New Picture Books 2013
“NO, mom, not that book.”
Ever hear that?
I’m convinced that sometimes I just need to start a book for my kids to see how awesome it is. Not always. But, lately my kids’ pickiness seems to permeate not just their food choices but their book choices as well.
So, even though book choice is important, don’t forget the “sell” — which sometimes includes reading a few pages or a chapter. Then, let them choose.
I have lots of good picture books to share with you– books you’re going to love! (A few would be great gift books for adults, too.) I wonder which you’ll like . . .
FUNNY Picture Books
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byne
What could be a very sweet story about the Ugly Duckling quickly turns very silly, er, scary when a CROCODILE sneaks onto the pages. Gasp. Watch out! First he eats the letters, then whole words, then sentences. It’s up to you, the reader, to get rid of him. (You might even draw a tutu on him!)
LIFE-CHANGING Picture Books
Line 135 by Cermano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
Gorgeous black and white pencil drawings with a splash of train color move us between the city and grandma’s house in the country. “One day, I will travel everywhere. I will go here. I will go there. I will go this way and I will go that way. I will know the entire world,” says the young narrator. “My mother and my grandmother say that this is impossible.” The traveling train bring us to a deep knowing that”My mother and my grandmother have forgotten what I have always known: it is possible.”
The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone by Timothy Basil Ering
From the moment I started the story, I fell into it’s spell. It takes place in a dull gray place called Cementland where a boy finds his a treasure — gray specks. Not certain gray specks can really be treasure, he reluctantly does as instructed by their accompanying note, and buries them in the dirt. After they are stolen overnight, he makes a creature to guard the specks, a creature made of wet smelly socks, moldy pillow stuffing, and scraggly wire. He makes “Frog Belly Rat Bone, King of Treasures”. Frog Belly Rat Bone, the thieves, and the boy transform right along with the treasure that make the gray place colorful. Warm fuzzy sigh!
The Awesome Book of Love! by Dallas Clayton
My seven year old thinks that everyone should read this book and then they’d all love each other. It is a book of love, after all. And, it’s illustrated in the captivating, whimsical style of Clayton’s previous book, An Awesome Book! “But you know that’s not all that this love is about / sometimes it’s a whisper when you feel you could shout / or just being around when the others have gone or about letting go when you want to hold on / it’s about living life with such strength and emotion and knowing that waves are just part of the ocean . . . ”
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
If you’ve never read a wordless picture book, you must read this one. And when I say read, I mean engage in the story through the detailed illustrations on kraft paper and the revealing die-cuts sharing glimpses of more.
HEART-WARMING Picture Books
When My Baby Dreams of Fairy Tales by Adele Enersen
Remember When My Baby Dreams by the uber-talented photographer/blogger/mom from Sweden? Now we have the next story of Mila’s dreams as a princess resting atop a pea, and a red-hooded girl on her way to grandma’s house, and a rabbit eating carrots. Of course, the photographs will warm your heart, make you want to have a baby, and delight your artistic sensibilities. Dreamy indeed. (Peek inside here.)
Wooby & Peep by Cynthea Liu, illustrated by Mary Peterson
Wooby’s new neighbor, Peep, is wild, messy, clumsy, and always well-intentioned. Despite all the disasters Peep creates, the two become friends, best friends forever.
Lullaby (For a Black Mother) a poem by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Sean Qualls
Sean Qualls transforms Langston Hughes poetic lullaby with swirls of blues, purples, and pinks of nighttime. “My little black baby, My dark body’s baby, What shall I sing For your lullaby? / Moon, Moon, Great diamond moon, / Kissing the night.” The poem captures a mother’s love as she sings her baby to sleep. Pure magic!
ADVENTURE Picture Books
Peepsqueak Wants a Friend! by Leslie Ann Clark
The other chicks go play 2:2 but Peepsqueak is only 1. So, he hops, skips, jumps, and skitters into the woods, down the path, through the rain, in search of a friend. He follows big footprints all the way into a dark cave. Will he find a friend? Yes! He returns to the farm on the back of a great, big bear. “We are 2!” he announces to the others. Then he adds, “Friends don’t just come in 2s. Real friends make room for all!” Which we know is true. It’s the perfect ending. don’t you think?
LEARNING Picture Books
Pluto’s Secret An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret A. Weitekamp with David DeVorkin, illustrated by Diane Kidd
I couldn’t imagine how a story of Pluto could be an entertaining children’s book but this book did it — a fascinating story of Pluto that will engage your kids (and you!) When Clyde Tombaugh discovered Planet X, it was a little girl who suggested the name Pluto after the Roman god of the dark underworld. She imagined it was so far from the sun that it must also be a cold, dark place. Now, in this story, Pluto talks. And Pluto knew he was no planet — that he had a fun orbit, and switched places with Neptune, and was teeny, tiny. So when astronomers declared him to not be a planet, he was thrilled. “Bingo!” A lively way to learn about the icy world formerly known as Pluto.
Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong illustrated by John Parra
“Round are sombreros. Round is the moon. Round are the trumpets that blare out a tune” begins this colorful Latin-flavored shape book. As we journey through the day, we find the shapes all around us. “Triangles are crunchy chips for guacamole and other dips.” I absolutely love this book. I’m so glad to see a book of shapes that stands out from the crowd and celebrates Latin culture. “Stars for parties, stars for light, lining streets with colors bright. There are so many shapes wherever you go. How many more shapes do you know?”
Flight 1-2-3 by Maria van Lieshout
Count your way through the airport signs in this clever new counting book. “1 Airport / 2 Luggage carts / 3 Check-in desks / 4 Elevators.” Bold, graphic illustrations.
If you could buy one of these new picture books, which would you pick?