Saturday, August 22, 2009

Picture Book Satuday

Quite the menagerie of books for you all today! Enjoy!

My first choice of the week, Me and You, written by Genevieve Cote, is a super sweet story of friendship amongst a pig and rabbit.

Rabbit wants to be just like pig, with her pink body, tail curly as a lemon twist, and button nose. Pig wants to be just like Rabbit, with a cotton candy tail, tall toes, and pale white body. After using some creativity (involving paint, some clothes off the line, and a bit of mud) to attempt to look like the other, the both realize they look entirely silly as the other, and are much better being themselves and best friends!

Illustrations, also done by Cote, are absolutely beautiful and lend to that sweet, soft feeling the reader gets when the story is done. A nice choice for read alouds.

Thanks to Kids Can Press for a review copy :)

Me and You
Genevieve Cote
32 pages
Picture Book
Kids Can Press
August 2009

Orange Polar Bears Don't Cry, written by Bob Gammon and illustrated by W. Jones, is a bit similar to Me and You, in the sense that it's written about unconventional friendship.

In a land where all polar bears are white, there is one orange polar bear, of course, seen as somewhat of an outcast to the group. One white polar bear, smaller in size than all the others and also an outcast, befriends the bear of a different color, sticking by him no matter what the others say. Eventually the pair, staying friends no matter what the others say, are able to prove to their peers that friendship doesn't have anything to do with fur color or size.

A nice "lesson" book, good for use with children having trouble making friends. My one "complaint" about the book is the lack of interest in the illustrations. They seemed very bland, done maybe with colored pencils (which isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's done nicely), and the drawings seemed a little juvenile. I certainly don't want to insult the illustration, that may have been the whole idea, I just personally didn't like the illustrations. The story was nice though, very good for working on friendships and be nice to one another.

Thank you to author Bob Gammon, for a review copy :)

Orange Polar Bears Don't Cry
Bob Gammon
32 pages
Picture Book
Eloquent Books
October 2008

A great bedtime story always makes me happy and Bedtime in the Jungle, written and illustrated by John Butler is one of those. It fuses counting and a sleepy bedtime rhyme into one really cute story.

A different animal mother on each page spread, is getting her baby (or babies) ready for bedtime. Starting with one baby rhino and working up to ten baby elephants, children will be work on their counting, while enjoying the beautifully soft illustrations and the gentle rhyme of the text.

I really enjoyed that several of the animals were not conventional to children's stories, like the peahen putting her six babies to bed, the wild pig settling down her seven babies, and a wolf nestling her four babies. It was nice to have the additions to the typical tigers, monkeys, and ducks.

Again, a great bedtime story! Would make a nice baby shower gift too!

Thank to Peachtree for the review copy :)

Bedtime in the Jungle
John Butler
32 pages
Picture Book
Peachtree Publishers
September 2009

Finally (yep, we have 4 this week!), and it's a fabulous one! What happens when you combine newcomer Mac Barnett with amazing illustrator Adam Rex? Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem!

Billy Twitters has a mom that is constantly nagging him and if she doesn't get what she wants right away, she always threatens to buy him a big blue whale. Which, of course, will never happen right? Wrong. Billy gets the threatened big blue whale and has to bring him wherever he goes, including to school, and wash him and brush his gross baleen (see 15 for what baleen is). Guess he should have done his homework and eaten his baked peas!

The story is hilariously surreal, the illustrations are amazing (of course, it's Adam REX!), and the interjections of the small blue whale and other sea creatures every few pages to show "actual size" are great. Even the dedication is hilarious! And at one point, the whale has graffiti on his side...that page had me giggling for a few minutes straight. Very clever!

A great storytime read aloud, I'm highly recommending this one for school and library shelves!

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for the review copy :)

Billy Twitters and His Big Blue Whale Problem
Mac Barnett
48 pages
Picture Book
June 2009

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