105 Ways to Give a Book

Seven Picture Books After Lunch

Sometimes my library gets nice little batch of picture books all at one time, with nary a Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob book in the bunch. Here’s the newest, from youngest intended reader to oldest:

One Naked BabyOne Naked Baby, by Maggie Smith
This colorful, playful, lively counting book follows the adventures of one baby through his day, starting with running from the bath and going outside, and counting down from playing outside to ending up back in the bath after a muddy outing. Very cute book.

A Good DayA Good Day, by Kevin Henkes
Sparse text sets off this story in the life of four animals and one child. It’s a bad day for all involved, but things turn around for each animal, and even result in a good day for one child. I love the message here, that bad days can turn around on a dime — sometimes with luck, sometimes with work, sometimes by letting go of something, sometimes by seeing something that was there all the time. Actually, this would be a good book for some adult members of my extended family.

Princess PigstyPrincess Pigsty, by Cornelia Funke
Isabella is a princess, along with her princess sisters. But Isabella doesn’t like being a princess and being overprotected and coddled. She’s wants something different. When she throws her crown out the window in exasperation — and into the fishpond — the king is very mad. Which, speaking as a parent, is understandable. He tells her to work in the kitchen until she is ready to get her crown back. But that doesn’t sway her. Will she be turned when she has to live in the pigsty with the pigs? What do you think? The book is funny, even though — or maybe because — Isabella is pretty bratty. Maybe she could have used her words to express her needs instead of throwing things and stamping her feet.

The Perfect NestThe Perfect Nest, by Catherine Friend
Jack the cat is dying for an omelet. He builds the best nest ever in hopes of attracting a bird to lay an egg for him. But he gets not just a chicken, but also a duck, and then a goose, all of whom lay eggs in the nest and lay claim to it. Jack is very excited about those eggs, but he can’t get those birds to leave. When he comes up with a plan, there’s another surprise in store for Jack the cat. Another funny book, with an awwwwww ending. You do have to accept going in that cats don’t eat birds. Otherwise the whole thing would be kind of icky.

Pierre in LovePierre in Love, by Sara Pennypacker
Oh, what can’t this woman write? Here is a very sweet picture book about a rat who is a fisherman and is too shy to talk to the bunny he loves. He leaves her gifts and flowers, and eventually she catches him. Unfortunately, she loves another. So sad. Though Pierre stills feels better after having shared his secret. He encourages her to do the same with wonderful results for all.

Terrible StormTerrible Storm, by Carol Otis Hurst
Two grandfathers have been friends since they were kids. They grew up in the same town and survived the same big storm. As they sit on the porch now in their old age, they talk about how terrible the big storm was. As it turned out, the shy man was trapped in with lots of people. The social man was trapped alone in a barn. It was torture for both of them. Great story. I really liked the lovely detailed illustrations from S.D. Schindler.

Out of the BallparkOut of the Ballpark, by Alex Rodriguez
I’ll probably have to turn in my BACA membership for this, but I liked this book. It’s definitely hitting the point of working hard to accomplish your dreams, but somehow I can stand that better than some of the other moral messages that picture books like to cover. More importantly, baseball lovers will really enjoy the book because the whole thing is at the game, practicing the game, and talking about the game. It’s not my personal favorite, because I’m not a big baseball fan, but I can easily see how it could be a kid’s new favorite book. As an extra, there are pictures of Alex Rodriguez on the last couple of pages.


Anonymous said...

I liked "Terrible Storm," too. Those illustrations are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the recommendations, Mother Reader. Problem is, now I want them all!

PS I still love your blog--even if you've never been to Nebraska! :)

Magpie said...

Oh thanks. Those look like fun!

Anonymous said...

I have to confess that I'm going back to the entry about your 48 hour reading challenge. I just found about it today via Adrienne's blog at watat.com. I'm not sure if you're keeping up with the comments that far back, and I'd really like a response to this inquiry, so I'll try commenting on today's entry :).

Why don't graphic novels count? A picture book has fewer words per page and fewer pictures to mentally interpret, and yet they count? Try as I might, I can't wrap my mind around how that makes sense. Forgive me for being a little defensive- it's just that graphic novels/comics have been getting the short end of the literature stick for about as long as they've been around, due to various ignorances and prejudices. But before I get too up in arms about it, I thought that you might have a perfectly practical explanation for it, and, if not, might be persuaded to included them in the tally- if not this year, then next.

Ever so sincerely, Jason

Anonymous said...

Sigh. On the third reading, I think I understand now. The statement
"If you are generally a picture book blogger, consider this a good time to get caught up on all those wonderful books you’ve been hearing about." refers to "wonderful [teen/adult] books" as opposed to "wonderful [picture] books". Granted, some might think that the "5th grade and up" qualifier makes that clear, but as a children's librarian, I am well aware that there are many upper elementary-level picture books out there. So, sorry about the confusion.
That said, I still think that graphic novels should be included somehow. I mean, page numbers aren't the only differentiating factor, right? Someone could decide to tackle Dostoevesky and only get through half of Brothers Karamazov, while someone else is zipping through poetry-format YA novels at a book an hour. I know this is about it being fun and all, but some of those prizes are kind of cool :), and you seem to want the playing field to be even. What if graphic novels were allowed in at a 2-for-1 page rate? Those inclined to read certain types of YA fiction are still going to have an upper hand, but that concession could give those inclined to cry foul play less cause to do so. What do you think?

MotherReader said...

I'm trying to make the playing field as equal as possible, so I can't include graphic novels. There are about fifty participants so far, and I can't go back and verify page counts and all that jazz.

And I know that there are picture books that are good for fifth grade. I'm not making a judgement about reading levels, again just making sure we're all reading about the same type of book.

My original thought about this challenge last year, was that it was easy to set aside the time and mental energy for the younger set books, while the bigger books piled up. Consider this a day to tackle that pile.

And the prizes as listed are pretty much made up. There will be prizes - signed books, T-shirts, and who knows what else - but not those. I will, however, also give some prizes out to random participants, just to keep it fun.

Anonymous said...

I was saying that I misunderstood your initial phrase to mean that picture books were included, when, upon further readings, I realized that you did not intend to say that.

I meant for my suggestion to be considered more for future challenges, not necessarily this year, since the announcement has already been made. My job requires me to try to keep up on the lower level stuff, so I know what you mean. But I also do a lot of graphic novel recommending to teen and adult librarians on the side, so I have a list of good graphic novels I've read about to try to keep up with as well. It'd be nice to have an excuse to get that pile down somewhat, and to share what I've been reading with others. So it was just a thought for next year...

2 pages for 1... it's not such a bad offer :)...

Thanks for responding!

Anonymous said...

New Pennypacker!

We won't toss you out of BACA yet. I haven't read the Rodriguez book yet, but I must confess to kind of liking John Lithgow's books. We all have our weaknesses. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love that pigsty princess (reviewed it the other day as well). Is your post title a sly reference to 7-Imp? Blush, blush, we're honored.

MotherReader said...

Yes, I did have a 7-Imp reference in mind.