Counting in the Garden by Patrick and Emily Hruby: I liked the art for this one a lot; there are nice simple shapes, clear colors, and simple text. Plus, the authors have avoided the temptation to rhyme. I approve of this.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown: I apparently had not read this one before–I loved it. The illustrations are so fun, with all the little details, and the slow transformation of the city. It read to me as earnest without being preachy, which is a difficult balance to pull off.
Little Mouse by Alison Murray: I liked this one a LOT. There’s a great depiction of imagination, and also a sense of how complex the inner world of children can be and how many multitudes they can contain. It was sweet, funny, and unexpected; one for the quiet kid who is always being something different.
Some Monsters are Different by David Milgrim: Milgrim also treads the earnest-not-preachy line pretty well here, especially in comparison to titles like You’re Wearing That to School?, which really bugged me. His monsters have all different personalities, but they are all presented as valid and valuable.
On My Street by Koos Meinderts and Annette Fienieg: I really liked the art for this one–very colorful and cheerful. But it rhymes, and rhymes awkwardly at that. Probably partly because of translation problems; nonetheless!
Snow White and Rose Red by Kallie George and Kelly Vivanco: I’ve loved the illustrations I’ve seen from Vivanco, and her art here was simply gorgeous. Also, Snow White and Rose Red is a favorite fairy tale of mine and there haven’t been many picture book editions (that I know of). That said, I wasn’t wild about George’s retelling, which seemed to simplify the story too much, with too little beauty of rhythm or image.