Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Picture Book Roundup (1)

Welcome to my first Picture Book Roundup! This is one of my new features in 2012 that I'm hoping will (a) help me to review more of the books I read, if only briefly, and (b) showcase some of the great books that my library has to offer. I tend to pick up a ton of picture books throughout the day, and I will be sharing them here with you every Wednesday!

Here are the titles I've read in the last week (with links to GoodReads):
Kenya, Africa, multicultural, weather, animals, heavy repetition
Very heavy on the repetition. Not sure I really like the imagery of dying cows in a children's book, either.

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah
friendship, multicultural, acceptance, school
I LOVE this book! It's a great story about friendship and acceptance. Two best friends are torn apart over a comment about the sandwiches they bring to school. The graphics are fantastic. Highly recommended!

The Show-and-Tell Lion by Barbara Abercrombie
honesty, creativity, school, show-and-tell
This book was also quite adorable. This little boy makes up a story about having a lion during show-and-tell, and his classmates believe him. What's a boy to do?

I Know a Place by Karen Ackerman
home sweet home, daily routine
This book was very old-fashioned, and the graphics were dated. It's just a boring story.

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Caldecott winners, grandparents, performance arts
I was initially unsure about this title, because the cover wasn't that impressive, but the story is actually very cute. I loved that it shows how grandparents had lives before they became grandparents.

The Lonely Phone Booth by Peter Ackerman
technology, New York City
This was one of my favorite books of the bunch! A phone booth, once used every day, gets lonely as it is replaced by cell phones . . . but cell phones don't always work in a storm! The technological vocabulary is a little advanced for the target age group, but otherwise it is a super cute book.

Extra! Extra! Fairy-Tale News from Hidden Forest by Alma Flor Ada
fairy tales
There is a lot of text in this book, so it's definitely for older readers. However, the format is fantastic (like a newspaper!) and the story is super cute!

The Gold Coin by Alma Flor Ada
Central America, multicultural, generosity, honesty
It's a little dated and has a large amount of text, but it's a good story with a good moral to it. I'm still wondering if it's a local folk story, so if anyone knows please tell me!

With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
illustrated fiction
This was cute - I loved the format the most. There are letters between animal narrators as well as Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. Adorable!

Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse by Jean Ekman Adams
Western, animal narrators
I went into this thinking, "It's a pig and a purple horse. What's not to love?" Unfortunately, this is a very blah, boring book in reality.

Go to Sleep, Groundhog by Judy Cox
Groundhog Day, bedtime, changing seasons, animal narrators
This is a very cute story about a groundhog who can't quite manage to hibernate. He wakes up throughout the fall and winter, walks around town, sees heretofore unseen sights, and is put back in bed by various characters (a witch, a turkey, and Santa Claus). When Groundhog Day finally rolls around, he isn't ready to wake up! My birthday is Groundhog Day, so I am of course partial to cute stories about the holiday, but this one is very well done and adorable to boot!

Monster Mess! by Margery Cuyler
monsters, cleaning up
The main character is a monster who goes into a little boy's bedroom only to discover that it is too dirty to take a nap in and cleans it up. Such a cute book!

My Creature Teacher by Laura Leuck
monsters, school, teachers
This book starts out rather strangely, but it turns around into a very cute story about how teachers aren't as mean as kids tend to think they are. I added this one to our display list of Halloween books, but it would also be great for back-to-school and 100th day displays.

New Year, animal narrators, resolutions
Squirrel can't figure out what to do for her New Year's resolution this year, and she is bummed out when all of her friends start on theirs. This is a great story for kids who don't realize that they are good at something.

books, libraries, animal narrators, heavy repetition
I thought I would like this one more - it's about a trip to the library! Unfortunately, it just didn't click for me. The illustrations were cute, but the story was too repetitive for my taste, and the library rules mentioned in the book did not match those of our library. I'm a little worried that it will confuse kids about our library's rules.

I have been on a mission this year to find multicultural books, and this one definitely fit the bill! Shante's grandma forgot to pick up black-eyed peas for New Year's dinner. Not wanting any bad luck to come her way, Shante goes out to the neighbors' looking for some and encounters various New Year's traditions from around the world.

The Hound from the Pound by Jessica Swaim
dogs, rescued animals, romance, happily ever after
When Miss Mary adopts Blue the basset hound from the pound, she has no idea what she's getting into. Soon, her house has gone to the dogs! This was one of my favorite book of this week's bunch. I love dogs - especially rescue dogs! The illustrations were fantastic, and the ending brought a smile to my face. Highly recommended for dog lovers everywhere.

Groundhog Gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow
Groundhog Day, animal narrators, factual
I know, I know, another Groundhog Day book. This one's pretty great, though - it has a ton of facts about groundhogs (and some very cute supporting characters)!

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