Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plenty of Picture Books

Picture books are so personal and so easy to browse that I will spare you long descriptions and offer instead a list of authors and titles that I enjoy, with brief comments.

Beatric Rodriquez tells wonderful stories without writing a single word in the richly illustrated The Chicken Thief and its follow-up Fox and Hen Together.

Melanie Watt amuses young and old with her Chester books, You're Finally Here, and Have I Got a Book For You?.

Lane Smith brought joy to book lovers with It's a Book. Book lovers also appreciate Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates, Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein, and The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummell.

Personal histories can be found in the autobiographical Everything But the Horse by Holly Hobbie of Toot and Puddle fame and the story of Jane Goodall's childhood aspirations in Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell who also wrote South, Just Like Heaven, and the Mutts comics.

I have a deep affinity for the illustrations of Quentin Blake and find great pleasures in his picture books such as Loveykins, Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave, and Mrs. Armitage: Queen of the Road.

The illustrations of David Wiesner are quite different from those of Blake, but they should not be missed. Try Art and Max, The Three Little Pigs, or the almost wordless Tuesday.

Bob Graham has a soft heart and gentle humor in his books like Max, How to Heal a Broken Wing, and April and Esme, Tooth Fairies.

Bonny Becker has a trio of stories about unexpected friendships and understanding in A Visitor for Bear, A Birthday for Bear, and Bedtime for Bear.

If you like puns and silly jokes mixed with familiar folk tales you cannot beat Kevin O"Malley's Animal Crackers Fly the Coop and Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share.

Finally, Mo Willems is almost unstoppable with one hilarious book after another, each with a pigeon hidden somewhere in the book.

  • The Elephant and Piggie series of beginning readers.

  • The Cat the Cat series for beginning readers

  • Knuffle Bunny and its sequels

  • Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed

  • Don't Let Pigeon Drive the Bus and others in the series

  • Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator

City Dog, Country Dog is by Williams with illustrations by Jon Muth. It is a touching story of friendship that will warm your heart. It is not like any other Williams book and I don't remember any pigeons in it.

Everyone can appreciate a good picture book. Don't miss them just because you are over six.

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