- No Time For Mother's Day, Laurie Halse Anderson. Hey, I know this author -- she wrote Wintergirls and Speak and lots of other stuff. Wow. This book address the vital issue of choosing a great present for your mom, and P got very tired of me stressing the vast importance of this crucial topic. We enjoyed the dreary cousins the most; the pictures were a bit too cartoonish for our taste.
- Aunt Pitty Patty's Piggy, Jim Aylesworth. Left to my own devices, I do gravitate towards pig books. Barbara McClintock's careful illustrations charm the text, which quickly resolves into the old song about getting the piggy through the gate. P liked that the cat was smart enough to negotiate, which really gets the ball rolling. Or the stick beating.
- I'm a Turkey, Jim Arnosky. P initially recoiled at the blurb promising a free song download, obviously in terror that I would sing along. But we are technology-free during our read, so we relaxed in the spoken word as the brash turkey paraded about, the bold-faced words shouting out from the vivid illustrations. Thanksgiving does not make an appearance in this book based on wild turkeys, but there are foxes and dangers.
- How the Amazon Queen Fought the Prince of Egypt, Tamara Bower. Serendipitously this hieroglyph heavy book comes right after P's class did a study of the Rosetta stone. The Egyptian style flat-perspective text comes with lots of Egyptian references and writing, which add to the story of the clash of two armies.
- Too Many Books!, Caroline Fuller Bauer. Books about pigs, and books about books, two of my picture book obsessions. P and I both enjoyed the descriptions of the house filled with books, piles and piles blocking doors and covering all the surfaces. I doubt the efficiency of the solution (a huge book-swap event) because you borrow books back, but it made for a fun story. (Sorry, no picture. Imagine a happy kid buried in books.)
- The Wildest Brother, Cornelia Funke. Another book by an author of famous chapter books, Funke's story of a patient big sister and a pesky but loved crazy little brother amused both P and A (who was sleeping over) with its reflection of her life. Especially the part at the end when the boy relies on his big sister's comforting and strong presence.
- Willoughby & the Lion, Greg Foley. The black-on-white ink drawings slowly shine with the gold paint of the magic lion in this story of a boy getting wishes. We both enjoyed the crazy wishes part (I want the big house! with a large staff) more than the learn-a-lesson bit at the end, but we did get to argue about what was the tenth wish -- the most wonderful thing of all.
These next two books aren't from the right shelf section; one we picked up because it looked fun and the other is from the recommended lists the library gives out that I am working through, but I figure a picture book post is inclusive.
- Ten Little Mice, Joyce Dunbar. Recommended for preschoolers, this book did not charm me or P. We found the repetition dull instead of reassuring, cheering when the pattern changed at all and fake-snoring when it didn't. The calm pictures did not soothe us. Younger kids would probably like it; I highly enjoyed P's nine year old snark; he read it out loud and his sophisticated highlighting of the annoying repetition pleased me tremendously. Our copy had the same picture as shown, but much darker.
- Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, Kevin O'Malley. The boys would not read it to me -- on the first page P declared it more manga-like and unsuitable for a read-aloud. It then disappeared into their rooms for a week (X also enjoyed it). I finally got it back and enjoyed the larger-than-life illustrations and text. A dinosaur superhero in a rocket ship cannot be wrong. The librarians stuck in on top of the shelves, where it caught my eye.