Posted in Picture Books

The Fly, by Petr Horacek

22926582The Fly
Petr Horacek
2015 Candlewick Press
ISBN – 9780763674809
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.3 Stars

People don’t seem to like him, neither do cows, and frogs try to eat him. It just seems that fly cannot catch a break. He is just going about his own life, not hurting anyone! What’s the big deal? Beautifully illustrated as always, Horacek brings us the story of a bug, from his own side. None of that pesky bug attitude from this book, more like that pesky human! We learn that the bug is a fitness buff, who likes to make friends, and eat afternoon snacks. He has a hard life and just wishes that the other creatures would be nice to him. But in the end, things always turn out the same for him don’t they? I love the way the pages are used. Some are completely filled with color, while some partial pages act as flaps to help with the story. The colors are bold, and blended in a way that is reminiscent of Carle, but with its own added style. I pretty much love all of Petr Horacek’s creations.

Posted in Picture Books

Max the Brave, by Ed Vere

22712981Max the Brave
Ed Vere
2014 by Puffin Books
ISBN – 9780723286691
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.5 Stars

Max is a sweet adorable kitten, but Max is also a brave and fearless kitten. Of course he loves to do what other kittens do, chase mice! Now he just needs to figure out what a mouse looks like. Boy is he in for a surprise when he finally does find a mouse, it was not what he was expecting! This book is adorable. Max is so sweet and funny, and gullible. I love his big eyes, and his playful nature, he reminds me so much of my cat, Ninja. Each page is a different bright and bold colored background, and he is the main focus. The story is fantastic, I can’t wait to try it at storytime. It should be great for participation. Kids can help you identify the animals, but they might get confused at the end, just like Max!

Posted in Picture Books

Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habits, by Il Sung Na

23834604Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habits
Il Sung Na
2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780385753777
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Toddler, Preschool
5 Stars

Bear was tired of waking up every morning in the same old place, so he decided to find a new home! He traveled around to many different animal’s homes to find a place that was just right for him. In his adventures he meets  birds, polar bears, and more. In the end he makes an important discovery about home. I love this book. I would be great for storytimes about bears or homes. I love the story, and how it shows us where both common and not so common animals live! Now let’s talk illustrations; Il Sung Na is my favorite contemporary picture book illustrator. I can’t say enough about the beautiful pictures. They have such depth to them, I could stare at them for hours. Somehow, the colors are soft, but bold and bright all at the same time. The backgrounds shine just as much as the animals in the front. The expressions on the animals faces are so wonderful. The are silly yet true to the situation. Sigh…

Posted in Picture Books

Ninja Bunny, by Jennifer Gray Olson

22748880Ninja Bunny
Jennifer Gray Olsen
2015 Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN – 9780385754941
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool, Toddler
4 Stars

The rules for being a super awesome ninja begins with being able to work alone. Several other rules are written about as well as illustrated in a hilarious manner. This is one of those books where the words tell one story and the pictures tell a whole different story. The juxtaposition is sure to make the older listeners laugh, while the sweet and funny words are great for the younger listeners. The lesson at the end is appropriate for all age groups! I love the illustrations, they are done in very soft colors, but they make an impact. The ninja bunny is adorable with his long skinny ears flying everywhere in all of the pictures. A definite add to my ninja storytime!

Posted in Picture Books

I Don’t Like Koala, by Sean Ferrell

17706518I don’t like Koala
Sean Ferrell
Illustrated by Charles Santoso
2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9781481400695
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
5 Stars

Adam does not like Koala, Koala is the most terrible terrible. He is always doing creepy things like staring at him, and following him every where he goes! He is always there, even at bedtime! But Adam has a secret plan to ditch Koala, and hopefully he never finds his way back home. This book is delightful. The illustrations could tell the whole story without needing words, however, the words are also great. Adam is reminiscent of Pixar graphics, while Koala is just one of a kind! This hilarious book even has a sweet ending. Perfect!

Posted in Picture Books

The Octopuppy, by Martin McKenna

18692476The Octopuppy
Martin McKenna
2013 by Scholastic
ISBN – 9781742990156
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.3 Stars

All Edgar wanted was a dog, but instead he got Jarvis, an octopus. Jarvis couldn’t do any of the things that dogs can do, like sit or play dead, but he was incredibly smart. He just wasn’t what Edgar wanted. It took Jarvis leaving for Edgar to realize that maybe Jarvis was pretty cool just the way he is. This book is super cute! The illustrations are fantastic. They are bright, colorful, and humorous! Jarvis is full of wacky stunts that any kid other than Edgar would be thrilled to have a pet do! The end is adorable and sweet, and gives us a tiny little hint at the true meaning of friendship. I definitely plan on building a storytime about Octopuses and including this one!

Posted in Picture Books

It’s Only Stanley, by Jon Agee

18969290It’s Only Stanley
John Agee
2015 by Dial Books
ISBN – 9780803739079
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4 Stars

It’s late at night and the Wimbledons are trying to sleep when they hear a strange noise. Turns out it is only Stanley. As the night gets later and later they keep hearing more noises, and each time it turns out that it is only Stanley doing strange things around the house. The illustrations are much in the fashion of John Agee, loveable and quirky. The story is full of rhymes and humor. You may be surprised by all of the odd things that Stanley is doing as the night gets later, but nothing will prepare you or the Wimbledons for his last great act! Definitely a fun book, that will allow kids to participate by guessing what Stanley is doing, and laugh when they are almost certainly wrong!

Posted in Picture Books

The Backwards Birthday Party, Tom Chapin and John Forster

17323655The Backwards Birthday Party
Tom Chapin, John Forster
Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9781442467989
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
4.5 Stars

On the day of a birthday, everything is backwards. In the morning the sun goes down, and everyone says goodbye. Then the wacky party starts from the end and is all mixed up. The ice cream was hot, and the donkey pinned the tail on everyone else. As everything goes on, the words even get mixed up! The illustrations are soft and sweet. There are tons of different animals, that will be fun for the kids to name. They will get a kick out of everything going out of order, and you may even be able to make an activity out of putting the events in the right order. Plus we all know that kids love to tell adults they are wrong! This is totally a win win read aloud book!

Posted in Picture Books

Supertruck, by Stephen Savage

truckSupertruck
Stephen Savage
2015 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN – 9781596438217
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Toddler
4 Stars

All of the brave trucks have different duties. The fire truck puts out fires and the tow truck saves other vehicles. But the garbage truck just collects trash, but maybe he has super powers that only come out when it snows! I love the illustrations in this book. They are bright, bold, and clear. Each page has very little to focus on, so the trucks really become easy to point out. The text is simple as well. There are just a few words per page, and they are very cut and dry and easy for toddlers to understand and learn from.

Posted in Picture Books

Blown Away, by Rob Biddulph

22138435Blown Away
Rob Biddulph
2015 Harper
ISBN – 9780062367242
Genre – Picture Books
Age – Preschool
4 Stars

Penguin flies a kite on a super windy day, and soon is pulled off by the wind and taken away on a great adventure on which he makes lots of friends and sees new lands. So we do have to ignore the fact that polar bears are not going to be hanging out with penguins. This does annoy me a bit because children actually learn a ton from picture books. However, ignoring that, I love this book. The illustrations are sweet and whimsical. There are lots of opportunities to ask the kiddos what certain creatures are, and what they think will happen next! I love that the text is written and can be read like a poem. It has rhythm, rhyme, and humor, and it just plain made me smile! I think it will be a lovely interactive book to read aloud, and you can also let kids know that polar bears live in the north (with Santa and penguins live in the south.)