You can’t help but fall in love a little with the bookworm, with his bright eyes and shy smile, on the cover of Alice Kuipers and Bethanie Deeney Murguia’s Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book. Composed of collages made of bits of text, fanciful book illustrations and cartoonish children, this book intrigues even before reading it aloud.
Stuffed pink rabbit in hand, Bear is completely and utterly ready for bed. But his coffee-fueled neighbor, Duck, is ready to play. He rings the doorbells, climbs a ladder to Bear’s window, even breaks out the emergency key—all the while ignoring Bear’s increasingly grumpy, terse protestations. Will Duck get his way, or will Bear lose his temper?
At the end of a birthday party, the best gift a little girl receives is her black-and-white tuxedo cat. In Tiptop Cat, author and illustrator C. Roger Mader portrays this cat’s independent and slightly mischievous new life. Seen from Tiptop’s perspective, the rich pastel illustrations depict the cat at eye-level as he explores under tables and beds, defies dizzying heights along the balcony railing and climbs neighborhood rooftops to his favorite spot: a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower from the top of the world.
In this ode to the natural world, the talented George Ella Lyon documents in lyrical free verse the wonders of a forest as the Earth travels through space around the sun and goes from cold to warm and back to cold again.
Though both the author and illustrator of A Possum’s Tail have worked with British children’s magazine OKIDO—Gabby Dawnay is a regular contributor, and Alex Barrow is the art director—this is their first picture book collaboration. It’s offbeat and endearing, so don’t be surprised if children ask for multiple reads.
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.
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.