It’s another Kid Lit Blog Hop Wednesday! Take a look around at what everyone else has this time.
Here (alphabetically by title) are the last couple of months’ worth of picture books, the ones that got asked for multiple times and pored over on their own.
Bye, Bye, Butterflies by Andrew Larsen. Illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2012.
Charlie’s taking a walk with his father when they hear a chorus of “Bye, bye, butterflies!” coming from the top of the local school. Next year, Charlie starts school himself. His class, too, raises caterpillars into butterflies, finally taking them up to the roof to release them. There’s a nice circularity as Charlie sees a child from the roof who will start school the next year. The last pages give more concise information on the life cycle of a butterfly, where unlike in the main text, the chrysalis is called a chrysalis instead of cocoon. Calling it a cocoon in the main text bothered me, but it’s easy enough to correct when reading aloud, and the girl went to this one over and over again.
Dragon Quest by Allan Baillie. Illustrated by Wayne Harris. U.S. publication Candlewick Press, 2013. Originally published in Australia, 1996.
This was an older Australian book, recently released in the U.S. The second-person narration tells an exciting story of a child taken dragon hunting by an old dragon hunter. They are hunting the very last dragon, and the journey will be difficult. The gorgeously painted artwork shows a secret that the child understands but the old dragon hunter never does – delightful.
Little Evie in the Wild Wood by Jackie Morris. Illustrated by Catherine Hyde. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2013.
Brief, poetic lines and painted pictures with visible brush strokes tell the story of a little girl in a red dress. Like Little Red Riding Hood, she’s walking through the forest with a basket of treats – Evie has a basket of enticing red tarts that prompted us to make two-bite strawberry pies. But where Little Red walks through the forest oblivious to both its danger and its beauty, Evie is very much aware of both. In the end, though, she’s taking her treats to Grandmother Wolf – who gives her a ride home when their picnic is finished. It’s a lovely, just-scary-enough story more in tune with today’s need to preserve nature.
Mary Wrightly, So Politely by Shirin Yim Bridges. Illustrated by Maria Monescillo. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2013.
Mary is a very quiet, very polite little girl. Usually, she responds to being pushed around with apologies rather than protests, and her teacher has trouble getting her to share with the class. Mary’s moment of testing comes when she goes to the toy store with her mother to pick out a gift for her beloved baby brother’s birthday. The store is crowded and her mother is distracted and it looks like Mary might not end up with anything for her brother. Will she find what it takes to stand up for herself??? Even though speaking up is a problem that my own little girl has never, ever had, she really loved Mary and her adorable baby brother!
Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Dial Books, 2013.
This quirky, present-tense story is an ode to pizza. Raccoon loves pizza, too, but people never want to share. Can Raccoon find a way to get some pizza without being kicked out? Elaborate plans ensue.
Two Bunny Buddies by Kathryn Galbraith. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
Two buddies fight and go their separate ways before realizing that their friend is more important than being right. The brief rhyming text is illustrated with heavy linotype carvings filled in with eye-poppingly bright colors in a story that’s perfect for toddlers and up.