Beauty and the Beast
By Jan Brett
Published 2011 by Putnam Juvenile (originally published 1989 by Clarion)
We all know the story of Beauty and the Beast. And we all know Jan Brett. This is a marriage of two things most people know and love. Featuring her typically lush illustrations, Brett does make an interesting choice to represent the beast as a real creature (a wild boar, albeit an oversized one). Brett has also changed the reasoning behind the curse bestowed upon the beast but it still makes a good point to the story. There is an odd sort of food theme throughout this version but overall, I enjoyed her version and am glad to see it being reprinted.
By Leigh Hodgkinson
Published 2010 by Orchard
Here is Limelight Larry, starring in his very own picture book. But he does not want to share his glory with his friends. Unfortunately for him, they just keep showing up. This is a good book about selfishness and learning how to share with a fantastic color palette and wonderful characters. I actually laughed out loud at the wolf. The illustrations are done in a really fun, crafty style. This book is great for print awareness.
My Name is Elizabeth
By Annika Dunklee, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
Published 2011 by Kids Can Press
This is a simple story about Elizabeth - not Liz or Beth or any of the other names people insist on calling her, even though her name is quite clearly Elizabeth. The book follows along as she learns to communicate and how important this is with family and friends. It's told entirely through dialogue, which would be a great jumping off point for an activity. I can see this book opening great conversations about names and whatnot. The illustrations are graphic design-ish and retro and I really like the look of this book.