This past month has been brilliant for kidslit. We've seen new characters and old characters grace the NYTimes Bestseller List (Sept.30th), and want to share our thoughts on the latest picture books. Are they a thumbs up, or a thumbs down?1. Llama, Llama, Time To Share:The Llama, Llama series is back with a new story about sharing. The book description reads:
Llama Llama has new neighbors! Nelly Gnu and her mama stop by for a play date, but Llama's not so sure it's time to share all his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly . . . But wait--Nelly has Llama's little Fuzzy Llama! The fun turns to tears when Fuzzy Llama is ripped in two, "all because of Nelly Gnu!" Mama comes to the rescue and fixes Fuzzy, but she makes it clear: "I'll put Fuzzy on the stairs, until you're sure that you can share."
We have a classic sharing drama unfold - two children playing with the same toy until it is broken. It's a timeless scenario for a reason - kids simply can relate to it. And it's a lesson preschoolers must be taught time and time again. This book is different because of the rhymes and the readability of this book. Here's another taste of the rhyme:"Build a tower.
Make a moat.
Nelly's dolly sails a boat.
What can Llama Llama add?
Maybe sharing's not so bad. "
The rhyme is so seamless and relatable for a child that we had to give this one a thumbs up! Combined with quirky, original illustrations, this is a must read for little ones.
Phillip Stead and Erin Stead team up again in this sophisticated children's book. Their previous book together - A Sick Day for Amos McGee, was an instant hit with readers, and won the 2011 Caldecott. This book doesn't disappoint - right down to the printing! As one Amazon reviewer says, the feel of the book is so nice! It's those little details, right down to the paper weight, that make a kids book really special. And make a print book that much more desirable.
The story description reads: "Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?"
The writing is simple; the repetition of seeing friend after friend gives the story a wonderful rhythm. It's truly endearing, and the message is very sweet. Another top pick from Pinwheel!
3. Rocket Writes a StoryThis charming dog from Tad Hills delights again in this story. It inspires just as "Rocket Learned to Read" did for little ones when it first hit bookstores. This book charms and inspires storytellers too, which as publishers/storytellers ourselves, we just love! Readers, writers, parents, teachers, librarians - and children of all ages will find this heartwarming story of finding one's story to be a hit.
4. Oh, No!This book is silly and a fun read-aloud pick. The sound words, and adventure of animals falling down a hole, builds suspense while also entertaining little ones. The hidden charms in the pictures, as well as the repetitive "Oh No!" phrase will keep readers attentive and engaged. Great for a classroom or story hour!
Jan Brett is back with another darling children's book. The illustrations - as always - are not to be missed, as they are filled with intricate renderings of flowers, plants, birds, bugs, and animals. All in the sophistication we come to associate with Brett's style. We can't wait to read this book! Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
Who will help Mossy return home to Lilypad Pond?Mossy, an amazing turtle with a gorgeous garden growing on her shell, loses her freedom when Dr. Carolina, a biologist, takes her to live in her Edwardian museum. Visitors flock to see Mossy, but it is Dr. Carolina's niece, Tory, who notices how sad Mossy is living in a viewing pavilion. She misses the outdoors and her friend, Scoot.Dr. Carolina finds a way to keep the spirit of Mossy alive at the museum. She invites Flora and Fauna to paint Mossy's portrait. Then she and Tory take Mossy home, where Scoot is waiting for her....MOSSY gives readers a fascinating look at nature in the wild and on display in a natural history museum.
Be sure to check out these books and all the bestsellers online, or at your local bookstore!