Friday, March 18, 2011

Picture Book Roundup

Another picture book roundup, and another addition to my 2012 Caldecott list! Yay!

Mini Racer

This is a fun racing title that I'm looking forward to using in an upcoming transportation story time. Animals in various modes of transportation (including a rockin' wheelchair, which is a nice touch)race to the finish line.

If You're Hoppy

This takeoff on "If You're Happy and You Know It" features a bunch of hopping, happening animals. This would be a great interactive read aloud!

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs

I'm pleased as punch that all our copies of Johnette Downing's picture book are checked out. Downing is a fabulous children's performer in Louisiana; her CDs are a welcome relief from sugary-sweet children's music CDs. Downing adapted the traditional "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" (instead of "perhaps she'll die," it's "perhaps she'll cry) with a fun twist at the end.

Little White Rabbit

I didn't think I would find a lovelier spring-theme picture book than Henkes's My Garden, but then I read his latest, Little White Rabbit. Little White Rabbit wonders what it would like to be green, or to flutter through the air like a butterfly, until he encounters a cat. Too frightened to wonder about anything else, he high-tails it back home, where he continued to wonder "about many things, but he didn't wonder who loved him." Oh, MELT. This is adorable. I love it. You will too. It's on my 2012 Caldecott shortlist.

Except If

This is quite the clever book. "An egg is not a baby bird/but it will become one/except if/it becomes a baby snake." And so on. You can have fun predicting what's coming next, and younger children can chime in on the "except if" part. Very nice.

Jam and Honey

Told from the perspective of a young girl and a young bee, Jam and Honey tells the tale of how both learn to respect and coexist with each other. A lovely read aloud.

A Call for a New Alphabet

This is an odd little book, but I really enjoyed it. X is tired of being at the end of the alphabet. He stirs up the other letters to form a new alphabet order, but eventually realizes that he's happy right where he is. Jef Czekaj is a linguist and sneaks in spelling rules quite cleverly. I got a kick out of X trying to rile up I and E: "And I and E, aren't you tired of having to switch places every time C comes into the picture?" C appears with a big "I Before E Except After C" sign. I: "Here he comes!" E: "You should get on this side." Z wonders why it's the sound of snoring (and hilariously demonstrates why it's actually quite perfect for demonstrating snoring!), K realizes that it doesn't like being silent when it's before an N, etc. Really fun and clever (did you realize that V is not allowed to end words in English? I sure didn't!).

Pick a Pup

I love this book because its underlying message is so true: when you pick an animal from the shelter, you often realize that he/she picked you. Sam and his grandmother are off to adopt a dog from the shelter, but Sam is unsure as to what kind of dog he should get: a "sit-in-you lap dog/likes to take a nap dog," a "runs-right-up pup/always-wakes-you-up pup," or something entirely different? "You'll know," reassures Grandma. And indeed, Sam does. Awww. Not only is this a great story about getting a shelter dog, but it's also a lovely grandson-grandmother story. Sam's neighbors are also multicultural, which is always appreciated.

What a lovely collection of picture books. You really can't go wrong with any of them!

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