Recently Read: Great Picture Books (14)!

A look at some wonderful picture books that I have had the pleasure of reading lately! All are titles I have read and would recommend (and I have noticed that three titles appeared on a recent Must Read Monday!!):

 
 

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’Hara
The illustrations in this one are truly splendid; Hortense and the Shadow really should be pored over in person, the illustrations are that beautiful and intricate! A fairy tale of a story, with a long ago feel, about a young girl who, after ridding herself of her shadow, finds that her shadow’s constant companionship might not actually be such a bad thing.

 
Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
This one had me cackling, folks! So simple, so perfectly executed and so perfectly illustrated…This is a story about a child who gets utterly stuck in their shirt and wonders (and worries) about what’s going to happen if they stay forever stuck in said shirt. This a gem with a solid (and also very funny) curve at the end!

 
Buster and the Baby by Amy Hester, illus. Polly Dunbar
‘He waits. And watches. And waits some more. THUMP, goes his heart. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP! Then…CHAAA!’
I do enjoy a picture with good repetition and solid read aloud potential, and Buster and the Baby fits the bill on both those points. An absolutely adorably illustrated tale about a playful doggy and an excited baby that play a bustling game of chase until nighttime comes. A sweet turn comes at the end, bringing everything nicely together.

 
The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder, illus. Samantha Cotterill
Laurel Snyder (Penny Dreadful, Swan) teams up with artist Samantha Cotterill (Charlotte and the Rock) for a heartfelt and genuine story about the breadth of knowledge a woman named Honey passes along to her keen young neighbor. As the young girl, Laurel, copes with the sudden news of Honey’s moving, we see the beautiful effects of their relationship live out in various ways. An Author’s Note from Snyder indicates that The Forever Garden is loosely based on a Talmudic story of passing “from generation to generation”, of planting multiple kinds of seeds.

 
Florette by Anna Walker
Author and illustrator of the beautiful and clever picture book Peggy, Walker returns with another lovely story, so lush and richly illustrated. Perhaps a storyline done before, but worth it for Walker’s take and presentation: Florette is the tale of a young girl named Mae who moves with her family to a grey city and goes on a quest to find some flora to brighten her surroundings.

 
Sleep Tight, Charlie by Michaël Escoffier, illus. Kris Di Giacomo
The duo behind the very funny Brief Thief and Me First! is back with a tale of going to sleep gone awry. Charlie is a very tired rabbit who just wants a good sleep; unfortunately, noisy and annoying interruptions keep happening! There is great wordplay in this one, so lest you think the repetitions of Charlie’s bedtime rituals are unnecessary- they are definitely not! Readers who enjoyed Greg Pizzoli’s Good Night Owl might especially like this one.

 
Rot, the Cutest in the World! by Ben Clanton
I think we might need more picture books about potatoes, right?! Rot, our spudly protagonist, loves contests, so he enters the “Cutest Contest in the World” to the befuddlement of some rather snooty (and more traditionally “cute”) contestants. Poor Rot starts to feel more than a little down as he sees his “cute” competition but do not fear! The entire story is a treat, as is how the contest and results unfold.
 

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Recently Read: Great Picture Books

I must sound like a broken record when I do these picture book posts and say- each time- how amazing the quality of children’s lit is! From picture book biographies of the incredible E.E. Cummings and Henri Matisse, to Kate Beaton’s picture book debut, there is no end to the wonder and richness in children’s lit.

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Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess, illus. Kris Di Giacomo . As I noted on Goodreads, I found this picture book moving and stunning. Burgess and Di Giacomo have shared Cummings’s life with us readers, showcased his profound way with words and made it all sing in one incredible picture book.
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton. Beaton, the writer/artist behind the hugely popular Hark! A Vagrant, does not disappoint with this immensely entertaining, clever picture book about a strong Princess and her roly poly tooting pony. Any mention of farting usually sets off a young storytime audience, but Beaton’s bold, bouyant illustrations and comic text are the winners here.
The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup. A lovely and moving picture book about the death of a beloved fox and how fond memories keep him alive in the hearts of his friends. Beautifully and softly told, with gorgeous illustrations.
Float by Daniel Miyares. Miyares’s wordless picture book is one that tells a beautiful, moving and evocative story all through expressive and dynamic illustrations. Just gorgeous. Fans of Suzy Lee, Molly Idle, Marla Frazee or David Wiesner should definitely check this one out!
The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illus. Hadley Hooper. As with Enormous Smallness, The Iridescence of Birds is a biographical picture book. MacLachlan and Hooper have brought the upbringing, inspirations and work of Matisse to life in this wonderful picture book. The artwork here, by Hooper, is amazing and pulls the slightly indefinite narrative together.

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Must Read Monday (4): Picture Books

Welcome to the fourth edition of Must Read Monday! On Mondays I will spotlight some new and/or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!

This is the second week in a row I am featuring recently released picture book titles (both fiction and non-fiction); there’s just so many wonderful titles- by acclaimed authors/illustrators- I am eager to read!

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Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett (Published March 24th 2015 by Templar, earlier edition published in 2014)

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess, illus. Kris Di Giacomo (Published April 7th 2015 by Enchanted Lion Books)

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins, illus. Sophie Blackall (Published January 27th 2015 by Schwartz & Wade)

My Pen by Christopher Myers (Published March 10th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion)

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illus. Christian Robinson (Published January 8th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)

Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, illus. Matthew Cordell (Published March 3rd 2015 by Roaring Brook Press)

If you’d like to join Must Read Monday, please do! Link up or leave a comment about what you’re looking forward to reading- I love to hear what other readers have on their radar!