Saturday, February 9, 2013

Picture Book Saturday

Zoo Girl
By Rebecca Elliott
Published 2012 by Lion UK
This has a bit of dark beginning, with the titular girl an orphan all alone in the world. But it moves on to happier things, with simple text and lovely illustrations. I liked the simplicity of the story, though it might be a bit jarring for young readers, especially with the gloomy start. I think it's a cute book, but you definitely have to know your audience when sharing this one.

There Was a Tree
By Rachel Isadora
Published 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books
A new picture book version of a favorite children's song, I adored this book. I quite enjoy the song (though I know it as "The Green Grass Grows All Around") and I loved seeing it in picture book form. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful - Isadora has transported the song to Africa and the illustrations evoke the African countryside perfectly. The colors are just lovely to look at and the style is simple but lush. Isadora has transformed the text slightly, making it into a rebus. I think this is really well done, and I like the additional layer it adds to the text.

Creature Count: A Prehistoric Rhyme
By Brenda Huante, illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
Published 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Very cute and sure to be very popular, this simple picture book combines counting with dinosaurs in a rhyming text. This would be perfect in storytime, though some of the pronunciations would be tricky (and there is no helpful guide at the end). If this were trying a little harder, this could be considered a non-fiction book as well, but a note at the end points out that the creatures depicted didn't all live during the same time periods, despite being shown alongside each other. However, kids will likely not notice this (though some dinosaur fanatics will be eager to point that out) and will definitely enjoy the pictures and rhythm of this book.

Bailey at the Museum
By Harry Bliss
Published 2012 by Scholastic
This is an adorable story of Bailey, who accompanies his class to the Museum of Natural History. He's very excited about it. I liked the simple joy depicted through Bailey as he does what many schoolchildren love to do - go on a field trip! Though maybe museums weren't always at the top of everyone's list, there is usually something for everyone there. I liked the little friendship that develops between Bailey and the museum security guard. This is just a sweet little book.

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