I'm madly working my way through a list of books with significant holds. They're all adult nonfiction/fiction (save for one), so children's/YA novels and nonfiction are currently on hold until I get through these books. However, fretting that I wasn't reading *any* juvenile literature, I checked out (and put holds) on a massive amount of picture books. Yay! Problem solved. I maintain a list of 2012 books that I want to get to before the ALA Youth Media awards (Newbery, Caldecott, etc) are announced in January, so I'm happily checking off a number of titles. Here's what I've been reading:
I'll Save You Bobo!
Willy, his stuffed monkey, Bobo, and his rascal cat, Earl, are back. Earl constantly bothers Willy while he is reading with Bobo. Willy takes out his frustrations by writing a story in which Earl faces major mishaps; this makes him feel much better, but it doesn't solve the problem of Earl stealing Bobo. While I slightly prefer I Must Have Bobo, I love the fact that Willy writes and draws in order to release his frustrations. I can see teachers and parents using this to jump start a journaling exercise.
Bink and Gollie: Two For One
Have I mentioned that Kate DiCamillo is one of my all-time favorite authors? Of course I have. I'll mention it again. She's a major fave. Like Jennifer Holm, she's beloved by kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and critics. She's golden. Bink and Gollie is trés cute, but not self-consciously cute. Best friends Bink and Gollie explore the state fair and have a marvelous and eventful time. I love these characters.
The Art of Miss Chew
The legendary Patricia Polacco returns with an autobiographical picture book. Young Patricia has a difficult time in school. Art is her main passion in life; unfortunately, her school has no art class. When Miss Chew is hired, Patricia finds a mentor and an advocate. This is an impassioned plea for recognizing the importance of art education for all children. It's a lovely and touching story about a dedicated teacher and a grateful student.
Extra Yarn has been one of our most popular picture books so far in 2012. It received excellent reviews upon publication (and was recently named the 2012 picture book winner for the prestigious Boston Globe/The Horn Book Award), so I was doubly anxious to read it. I finally read it this week, and can definitely understand why it's been so popular with patrons and critics. Annabelle has a never-ending supply of yarn. She knits a sweater for herself and her dog, then gradually, for every person, animal, and even "for things that didn't even wear sweaters." Not even a wealthy archduke can tear Annabelle away from her miraculous yarn. This is a clever and hilarious story; I'm reading this the very next time I'm asked to read to a school group.
This is just the beginning; to be continued!