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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (40)

This week's Storytime features a courageous boat, a wild recipe, chickens taking charge, a talented artist, and a new friendship.

Blue Boat
Written by Kersten Hamilton; Illustrated by Valeria Pertone
Ages 2-5, Available Now

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When a family on a sailing outing gets stuck in a surprise storm, there's only one boat tough enough to handle the rocking waves and howling winds:  Blue Boat!  Completing the primary-colored series of books that have won fans across the country, the team behind RED TRUCK and YELLOW COPTER present their third rhyming book about a vehicle who saves the day.

I love that this is available in both hardcover picture book and board book. Minimal text, but, paired with this illustrations, this is actually a rather exciting story about a rescue mission. Will easily appeal to very little readers who love boats and slightly older little readers who will recognize and enjoy the drama of the story.
From Blue Boat. Viking BFYR, 2016.

1 Big Salad
Written & Illustrated by Juana Medina
Ages 0-3, Available Now

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Juana Medina's ingenious illustrations nearly pop off the page in her new counting book, ONE BIG SALAD. One avocado deer saunters across the spread, two radish mice scurry by, until finally ten watercress seahorses swim onto the scene - all of the ingredients in one big salad!
One of my favorite picture books of Summer 2016! At first glance, this is a fun counting book. Different vegetables, fruits, and even nuts are scattered over pages, then doodled over to create sweet and simple animals, increasing in number as the book progresses. The book also introduces little readers to a variety of different healthy ingredients, like radishes, cucumbers, and romaine. Combine all of these elements - radicchio lions to clementine kitties - and you'll find yourself with "one big delicious salad." The final page includes a dressing recipe to drizzle over top. A fun picture book that tackles counting and makes healthy options accessible and fun. Win!

From 1 Big Salad. Viking BFYR, 2016.

Hensel & Gretel: Ninja Chicks
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Rebecca J. Gomez; Illustrated by Dan Santat
Ages 5-8, Available Now

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These ninja chicks are anything but chicken!

When Hensel and Gretel's dad gets snatched by a fox, the sisters put their ninja skills to work to track him down before he can be stir-fried.

But are these two little chicks ready to take on a dark tangled forest, a tricky house made of corn bread, and an even trickier fox?

This plucky pair isn't giving up without a fight!


Corey Rosen Schwartz, Rebecca J. Gomez, and Dan Santat can keep offering up these fractured fairy tales until the end of my days and I'll be content. It always takes me a couple reads to get the rhythm of these down for read aloud, but it is so much fun once it clicks! As a kid who grew up on a farm, I'm all too familiar with chickens falling prey to the sneaky fox. Not only does this book take on Hansel and Gretel, it also twists the not-so-happy ending most chickens have when confronted with a hungry fox. Dan Santat's hilarious &  detailed illustrations are a cherry on top.

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
Written & Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Ages 6-10, Available Now


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Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.

I am a huge fan of Tonatiuh's THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR and know I've been remiss in not having read his backlist. This book is gorgeous, as well as informative. Something readers will come back to again and again.

From Funny Bones. Abrams, 2015.

The Monster Next Door
Written & Illustraed by David Soman
Ages 3-5, Available Now

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In a big field, a boy has a tree house, and one day, he has a neighbor—a monster with a talent for silly dances and funny faces. The two become fast friends, even setting up a pulley-line to pass notes between their tree houses. The boy knows just how to celebrate this invention—with music! But the monster’s tuba music is loud. Really loud. WAY. TOO. LOUD. Before the boy can think, he hurls a water balloon at his neighbor to get him to stop. An epic water-balloon fight ensues, until the boy—fed up, spent, done—cuts the clothesline. No more note-passing. No more monster. Can the boy and monster ever be friends again? Does the boy even want to? Maybe he just needs to see things from a new, unexpected perspective.

My goodness, David Soman's illustrations are gorgeous! What a sweet story about budding friendship, perspective, and forgiveness. Misunderstandings often start small and so quickly build into name calling and unfair assumptions. In this newest from Soman a boy and his very different, purple neighbor must learn to compromise and consider the other's perspective to earn a happy ending.

From The Monster Next Door. Dial BFYR, 2016.


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


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