By Deborah Freedman
Published 2011 by Viking Children's Books
The cover of this book is so striking that I can't imagine anyone who sees it being able to resist picking it up and exploring what's within. It's a really cute story - the chicken of the title just wants to help and ends up causing a bigger problem. This could easily be used for a storytime about being understanding or making mistakes. The illustrations are bright and beautiful and also sweet. I really just want to be friends with this group of barnyard friends.
By John Rocco
Published 2011 by Hyperion Books
This is a wonderful story about family and community as Rocco shows the city during a blackout. This book is clever because it can just be a fun book about blackouts for kids but it can also be a statement on technology and how alienating it can be for older kids and parents. The illustrations are vivid and incredibly evocative of the city and there is a beautifully sweet ending to this story. I can't really put my finger on what makes these illustrations so spectacular; they are just wonderful and make you realize just how artistic and beautiful children's books can be. Highly recommended, this book just won a 2012 Caldecott Medal Honor.
The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy
By David Soman and Jacky Davis
Published 2011 by Dial
Bumblebee Boy was first introduced to the world through the Ladybug Girl books. Now he has his own adventure. This is a wonderful story about sharing and being a big brother. Bumblebee Boy insists he flies alone, but Owen just wants to play with his brother. This book easily shows kids that sometimes we have to make adjustments for younger siblings. This could be used in a storytime about families and the illustrations suit the story well. Very cute.