Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Picture Book Roundup - post Sandy edition

I'm getting back in the groove of normal life after a devastating hit by Hurricane Sandy. 

Here are some short and sweet reviews of books that I've had on my pile for weeks - no common theme - just great picture books!

These first two books are ones in which the illustrations steal the show and tell the story.

  • Johnston, Tony. 2012. Laugh-Out Loud Baby. New York: Simon & Schuster. Illustrated by Stephen Gammell.

If this book doesn't make you smile, make you laugh, make you happy - well, I don't know what will.  The author's note regarding the Navajo celebration of a baby's first laugh is interesting.  I can think of few things better to celebrate. Go ahead, laugh!

  • Fox, Mem. 2012. Tell Me About Your Day Today. New York: Beach Lane. Illustrated by Lauren Stringer.

A enjoyably repetitive, rhyming text that is filled in by cheerful step-by-step illustrations, detailing the busy day of a young boy and his favorite stuffed animals,

And Greedy Goose told him about her day -  the who,
the what,
the why,
and the way ...
the whole wild thing ...
turned out okay.

  • Tarpley, Todd. 2012. Ten Tiny Toes. New York: Little Brown.  Illustrated by Marc Brown.

Into the world came ten tiny toes, a hundred times sweeter than one could suppose
A book for everyone who has ever kissed, and later missed a baby's ten tiny toes. Rhyming and sweet, this one would steal my heart even without illustrations!

Watch the book trailer for Ten Tiny Toes here.

  • Kimmel, Eric A. 2012. Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale. New York: Feiwel and Friends. Illustrated by Andrew Glass.

Moby Dick in a picture book for kids? Yes! This is not likely a book that young parents will pick off the shelf for a bedtime story, but it deserves an audience.  Eric Kimmel captures the essence of Melville's classic for a young audience, and he does it in rhyme, and he spares us the endless chapters on whales and whaling (sorry, it may be a classic, but those chapters are sheer drudgery).
Call me Ishmael ... When days start getting long again and time is moving slow, I set out for New Bedford town, a whaling for to go.
No important part of the story is missing, and while some of the rhymes are a bit forced, the overall effect of Kimmel's retelling, the book's generous size, and Andrew Glass' evocative paintings is striking.  An Author's Note and Glossary are included.  Hopefully, teachers will find a way to use this one.  View the Flickr slideshow of Andrew Glass' paintings for Moby Dick.

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