Monday, February 2, 2015

Alex Is Reading...PICTURE BOOKS

In the middle of reading so many great novels for young readers, it's sometimes easy to forget the quickest reads of all--but a picture book you love when you're three will stay with you for the rest of your life. Here's a handful of picture books I've been reading recently, which you may not have seen before, but might well turn into family favorites.

From left to right:

Love Always Everywhere by Sarah Massini -- A simple message about love and friendship, with a diverse cast of characters, cozy art, and a light touch. It's right in time for Valentine's day but I would read this any time of the year.

Squids Will Be Squids by Jon Sciezska, illustrated by Lane Smith -- A slightly older crowd will fall deeply for these irreverent, brash, energetically illustrated, and frankly awesome modern takes on the fable

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer -- The peace and quiet of the local forest is disturbed when a camper parks itself right smack in the middle. For resourceful wildlife, expressive art, and a Tuesday-style ending, park yourself here.

Virgil & Owen by Paulette Bogen -- A penguin decides that a polar bear he meets is HIS POLAR BEAR, and can't quite get over the fact that HIS POLAR BEAR keeps making other friends. I'm happy to find a book that tells kids you can be friends without being in charge of your friends. In the spirit of Elephant and Piggy, but this book has its own charms.

Finding Spring by Carin Berger -- A young bear doesn't know what spring is yet, but goes on a hunt through these beautiful paper-cut/mixed media illustrations. Lovely to look at for all ages, and a good story for young readers who aren't yet sure how the seasons fit together, exactly.

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens -- All this lion wants is a hat, but he gets chased out of town by frightened humans! A little girl named Irene helps to hide him, but her mother finds out, and reacts badly. In the end, thwarting a burglary makes the lion a hero, and he gets the hat he wanted all along. (You can find this on our children's bargain table.)

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell --The author of Owl Babies writes my favorite bedtime book ever. While Big Bear tries hard to read his Bear Book, Little Bear tosses and turns and frets about the darkness. Big Bear brings him bigger and bigger lanterns, until at last they go outside and find the moon shining down on them--and both bears fall peacefully asleep. (This one is also on the bargain table.)

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña -- A little boy wants to know why he and his grandmother go all the way to the end of the line on Sundays instead of doing something fun, but the answer is, they work at a soup kitchen and help make the neighborhood a better, kinder place.

Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allan --Absolutely stunning illustrations are both the backdrop and highlight of this collection of poems and facts for winter and its creatures.

There are countless wonderful picture books out there, but these are some to start with, next time you're in. Happy reading!

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