Late again . . . sorry, guys.
By the Numbers
Picture Books: 28
Early Readers: 4
Writing: Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Barry Moser
A simple-enough cautionary tale of a daring mouse who barely escapes with his little mousy life, but lives tothe tell the chilling tale to other daring mice. It's the tongue-twistery rhyming text that made this a favorite for me.
Illustration: Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris
All sorts of dragons, and all sorts of kids to go along with them. While the text makes no mention of different parts of the world, kids and dragons are very clearly from different countries and ethnicities. Bravo. These delicate illustrations swirl and flow, drawing the eye toward rich and exotic details.
Overall: Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby
A very, very small rabbit is annoyed because he's too small to do much of anything. Then he discovers that the answer to his loneliness might be in acquiring a friend just as small as he is. The simple illustrations pair with the straightforward storytelling to create a book without an overabundance of cutesy details. Just right.
Because I Want To Awards
Three-Hanky Alert: The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
On the last day of a cat's life, she moves around her beautiful little world saying goodbye. Probably best used as a read-together, especially when a child is mourning the passing of a pet or grandparent with a long and full life.
For Your Creative Types: Polka Dot Penguin Pottery by Lenore Look, illlustrated by Yumi Heo
The small writer-protagonist of this longer picture book is suffering from writer's block, and when she goes to a pottery painting studio, discovers art-block as well. How can she tap into her creativity again? I read this book and immediately handed it over to a friend who runs an art-and-writing program for early elementary kids.
Hey, Neat!: Dear Primo: a Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh
Two different cousins, one in a US city and one in the Mexican countryside, share their lives with each other via letter. Besides the clear message of similarities even in different surroundings, I really enjoyed the Aztec-influenced art. This one is going on display in my library, where many kids have cousins in other countries.