By the Numbers
Picture Books: 21
Early Readers: 1
Writing: 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
The resourceful heroine of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore is back with several theories to test out, including whether a kid can live on snow and ketchup all winter. (Conclusion: Yes, but she'll wish she hadn't.) The research-note structure ups the hilarity.
Illustration: Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
An illustrated chicken gets into some of the paint that made her and creates a big, big mess. Can she fix it before the whole picture is ruined? Ooo. The spare prose was fun, but I loved the illustrations in this, which expand on the text and make your brain twist ever so slightly.
Overall: The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Oh, dear. Bear is sick, and will not be cheered up even by his stalwart friend Mouse. He is not long for this world, after all! Except that a friend might be the best medicine after all . . . Besides the always-entertaining contrast between dramatic Bear and sensible Mouse, several of the spreads in this book made me cackle and snag co-workers to share the glee. My particular favorite was the one of Bear dragging himself up the staircase, unsure if he's going to live to reach the top. Just right for cold and flu season.
Because I Want To Awards
Another Fine Entry in the Series: Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
Gerald acquires ice cream, and takes so long to decide whether he should share it with Piggie that the inevitable happens. Who can save the day? Piggie, of course. Like you had to ask.