L I B R A R Y H A U L : P I C T U R E B O O K S
Once a week or so, I load up the kids, and head to my favorite FREE THING TO DO. (today was a space themed toy day..? They had free ice cream & space themed toppings, pretend nasa helmets, slides and blocks and balls and hoola hoops, a water table and bubbles, it was awesome, the kids had fun too, we’ll probably get the stomach bug tomorrow but it was totally worth it).
Anyway.. I usually get a parking ticket because I forget to pay the meter and am too busy strapping the baby on my back and packing snacks for the kiddos as I set out on my quest for the pic books to knock off my wish list. (I know what you’re thinking, “Lisa, you could make your life a lot easier and get online and have the books waiting for you at the counter when you get to the library..” BUT I say, there’s no magic in that! Also, it’s wise to keep my Dewy Decimal skills from getting rusty).
Here are a few picks from this week’s trip, not in any specific order except for the fact that the first one is my favorite .
Story & Pictures by Remy Charlip
Probably one of the funniest picture books I’ve ever read. Ned finds himself in several fortunate and unfortunate situations that had me loling. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. The illustrations and color story are stellar. It’s now on the top of my list for estate sale treasure seeking, so if you come across one.. hook a sister up, please. Also, my 3 year old loved it, he was immediately concerned for Ned’s well being and yet laughed at Ned in the pitchfork scene.
Words by Cao Wenxuan
Illustrated by Roger Mello
Translated by Chloe Garcia Roberts
I can’t get enough bird illustrations in my life and this book hits the spot. It tells the story of Feather trying to find out which bird he came from. It’s written in a classic narrative voice which I love & has a bit of an Are You My Mother? feel, except.. much different. But. Give. Me. More. Mello! Some of his spreads are swoon worthy. Most of the illustrations are double spreads, which gives the book a flying feeling. The cover has matte finish & I want to hang it on my wall. I have a thing for olive green. Okay.. moving along.
By JiHyeon Lee
A true picture book. No words. Okay, the genius of this book runs deep. The first set of end papers, if you look closely, is actually the very beginning of the story. And, if you look closely, the color story is tremendous with the boy’s world, to the new world, and especially within the boy himself. I love to watch him warm up as he goes further into the new land. (That’s what’s so great about picture books is they can have turning points within characters themselves, even in such a short story). Every little monster, creature, new friend is so stinkin cute and you want to stay inside that door with boy.
A Chinese Folktale
Translated and Illustrated by Ed Young
Published 1990 - Caldecott Medal
If I could only read folk and fairy tales the rest of my life I’d be perfectly content. These illustrations in particular are fitting and breathtaking and that’s what these tales deserve. I want to see them in person, I know there is no way the book does justice to the textures and hues of the pastel and watercolors, which are dreamy. I am an official Ed Young fan. I also checked out Hook, which is full of contrast and tension and I want them both in my personal library.
Story and Pictures by Brendan Wenzel
Published 2016 - Caldecott Honor
When I’m old and gray, I’m already gray but when I’m even more gray, I will think back to my first born kid- 3 years old at the kitchen table smiling with a huge eyes, yelling, “YES! THEY ALL. SAW. A. CAT!” One of the most fun books to read aloud! Its compositions are smart, his play with scale and shape are humorous and playful. The spread with the flea and the cat is pause worthy.. The words and pictures are both rhythmic. (without being rhymey). I was hesitant to check it out because well.. I’m a dog person frankly, but I will own it soon. Also, the ending.. You think it’s ending at one point and then the hook comes and you’re like, “ah, yes! this is how the book has to end.” I would never think to end it that way, but that. is. why. he. got. Caldecott Honors.
Okay, quickly, I will mention the other books I checked out. Hope you are inspired to go enjoy the most wonderful, free thing in your town.
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! Story and Pictures by Elise Parsley - so funny, and the origami spread is gorgeous!