All things Seuss were in the air Monday at the 42nd branch of the New York Public Library as Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises launched its “Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!” campaign, a yearlong celebration of the famed children’s book author.
VIVA, Frank. A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse. illus. by author. 40p. Toon Bks. 2012. RTE $12.95. ISBN 978-1-935179-19-1. LC 2011049499.
PreS-Gr 2–From the endpapers, Mouse asks the timeless question of many young travelers, “Are we there yet?” Inspired by Viva’s experiences traveling to Antarctica aboard a Russian research ship, the oblong picture book offers basic facts about the region (it is cold and penguins live there, for instance), while Mouse tries to figure out when it [...]
HALPERIN, Wendy Anderson. Peace. illus. by author. 40p. S & S/Atheneum. Jan. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-689-82552-1; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-6787-3.
Gr 3 Up–A beautiful book with rich watercolor artwork. Most of the paintings are spreads in a nontraditional layout, with sections sometimes divided into shapes by the meandering text. The book is about peace and how it can be achieved: in the world, in the country, in the city, in one’s school, and within oneself. The layout makes it a [...]
FYLEMAN, Rose. Mice. illus. by Lois Ehlert. 40p. S & S/Beach Lane. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5684-6; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5686-0. LC 2011020555.
PreS-Gr 1–This storytime winner brings a new twist to the classic poem. The simple verse describes mousey attributes: “their tails are long,/their faces small,/they haven’t any chins at all.” Ehlert’s quirky, handmade paper-collage rodents (resplendent with hot pink circle ears, big front teeth, and string limbs) demonstrate by holding up a ruler, crafting a self-portrait, and peering into [...]
LOGUE, Mary. Sleep Like a Tiger. illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. 40p. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-64102-7.
PreS-Gr 1–The common theme of a child not ready for bed receives fresh treatment here. When a young girl repeatedly declares that she is not sleepy, her parents remain calm. She dutifully dresses in pajamas and washes up. After climbing into bed, she again proclaims that she is wide awake and questions her parents about how things in the world go to sleep. [...]
PARKER, Marjorie Blain. Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse. illus. by Holly Berry. 32p. further reading. CIP. Dial. Nov. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3758-7. LC 2011035446.
Gr 2-5–This picture-book biography covers Matisse’s entire life but focuses on his career aspirations and achievements. The straightforward text takes a lighthearted approach by including details such as young Henri’s dream of becoming a magician and his skill with a peashooter. Berry’s illustrations are the star of the show; dignified black-and-white drawings [...]
BERK, Ari. Nightsong. illus. by Loren Long. 48p. CIP. S & S. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-7886-2; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-8552-5. LC 2009026608.
K-Gr 3–Not since Janell Cannon’s Stellaluna (Harcourt, 1993) have readers been introduced to such a charming young bat learning to navigate his world. Night closes in and Chiro’s mother tells him it’s time for him to fly alone; he will succeed if he uses his song, otherwise known as his “good sense,” to guide him. Though timid [...]
COLE, Henry. Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. illus. by author. 32p. CIP. Scholastic. Nov. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-39997-5. LC 2011043583.
Gr 3-8–Gorgeously rendered in soft, dark pencils, this wordless book is reminiscent of the naturalistic pencil artistry of Maurice Sendak and Brian Selznick, but unique in its accurate re-creation of a Civil War-era farm in northwestern Virginia. On the dedication page, readers see a star quilt on a split rail fence, symbolizing the North Star. Confederate soldiers [...]
Librarians, authors and illustrators are gearing up for Picture Book Month in November. Events and activities include daily postings to the Picture Book Month site by authors and illustrators like Chris Raschka and Paul O. Zeinsky. School libraries will be featuring Mock Caldecotts and author visits.
ASIM, Jabari. Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington. illus. by Bryan Collier. 48p. bibliog. chron. Little, Brown. Dec. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-08657-8.
Gr 2-4–Here sits a barefooted boy leaning against a tree trunk, eyes closed, dreaming about reading. Here he is following his master’s daughter to school, carrying her books, feeling their “magic seeping into his hands.” Booker was born a slave, and slaves were forbidden to read. Emancipation came while he was still young. He worked [...]
BISHOP, Nic. Nic Bishop Snakes. photos by author. 48p. CIP. further reading. glossary. index. Scholastic. Oct. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-20638-9. LC 2011039316.
Gr 3-5–Nearly two dozen close-ups of photogenic snakes are highlighted in this introduction. A lucid text, set either on different colored pages or overlaid on photo backgrounds, briefly describes basic anatomy; major physical characteristics common to all snakes; distinctive characteristics of more than a dozen world species; locomotion; diet; hunting and feeding methods; defense mechanisms; and egg-laying and [...]
MCDONNELL, Patrick. The Monsters’ Monster. illus. by author. 40p. Little, Brown. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-04547-6. LC 2011042742.
PreS-1–Three little monsters love to CRASH!, BASH!, and SMASH! Every day they argue over who is the best monster, until they join forces to “make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!” At first, their efforts look successful, but to their horror, the creature’s first words after tearing off his bandages are “Dank you.” The enormous Frankenstein look-alike contents himself with breathing [...]
On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: Picture Book Biographies for Older Readers
Sometimes ordinary people are able to do extraordinary things. Annie Sullivan thought of a way to teach a deaf and blind student to communicate. Charles Ives listened to the sounds of everyday life and created a new kind of music. Henri Rousseau became one of the most gifted self-taught painters in history. Sarah Winnemucca stood up against injustices and wrote the first autobiography by a Native American woman.
BANKS, Kate. The Bear in the Book. illus. by Greg Hallensleben. 40p. Farrar/Frances Foster. Oct. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-30591-8.
PreS–In this deceptively simple bedtime story, a boy snuggles up with his mother to read his favorite book. It is about a bear going to sleep for the winter, and together they look at the pictures and talk about the text. “‘Do bears really sleep all winter long?’ asked the boy.” He turns the page and notices the snow. “‘Snow is [...]
MARSALIS, Wynton. Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! illus. by Paul Rogers. 40p. Candlewick. Oct. 2012. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3991-4.
PreS-Gr 1–Who better to lead children in a celebration of sound than jazz virtuoso Wynton Marsalis? From the “tluck…tlock” of a dripping faucet and the “Chrrick chrrrick” of toast being buttered to the noises of trucks, drums, and washboards, the musician gives voice to the sounds enveloping an African American boy throughout the day. The setting, established by the wrought iron balconies [...]