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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.