By the Numbers
Picture Books: 41
Writing: It's a Little Book by Lane Smith
If you remember, the original It's a Book mocked technology and drew fire over its last ba-dum-chssshh line. I didn't have any personal objection to it, but what I loved about It's a Little Book is that it mostly skips the techno-talk and explores all the ways babies really do play with books. Do you chew it? Do you wear it? Do you throw it? Of course, the final page explains, "You read it. It's a book, silly."
Illustration: Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
Ahhh. What a lovely, dreamy, classic piece of Eric Carle art this is. Do I really have to explain the appeal? Dudes, it's Eric Carle.
Overall: Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, illustrated by Holly Meade
Who is it that got an entire ark full of animals to lie down and go to sleep for 40 nights of rain? Well, it sure wasn't Noah. This lyrical story with its lush, glowing illustrations will soothe just about any savage beast you care to name.
Because I Want To Awards
Tailor-Made for Little Fingers: Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Somewhere in the book, it mentions that the art for this book was created in one loooooooong Adobe Photoshop file and then broken into pieces to fit 32 pages. Use your finger to trace the ribbon of shiny road as it wends its way through said 32 pages.
A Truly Familiar Story: Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe, illustrated by Maria Manescillo
A little pirate with oomph to spare battles bedtime every night. One night, she wins, but unfortunately finds that the price is her oomph. How will she ever get it back again? Even if you don't have a peg-leg, you'll be able to predict the end.