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Monday, September 14, 2015

Storytime: New and Notable Picture Books (23)

This week's Storytime features a lonely snowy bear's search for a home (and a friend!), a parent's unconditional love for the person their child will grow to be, a crow named Edgar and the tree house of Usher, the story of a Thanksgiving meal, and a compromise between three friends.

Snowy Bear
Written by Tony Mitton; Illustrated by Alison Brown
Ages 3-6, Available Now

Buy It 
Here is a bear who has nowhere to go,
so he's plodding along through the cold winter snow.

In the icy-cold heart of winter, a little snowy bear wanders through the snow and searches for a home. But where can he go? Each warm place has been claimed, and there is no room for a bear, no matter how little. Suddenly he sees a flickering of light, orange and bright against the snowy ground. It's a house!

As Snowy Bear pushes open the creaking door, he feels warmth spread over him. There's a girl by the window, who's also looking for a friend, and, somehow, deep down, Snowy Bear knows that he is home.
In need of a sweet story that will make you feel like you're wrapped in a fluffy, comfortable old quilt? Look no further than Tony Mitton and Alison Brown's Snowy Bear. Mitton's text has perfect pacing and rhyme which, paired Brown's color palette of blue and read and soft illustrations,  make this adorable story ideal for bedtime reading.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Written & Illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
Ages 3-7, Available Now

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From brave and bold to creative and clever, the rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old. A great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes.
Emily Winfield Martin's books - Dream Animals, Day Dreamers, and, this newest offering, The Wonderful Things You Will Be, are so incredibly beautiful. This newest one in particular caused tears the first time I read it (and comes close every time I've read it since). It is without a doubt one of my top new picks for baby shower gifts - as is Dream Animals, which is now available in board book format!
Edgar and The Tree House of Usher
Written by Jennifer Adams; Illustrated by Ron Stucki
Ages 2-5, Available Now

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"It was a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year ... " when the mischievous raven Edgar heads to his friend Roderick's house to work on their tree house. Edgar dashes his sister Lenore's hopes with the ever-popular phrase "sisters are not allowed," until a storm starts to brew and the two boys realize that sometimes the best things happen when you decide to stick together. The third picture book in the popular Edgar series is sure to warm the hearts of kids and parents alike.
This third Edgar book from Jennifer Adams in the BabyLit series is inspired by Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. This is one of Poe's works that I'm only vaguely familiar with - and I've actually never read one of the Edgar books before - but I still enjoyed this story of Edgar, his friend, Roderick, and Edgar's persistent sister, Lenore. I'll definitely be looking into the first two Edgar books, as well as the rest of the BabyLit series, which looks fantastic!

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller; Illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Ages 4-8, Available 9/22/15

Buy It
Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.
Upon my first reading, I completely fell in love with this collaboration from Pat Zietlow Miller (Sophie's Squash) and Jill McElmurry (Little Blue Truck). Thanksgiving was always an important holiday within my family, as it was one of the celebrations that always brought my extended family together. Like in Sharing the Bread, Thanksgiving was characterized by action, a crowded, busy kitchen, and the faces of parents, siblings, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. The illustrations depict a turn of the century setting, making this a great pairing for A Fine Dessert!

Boom Snot Twitty: This Way That Way
Written by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Renata Liwska
Ages 3-5, Available Now

Buy It
The perfect spot is this way! says Boom. The perfect spot is that way!” tweets Twitty.

Snot is smartly silent.

How will these three friends decide which way to go to find the perfect spot?
In this second story featuring Boom (a bear), Snot (a snail), and Twitty (a bird), the three friends must decide where to spend their day together. Boom wants to visit the water, Twitty wants to visit the mountains, and Snot, as readers have come to expect after their debut story, creates a balance between her two strong-willed friends, finding a happy solution for everyone! Renata Liwska's depictions of each of these characters is absolutely delightful - I especially love her ability to tell so much of the story through the characters' postures and facial expressions!

Love any of the books featured this week? Let me know in the comments!


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