Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Picture Book Picks

I work a fair number of hours at the youth desk at my library.  I enjoy it very much, and I've gotten better at reader advisory for chapter books over the last few years.  My biggest weak area for readers advisory now is picture books.  I recently grabbed a few picture books from our youth new book display, and enjoyed them thoroughly!  I chose them by their covers, naturally, and was not disappointed by any of them.

Here's what I read:

Here Comes Hortense!
Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Georgia Graham

I love this book! A little boy is taken to an amusement park by his Nana  and her new husband Bob.  Bob's granddaughter Hortense is there too.  Hortense and Nana hit it off and ride all the scariest rides.  Bob and the boy (who I don't think is ever named)  prefer to stay closer to the ground, so they hang out together.  The boy is jealous of the time Hortense is spending with Nana.  The ending is very sweet - I won't give it away.  The people in the illustrations are very cartoony with huge heads and mouths, and the action of the amusement park is well-captured. This is a very cute, modern story with a lot to discuss in the picture details.

Kal Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show
Written by Michael Buckley
Illustrated by Dan Santat

Adorable!  Kel Gilligan attempts all sorts of crazy feats, like EATING BROCCOLI and facing the POTTY OF DOOM <"dun dun duhhhhh!">.  This is hilarious.  It's a little more sarcastic than kids might understand, but I am sure most kids will still find it pretty funny.  There are lots of (written) sound effects that would make this book so fun to read aloud!

Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
Written and Illustrated by K.G. Campbell

Lester is a very particular boy.  His hair is always in place and he catalogs his lost and found collection very carefully.  When Cousin Clara shows up, she starts to knit sweaters for Lester. Horrible, horrible sweaters.  They have too many arms, misshapen hoods, crazy pom-poms, and other fashion monstrosities.  Every day Lester manages to find a way to get rid of the sweater - shrunken in the laundry, unraveled in the rain, and even pecked to pieces by ostriches.  Cousin Clara is a very fast, knitter, though, and always has another one for Lester.  This is a very funny book with excellent pictures and a fitting ending.

Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad
By Henry Cole

What a gorgeous book!  It is completely wordless, but the story is very clear.  I'm not sure young children will understand it, so I'd say this is a picture book for older children - maybe 2nd or 3rd grade even.  A little girl finds a person hiding in the barn, and realizes that the soldiers she saw earlier are looking for him.  He is an escaped slave, and she is kind to him by leaving him some food.  In turn, she finds a doll made for her.  This is a beautiful story told with beautiful pencil drawings.

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