, Bear written and illustrated by Il Sung Na is quite the opposite of Hooray for Birds. This is a gentle story about finding the courage to make a new friend. The text is spare and the illustrations in the book are muted and soft with a fun double page spread. What makes this book special is it lends itself to cuddling together as you turn the pages to reveal how a friendship blossoms.

These two books are looking for a space in your library.

 


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