On a trip to the library in my hometown this past spring, my daughter played with her grandma while I read one great picture book after another. Here’s a few I would recommend:
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack: The pictures were adorable, and probably because of the color scheme, reminded me of the artwork in Frozen. Each page was full of bold colors, and the plot was bold, too. In the story, the prince’s parents are looking for a woman to wed their son, but the prince isn’t looking for a princess. Instead, he falls for a dashing knight. I liked how the two men were so handsome and in love. The story is told in rhyme. While some reviewers thought the rhymes weren’t very well written, it didn’t bother me. Perhaps I read it in a different cadence? I’d have to read the book again and pay better attention. In short, this book had a great message. We need more books like this that are just short and sweet and show a different sort of representation. The positives far outweighed any negatives for me.
The Book No One Wants to Read by Beth Bacon: I imagine this would be a fun read-aloud book, especially for squirmy, busy readers! The book makes you do silly things like scratch and sniff (smells like paper, what were you expecting?), play Rock, Paper, Scissors (the book chooses paper every time!), and have a staring contest (books don’t have eyelids, so of course the book won!). What a fun, active book for reluctant readers.
The next two books were both written and illustrated by Jon Agee. They were both so clever that I’m eager to find more books by this talented author.
- Life on Mars follows an astronaut as he searches for life on Mars. He brings cupcakes to share, but can’t find life (the reader sees that a creature is behind him, but the astronaut doesn’t notice). He sets down the cupcakes, gets lost, spots a flower (There is life on Mars!), climbs a “hill” which looks suspiciously like a martian creature, and returns back to his ship. There, he finds the box of cupcakes and takes them home. As he flies back to Earth – sad that Mars was so lonely – he opens the box and finds only crumbs!
- The Wall in the Middle of the Book: In this book, a character builds a wall along the book’s inseam and says it’s there to keep his side of the wall safe from the other side. However, his side starts to fill up with water. A giant from the other side of the wall saves the person and lifts him over to the other side of the book. Turns out, it wasn’t as safe as he thought on his side, nor as unsafe on the other side. Hmmm, is this supposed to teach us something about building a wall, perhaps?!
The Library Book illustrated by Chuck Groenink: The text of this book is actually the lyrics from “The Library Song,” written in 1989 by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark. The text wasn’t my favorite, but Groenink’s illustrations were lovely. The pale greens and browns made the book feel soft and inviting. The cover is so gosh darn cute, and I love books about books and reading.