Picture Book Round-up: Books dealing with Grief, Being Different, Fear and Being a Bookworm +
This is such a good bunch of books! Place holds on those you have not read! Go on! See if you like them too! I cannot recommend placing holds enough; it is so nice to arrive at the library and collect a stack you know you want, and then encourage your kids to browse for bonus books on top of that! It ensures you get to read those ones that often get checked out form the "Recently Returned" shelf over and over -- so unless you're there on the right day, you'd not get them by browsing!
Gilbert the Great, Jane Clarke
Let's start with an interesting one! We were visiting the library with sweet friends of ours, and this was one of their cast-offs! It didn't resonate with our friends (maybe it is a matter of timing?), but when we read it, we really connected with this touching story. It is a grief parable, and I think it is handled with honesty and some humour. I also love that there is educational tidbits embedded within it (for example, it is also a book about symbiotic relationships). It is illustrated by Charles Fuge, whose lovely work you may recognise from the Wombat books. I love looking at it.
Marmaduke the Very Different Dragon, by Rachel Valentine
The girls are very into dragons, at the moment. And this new title has great language, a fun story, and an important message. Most requested book of this month, and all three girls enjoy it.
How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel, Wendy Meddour
Ha! Right? This is a nice one to talk about afterwards.
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, Hildegarde H Swift
Based on a very real little red lighthouse, I loved the specifics, personification, and illustrations.
Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish
A book of silliness based on the ambiguity of homophones. Although some of the expressions are dated, Esky still found this highly amusing (including having the dated language explained). An eye-roller for adults that you can't help but like.
The Very Best of Friends, Margaret Wild
Holy moly! This one surprised us! We have read some other Margaret Wild books that were cheery and simple. This grief tale has layers! (And it ends well.) What a great character study; touching for children, young people and adults alike -- a great book for discussion.
Help Me! Paul Geraghty
Esky loves this book. It has some nice context vocabulary, and she finds the repeated "not what you feared" narrative pattern irresistible.
The Book with No Pictures, B. J. Novak
Let me first say, that I think it was always our duty as parents to sell books without pictures (and there are endless approaches to this). But for someone to write a book that offers one such approach, that is ready to open and go, well, that's fantastic for everyone. And children are crazy about it.
Z is for Moose, Kelly Bingham
Super funny. Our oldest two love this. A meta abecediary (again, great to talk about!).
The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
There are so many editions of this story -- because it is magical and timeless -- and we have checked out at least 15 versions in the past few months. Esky's favourite illustrations, overall, are by Donna Green. She also loves the audio copy performed by Meryl Streep.
Mix It Up, Hervé Tullet
We got this for Christmas 2014, and all three girls enjoy it, Esky is also storing and applying the content.
Hamburger Heaven, Wong Herbert Yee
A tale of enterprise (including market research), hard work, and worthy goals! And it rhymes. Winner, winner, bug-filled dinner.
Hinemoa te Toa, Tim Tipene
Hinemoa is so likeable. This story is a lesson about the right times to be brave, and other times where perhaps you should let fear guide you to caution.
Diamond in the Snow, Jonathan Emmett
A book about natural wonder. Esky loves when characters are mistaken and she is a step ahead of them; this is one such tale. Simple but effective.
Percy the Park Keeper Stories, Nick Butterworth
We are slowly checking out each of the Percy the Park Keeper books from our library, because Esky and Ivy are both very taken with them (unfortunately our library doesn't hold a copy of this beautiful treasury, that'd be easier!). Gentle and amusing, Percy interacts with the animals of the park as friends.