It’s time for the first Kid Lit Blog Hop of September! Take a look at all the great books!
In honor of my daughter starting kindergarten, here’s the latest large batch of new picture books that got the most reread requests from her.
Froodle by Antoinette Portis. Roaring Brook Press, 2014.
Four birds – Crow, Dove, Cardinal, and Little Brown Bird – go various places around the neighborhood, but each always sings the same song. “Caw. Coo. Chip. Peep.” This is the story of what happens when Little Brown Bird decides to try singing “froodle” instead of “peep”. Strong outlines and smooth fill round out this silly lesson in individuality, perfect for younger preschoolers and up.
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood. Pictures by Claudia Rueda. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014.
Cat is really jealous of the Easter Bunny – why is he so popular, and why can’t there be an Easter Cat instead? Each spread in this book has one page devoted to a picture of the would-be Easter Cat, one devoted to words from the cat’s invisible friend – maybe the reader? Cat’s communications in picket signs and facial expressions combine with the words on the facing page to form a dialogue. Colored pencil illustrations on white background make it feel like this clever, hilarious story could be happening anywhere.
Meaniehead by Bruce Eric Kaplan. Simon and Schuster, 2014.
This time the humor is definitely on the dark side. Siblings Henry and Eve get in a fight over an action figure that, over the course of the book, ends the world. It’s told very matter-of-factly, as if children bulldozing their houses were perfectly normal. Scribbly pictures with heavy black outlines and watercolor fill surrounded by lots of white space add to the surreal feel. The text is short, but the concept might be advanced for toddlers – probably preschoolers and up are the best audience. I was torn between amusement and horror; the kids were just fascinated.
Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz. Illustrated by Dan Santat. Penguin, 2014.
In this sequel to The Three Ninja Pigs, the wolf has tried ninja school himself in hopes of finally getting a good meal. He lures Red into her grandmother’s empty house, only to find that she’s been to ninja school too! The illustrations are boldly painted and full of movement, carried further by the bouncy rhyming text. I read this one aloud to the summer camp kids as well, who were very excited about it. I’d say it’s ideal for ages 3-6, though it was a hit with the kids up to age 10 as well.
No Nap! Yes Nap! by Margie Palatini. Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Little, Brown and Co. 2014.
Fun, repetitive text combined with bright, swirling ink and digital illustrations make for a delightful tale of the chase to a toddler’s nap time. Toddler may be full of diversionary tactics, but mother has even more tricks in her bag. The short text and the child’s age make this a good choice for toddlers, but the limited, repeated vocabulary also made it fun for my daughter, almost five, to try reading the part of the child.
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman. Dial Books, 2014
From the author team of Ladybug Girl comes this new book. Three bear cubs conspire to sneak the honey jar off the mantelpiece while their mother is out, but accidentally break her special blue shell in the process. Panicked about facing their bear mother, they set out in their sailboat to find a replacement before she notices. They journey past other crafts to a small and spooky island and through rough waters – will they ever find the shell? With beautiful watercolor illustrations, pleasingly symmetrical language, and literary references on other boats, this is a new book that feels like it has what it takes to become a classic.