Recently, I've been debating whether or not I wanted to continue reviewing picture books on the blog. I never feel like I have enough to say about them and I don't feel like people care as much about reviews of these books as about chapter books (perhaps this is a misconception; it's just what I think). So I went back and forth, trying to decide what I wanted to do. I've started a new job (still kept my old one but hooray! I'm now a library specialist in a children's department) and I think I'll be spending more time around picture books. Additionally, it's still helpful for me to retain some information about different titles for that oft-imagined point in the future when I will once again be responsible for performing storytimes. So, after reading some new (to me) blogs (like I needed more blogs to follow), I've decided to blatantly rip off this idea from them. Every Saturday, I'll collect a few reviews of picture books and post them here. Ta-da! Here is our inaugural post!
Nothing Like a Puffin
By Sue Soltis, illustrated by Bob Kolar
Published 2011 by Candlewick Press
I couldn't resist picking up this book when I spotted it (being from Maine, puffins have a special place in my heart). It's a fun little book about puffins and what makes them special. This book is great for learning the same/different concept, particularly because it uses rather unusual pairings to make its comparisons. The illustrations are bright and bold and I think they work well here.
The Best Kind of Kiss
By Margaret Allum, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
Published 2011 by Walker & Company
This is an adorable book that I couldn't resist, perfect for Valentine's Day. The illustrations are absolutely darling and suit the mood of the book perfectly. It's a very sweet idea - a little girl lists a variety of types of kisses. They are unique and sweet. It's easy for me to see opportunities to extend this idea beyond the book and I think it would work well in a storytime for that reason. However, there is one caveat - the ending. On the last page, we learn what the best kiss of all is - a kiss from Daddy. In today's world, there are a lot of children who might feel alienated by this ending, even if they are unable to articulate that feeling. So, I really enjoyed this book but I would hesitate to recommend it fully because of the last page.
By Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Dan Santat
Published 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
I had never heard of this illustrator until last month when I read a graphic novel by him and now I'm seeing him everywhere! That's fine with me because I really like his style. This is another adorable little story about Tom, the cat, and his tweet, a little bird he discovers but hasn't got the heart to eat. Santat's illustrations are a bit strange for the story but I love his style so much that I don't really care. It's a sweet story about finding your own family and making unlikely friends and I can easily see a non-fiction connection (with stories like Owen and Mzee, for example). A fun and cute story.
I think three's a good number, right? Until next time!