Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
By Mo Willems
Published 2012 by Balzer + Bray
One of the rare picture books that I eagerly awaited, I ended up waiting far too long for this one (due to some collection development craziness at my library, but that's a whole other issue). I'm sad I had to wait so long because this book is fantastic. I'm pretty convinced that Willems can do anything and it will be amazing, so I'm not surprised that this book had me laughing out loud from page one. Though I suspect this might be more for adults than for kids, there is still plenty in here for kids to love. I love the little details for observant readers - the first two-page spread of the kitchen is my favorite in the whole book. Don't wait to read this one!
By Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
Published 2012 by Chronicle Books
Though they've done a few titles in this vein previously, this is my first experience with Aston and Long's unique take on non-fiction. It won't be my last. I love the simplicity paired with a good amount of information. The illustrations are beautiful, which certainly doesn't hurt. I may be a bit biased as I used to always slog home rocks whenever I went on any sort of outdoor excursion, but I think Aston and Long make rocks exciting even for those who've never felt a particular calling to geology. The beauty of the language and the illustrations make this a definite new favorite for me.
By Carolyn Beck, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
Published 2011 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Sigh - this book with its incredibly appealing front cover is going to be traumatic for some kids. You see, this is not just a book about a sweet dog and all the silly and loving things he's done. This book is about that dog because he's passed away. Though it's never actually stated in the text, it is implied and I think will be jarring for kids who just expected to read a story about how dogs really are man's best friend. That being said, this book is a very sweet tribute to canines and there is certainly a place for it. I just hope parents realize the sensitive subject when they pick this one up.
Bea at Ballet
By Rachel Isadora
Published 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Two Isadora books in a short time period - what an unexpected delight! I don't really remember reading Isadora before but I had to pick this one up - my coworker has a delightful toddler named Bea who could easily be a stand-in for the little girl in this book (though the real Bea doesn't take ballet - yet). This is a very simple and charming book about a young girl starting ballet. It's very lovely in its simplicity and will definitely be a hit with all young ballerinas.