Leaves by David Ezra Stein: A cute story about a young bear’s first autumn. I thought it was sweet but didn’t necessarily love it, though the illustrations were great. I think I wanted to be a little surprised by it, given that the topic has been done quite often, and I wasn’t.
Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist: I’ve liked Helquist’s forays into writing & illustrating picture books, and Grumpy Goat is definitely a great one. There’s a happy farm and then there’s grumpy goat. The story is fairly predictable, but it plays out in a nice way.
Never Trust a Tiger by Lori Don: A merchant stops to help a tiger trapped in a pit and then is startled to find that the tiger wants to eat him! A fun story with nice colorful illustrations. It has a nice examination of what fairness and unfairness, but the message doesn’t take over the story.
A Pet Named Sneaker by Joan Heilbroner: A lovely early reader about a snake who is adopted by a little boy and named Sneaker. Sneaker promptly proves to be a civic-minded snake, foiling crime and being rewarded by the mayor. This one has a kind of gentle humor and a timeless appeal that I really enjoyed.
King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson by Kenneth Kraegel: I also enjoyed this one a lot–King Arthur’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson goes in search of a real fight on his sixth birthday. But all the creatures he encounters are friendly. Very fun.
Ice by Arthur Geisert: I’ve read, or rather seen, a few of Geisert’s wordless picture books. This is definitely my favorite. I think it coheres as a story better than the others I’ve seen do.
Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop: This one really appealed to the Waldorfy side of me. The illustrations have a woodgrain pattern in the background, and they’re full of lovely, sharp colors. To be honest, I don’t really remember the story, but that’s fine.
Sail Away by Donald Crews: I know this one isn’t new, but we bought a new copy and I hadn’t actually read it yet. I really liked it! Oddly enough, it reminded me of Time of Wonder, despite the great differences between the two books. I think it’s the sailing scenes.
Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex: Neil Gaiman’s picture books are sort of a mixed bag for me. I want to love them, but I don’t quite. I thought that Chu’s Day would break that trend, but the abrupt ending make that, unfortunately, impossible.