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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (8)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters
Written & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

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If you still haven't discovered the wonder and fun of Oliver Jeffers' books, you're seriously missing out. Right now I'd say Jeffers is best known for having illustrated the bestseller The Days the Crayons Quit, so you've likely seen his illustrative style, but his writing is just as good. In this newest book, Jeffers takes readers through the alphabet with a story for each letter. The stories are silly and weave together; characters pop up in multiple stories and pictures and the would-be astronaut from letter A returns for letter Z. I'm a longtime fan of Jeffers' work, so it goes without saying that I loved this one.

The Mitten String
Written by Jennifer Rosner; Illustrated by Katrina Swarner

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
When Ruthie's family takes in a deaf woman named Bayla and her infant for the night, she's amazed by the woman's ability to communicate with her son using her hands, moving them as if she were working an invisible spinning wheel. At night, Bayla's uses string to connect her wrist to her son's, waking when he needs to be comforted or warmed. Inspired by Bayla creativity and love, Ruthie begins knitting mittens connected by a string, her very first pair a gift for Bayla and her son. This beautiful story of kindness, love, and overcoming difficult circumstances, be it the frequent loss of mittens or a disability.

Sebastian and the Balloon
Written & Illustrated by Philip C. Stead

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'On a boring day, on a dull street, Sebastian sat high atop his roof—something he was never supposed to do. When he launched himself into the air in his balloon made of Grandma's afghans and patchwork quilts, his journey took on a life of its own and his boring day turned into the adventure of a lifetime.' I spend a lot of time looking at and working with picture books, so when I can't get a book out of my head, it really means something. This newest from Stead is so beautiful and enchanting that I find myself wanting to look through it every time I see it on the shelf at the store. I'm not sure if it's possible to not to fall in love with this book.

This Book Just Ate My Dog
Written & Illustrated by Richard Byrne

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'When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.' I love books that are interactive and physically engage the reader, like Count the Monkeys, so new one from Byrne quickly won me over. After various characters, including the narrator disappear into the gutter of the book, the reader must aid in the rescue. This will be one your little reader will ask for again and again!

Remy and Lulu
Written & Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Lulu, a small, smart dog, lives in the studio of a great artist until the day the studio is sold and she is left to fend for herself. Leaving the city for the countryside, she meets Remy, an abstract artist with poor eyesight but a clear vision. Unfortunately, Remy's unique style isn't in high demand. After three days with no food, Lulu secretly helps Remy with his most recent commission. Her portrait is a success and, soon, Remy's work gains acclaim. All is well until Remy is gifted with a new pair of spectacles and sees, for the first time, the quality of Lulu's work. In comparing his own style to Lulu's, he loses confidence in his work and his paints grow hard and dry as he shuts himself away. It's Lulu's friendship that gives Remy strength, reminding him that, when you paint from the heart, you can't ever go wrong. A celebration of art, friendship, and staying true to your own vision, Remy and Lulu is a wonderful new story from Kevin Hawkes!

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!


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