I read a fair number of picture books and early readers because of my job. Picture Book Monday is my attempt to review a few that I’ve especially liked. These include picture books, early readers and early chapter books–Picture Book Monday just had a nice ring to it.
It’s a Book by Lee Smith: I feel like this one may be getting some flak for the end, which is a pity, because overall it makes a great point. Personally, I think you could substitute donkey if reading aloud. It does make me wish that Smith hadn’t played that line for laughs because it takes away from the actual purpose of the book.
Swim Swim by Lerch: Sweet story of a fish searching for true love. I don’t have much to say about it other than that. I enjoyed reading it and it’s very cute.
Flotsam by David Wiesner: Utterly gorgeous and the best way to do a wordless picture book, in my opinion. You don’t need text because the pictures are completely clear and narrative. And what a lovely thing it is–breathtaking and odd. I wish I had access to kids of the right age, because I’d love to see what they thought of it. (You can get a sense of the intricacy of the pictures at this link.)
Sector 7 by David Wiesner: I grabbed this one off the shelves immediately after reading Flotsam. It’s also beautiful and eerie, but I found that I preferred Flotsam. Looking into it, I discovered that Sector 7 is older, so what I’m reacting may simply be Wiesner developing as an artist. Still, this is definitely worthwhile.
No Such Thing by Jackie French Koller, illustrated by Betsy Lewin: This book left me with a smile on my face. A little boy knows there’s a monster under the bed, no matter what his mother says. On the other hand, the little monster knows there’s a boy over the bed, no matter what his mother says. Their solution is surprising and amusing.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klasen: A lovely and surprising book, beautifully brought to life by Klasen’s illustrations. It almost felt like a fairy tale to me, and I could see reading it over and over, tracing out the illustrations. Bonus: a cameo of our friends from I Want My Hat Back
Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems: New Elephant and Piggie! And having been lucky enough to attend the recent McFadden lecture by Mo Willems himself, I got to remember him reading it aloud while I flipped through the pages. So fun! (Though I think my favorite is still I Broke My Trunk.)
No! by David McPhail: I think McPhail has something of a following. I’m not particularly fond of those books I’ve read (which is by no means all). This one pushed a number of buttons as it implies that the ability of one child to say no to a bully will change the entire course of the world and literally avert a war. Now, I believe that each of us has great potential and power, but this is less rose-colored spectacles and more a willful ignoring of reality.
A Hen for Izzy Pippik by Aubrey Davis
Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby
Chester’s Masterpiece by Melanie Watts
Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur by Judy Sierra
Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord
Daddy’s Little Scout by Janet Bingham
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp
Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi
Jackie’s Trees by Sharon Robinson
Hattie the Bad by Jane Devlin
Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine
Another Brother by Matthew Cordell
George Washington’s Birthday by Margaret McNamara
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Whoa, Baby, Whoa! by Grace Nichols
Slow Down for Manatees by Jim Arnosky
I Feel Better with a Frog in my Throat by Carlyn Beccia
No Ghost Under My Bed by Guido van Genechten
Lizzy and Skunk by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick