Is There a Dog in This Book? had me hooked right from the start, when three adorable, hip cats (Andre, Moonpie and Tiny) welcome readers with a warm greeting on the title page. The trio continues to chat with readers as they notice with alarm that someone has drunk their milk and played with their toy.
Jim Aylesworth’s and Barbara McClintock’s satisfying new book is based on the Yiddish folk song “I Had a Little Overcoat,” which has been adapted to picture book form in various ways over the years, most notably in Simms Taback’s 2000 Caldecott Medal winner, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Here, author and illustrator make the story their own. It’s a pleasing new adaptation of a treasured story.
If the picture book world has celebrities, Mac Barnett (author of Oh No!) and Jon Klassen (author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back) are two of the biggest. So when the two of them team up, it’s kind of a big deal. The last time it happened, the result was Extra Yarn, which received a Caldecott Honor, among many other accolades. Now the two have paired up again with Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, another wryly subtle, unexpectedly funny picture book about two brothers in search of something extraordinary.
It’s trick-or-treat time again, but we’ve got something better than candy—a roundup of the season’s creepiest new books! Readers, beware: Nothing says “boo” like the spooky titles below.
Philip C. Stead, author of the 2011 Caldecott winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, brings his considerable talents to this fanciful story of a boy who goes in search of adventure. Sitting on his roof one night, Sebastian decides that there’s nothing very interesting to see on his street: It is definitely time for a change. What spells adventure more than a journey in a hot air balloon, especially one constructed from Grandma’s afghans and patchwork quilts?
If you ever find yourself wanting to explain to a child what the phrase “snowball effect” means, pick up a copy of David Mackintosh’s Lucky to aid your cause.
In what has to be the best-named picture book of the year, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan brings readers the story of the young Henri Matisse and his childhood inspirations, with eye-catching illustrations from Hadley Hooper.
It’s one thing to learn your ABCs. It’s quite another when Oliver Jeffers is in charge. His new picture book, Once Upon an Alphabet, contains 26 very short stories, beginning with “An Astronaut” and ending with “Zeppelin.” Preschoolers and beginning readers will delight in these vignettes featuring everything from a lumberjack who repeatedly gets struck by lightning to, of all things, a puzzled parsnip.
Friends can come from the most unlikely places. In the case of Marla Frazee’s tender wordless story, The Farmer and the Clown, that place is from the back of a circus train in the middle of nowhere.