It’s frustrating. I am always excited that I get to see the new books before any of the public does, but yet it is not enough. Now that I am looking at the pages of other bloggers who get prepublished children’s literature, someone has always seen the book before I have, and, most likely, reviewed it.
And if that weren’t enough, these other privileged bloggers are reviewing books that sound so good... but I won’t see them for months. Arrrgh. I have always read The Horn Book and School Library Journal three months after we get them, for that very reason. Before, when I would read these children’s literature masterpieces, I would see every book with their review in mind. Or I would put a book on hold based on the review, and forget everything about it when it came in.
So at my library I finally got two new books that I love. Both are sequels to the authors’ well-established picture book series. Both are great.
From Mo Willems we have Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! His Caldecott Winner, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, is the funniest book ever (and is currently a bargain book at Amazon, available now for only $5.99). After the first pigeon book, came The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, which was amusing, but quite right for me. Well, now we have the pigeon back at his best or back at his worst, depending on your perspective. He does not want to go to sleep and is arguing with the reader about why he should be allowed to stay up late. This gives the child numerous chances (just like in the first book) to tell that pigeon “No!” Also notice how the background gets darker and darker (like night, get it?) and how the pigeon carries a toy from another of Mo Willems’ books (Knuffle Bunny). Excellent book, without question. Buy it today perhaps along with the first book, currently $5.99 for someone (your child, baby gift, niece, nephew, teacher).
From Kevin Henkes we have Lilly’s Big Day. Kevin Henkes cannot be stopped in his prolific picture book writing, and we should all be grateful for that fact. His books are all wonderful, all interesting, and all full of mice. Actually, the third may not be true, but it feels true. In this story, Lilly gets it in her little mouse head that she is going to be the flower girl at her teacher’s wedding. Unfortunately for Lilly, her teacher’s niece is going to be the flower girl. Lilly is offered the role of the flower girl’s assistant, and she takes it very seriously and ends up saving the day, in her own funny, special way. The expressions of the characters are perfect and the story is hysterical.
Did I mention that FuseNumber8 beat me to both of these books? She loved them, of course, and gives a much fuller review, you know, if you like that sort of thing. The one thing in my favor? Now you can get these books at your local library (unless you prefer to purchase them... say, along with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, available at Amazon for $5.99).