Saturday, April 28, 2012

Picture Book Saturday (13)

How Do You Hug a Porcupine?
By Laurie Isop, illustrated by Gwen Millward
Published 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Porcupines seemed to be all the rage this spring, especially right before Valentine's Day. This is another cute porcupine story that showcases many different kinds of animal hugs, all while trying to answer the titular question. This was my introduction to Family Storytime as an official children's librarian and the kids seemed to enjoy it. The illustrations are sweet. A very cute book.

Utterly Lovely One
By Mary Murphy
Published 2012 by Candlewick Press
This is another sweet story that highlights different kinds of animals showing their affection. The illustrations are bright and bold in Murphy's signature style and I think this would be a great book to share at a baby or toddler storytime. One might need to practice saying the phrase "utterly lovely" beforehand, though.

There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
By Matt Tavares
Published 2012 by Candlewick Press
This is a suitable biography for kids of one of baseball's greats. Tavares' admiration for Williams is apparent throughout the book and should really strike a chord with readers (it certainly made me teary to be reminded of how wonderful a player Teddy Ballgame was). Tavares does gloss over the bad stuff about Williams until the author's note at the end, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I'm happy that he put it in there at all, as we so often romanticize the deceased, especially to children. The illustrations are very nice and evocative of America's pastime and the era in which Williams played. I enjoyed this one.

The Woods
By Paul Hoppe
Published 2011 by Chronicle Books
This is a bedtime story that shows how each scary thing in the night is just misunderstood. The illustrations work well with the story and I think this will be a welcome addition to the cache of bedtime books out there. It's innovative and interesting. I'd like to try it out on a kid and see what they think of it.

I Don't Want to Be a Pea!
By Ann Bonwill, illustrated by Simon Rickerty
Published 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
This book is totally adorable and I hope it's the start to a series about Hugo Hippo and Bella Bird. This reminds me a lot of the Elephant & Piggie Books, which is great. What makes this book even better is that their is actually a real-life basis for the friendship of Hugo and Bella - hippos and birds have a symbiotic relationship in real life. This book could certainly be used to introduce that concept to children. Bella does not want to be the pea to Hugo's princess at the Fairy Tale Dress-Up Party. Can the two ever agree on costumes? The illustrations are fun and there is a very sweet ending - this was a wonderful read for me.

Hans, My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
Adapted by Kate Coombs, illustrated by John Nickle
Published 2012 by Atheneum

This was interesting and the story seems familiar but I don't remember a hedgehog as the main character. Well, I guess technically, he is half hedgehog, half man. Hans grows up a misfit but when he helps some lost kings return to their kingdoms, he is promised the first thing they see when they enter their palaces. Will he really get these things? Is he destined to be half hedgehog forever? The illustrations are lovely and really the strong point for me with this one. The story itself felt a little too long and tedious, but it was interesting.

Baby Bear Sees Blue
By Ashley Wolff
Published 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
This is a fantastic book for colors! Here is the story of baby bear's day as he explores the world around him and discovers a variety of colors. I love the illustrations and I think this would be great for storytime. It's striking and really wonderful.

Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby
By Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Published 2011 by Candlewick Press
I was really intrigued by this title when I spotted it on our "new books" cart because I think there can never be enough bedtime books. However, after reading, I'm a bit disappointed. This is far too long and complicated to be a lullaby/bedtime story, which I think was the idea. But, this book would be a great way to talk about how a day passes differently for children around the world - kids can learn how a typical day goes for a Tanzanian child. The illustrations are lush and absolutely beautiful. I think this is a wonderful addition to bookshelves, but too complex for a bedtime book.

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