Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters
By Jane Yolen, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Published 2013 by Candlewick Press
As I've mentioned before, I cannot resist a monster book, nor one with adorable illustrations, and this book has both, so naturally I picked it up. However, this book was definitely a disappointment for me. Yolen has written another picture book about monsters and I didn't absolutely love that one either, so I suppose I can't be too surprised. What's disappointing is that this book didn't have to be disappointing - for me, the failure lies in the rhyming. There are some instances where it just doesn't work for me and if Yolen just didn't feel it necessary to rhyme this book, I don't think I'd have a problem with it. It just doesn't work for me.
By Todd H. Doodler
Published 2013 by Scholastic Press
Everyone I work with fell in love with this book as soon as they saw the cover and, you must admit, it's pretty darn cute. The story isn't half-bad either. Rex is bigger than everyone in his school and he doesn't like that people think he's scary, so he goes about changing their minds. Mostly, this book is just really stinking adorable and I think the kids will find it easy to relate to Rex, too.
By Jeannette Winter
Published 2013 by Beach Lane Books
I've said before that I love reading picture book biographies and this is no exception. This tells the story of artist Henri Matisse. It gives a basic biographical sketch and then focuses on a specific part of his life - when he lost the ability to paint. Did it keep him down? Of course not. I think this is a great and important message for kids to see. I'll be doing a program on Matisse soon at the library and I'll definitely be including this book in my materials. Very well-done.