Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Picture Books I Read Recently and Loved

I was thinking about what book I wanted to review next and I just read a bunch of picture books I really enjoyed so I thought I'd just list 10 of the ones I've read recently that I loved (in no particular order).

1. The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer
This twist on the classic "Boy Who Cried Wolf" tale will have youngsters giggling. Tim describes the crazy things he sees and his parents don't believe him. Does he have a really big imagination or could there actually be truth in his tales?

2. Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams, Illustrated by Ron Stucki
Edgar is your typical toddler (though he is, of course, a raven). Whether it's getting ready for bed, cleaning up, or eating dinner he adamantly replies "Nevermore!" Besides being a cute read, the hidden Poe references will have adults chuckling along (look for a Poe jack-in-the-box and a wobbly house of Usher).

3. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
As someone who grew up in a household where we often played with cardboard boxes, I fell in love with this book the first time I read it. Found it in our library and reread it recently and loved it just as much. What is a cardboard box? Anything you want it to be!

4. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
The bear has lost his hat. He goes looking for it, asking every animal he comes upon if they've seen it. He's about to give up when he realizes that he's seen his hat and knows exactly who took it. The ending may go over very young children's heads, but slightly older children (and those reading the book to them) will be able to read between the lines and enjoy being in on the joke with the bear and the author.

5. My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown
Bobby and his teacher don't really get along. He's a little ... spirited, and he's sure she is a monster. But when they bump into each other outside of the classroom, Bobby is forced to take another look at the person he thought he knew so well. The subtle morphing of the teacher in the illustrations adds nicely to the gentle message that teachers are more than just their classroom persona.

6. Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry
Turtle is all alone in a giant ocean, so when a boat full of animals crashes on his shell he's excited to make new friends. The animals like Turtle, but they miss their families so they set out to head back home, leaving Turtle alone again. But the animals have a surprise in store! The beautiful watercolor backgrounds add to the gentle feeling of family and friendship built through the story.

7. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
This collection reprints stories that were never completed as picture books. Light on the images because of this, it's still a delightful read. No one rhymes like Dr. Seuss!

8. Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
The three bears get carried away and accidentally break their mother's favorite shell. They set out on a grand adventure to replace the shell and meet many interesting characters along the way. The artwork is gorgeous with nods to Melville and LeGuin. And while the three siblings do face appropriate consequences, the love between them and their mother leaves the ending on a happy note.

9. Found by Salina Yoon
Bear finds a lost stuffed bunny and sets out to help the toy find its way home. But as he carries the bunny around and it becomes part of his life, Bear isn't quite ready to let go when the bunny's owner finds him. With a true Toy Story 3 type twist, Bear and bunny have a happy ending.

10. Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matthew Myers
This is the kind of book where you just feel like these people got together, started spit-balling ideas, and then came up with something utterly ridiculous and are brilliant enough to make it work. With additions to the "original" illustrations and changes to the dialogue, the innocuous "Birthday Bunny" turns into a battle of epic proportions. (Besides this book really reminded me of my favorite StrongBad episode)(Seriously, click on that link)

Have you read any good picture books recently? I'm always happy to add more to by TBR pile!

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