Piggy Pie Po
by Don & Audrey Wood
Harcourt Children's Books, September
This Fall, from the creators of The Napping House, Piggies, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub, and my personal favorite, Heckedy Peg, comes a silly new story of an adorable pig named Piggy Pie Po. Piggy Pie Po likes many things and he is a very accomplished little pig- the only thing he can't do is tie his shoes. Piggy Pie Po loves to eat. He eats his way through a table-full of food, until he makes a terrible mistake, eating a red-hot chili pepper!
The colorful pictures, are, as always, delightful. Very young children will enjoy the rhyming text and speedy pace of the story. Though Piggy Pie Po will be released in Hardcover in September, it would make a delightful board book. Great for the 2-4 crowd, Piggy Pie Po would also make a wonderful baby shower gift.*
*I know there are a lot of people intent on purchasing only classics for baby showers. But the fact is, many people already have the classics, especially if this isn't a first child. So why not pick a new book by award-winning author/illustrators of classics?
Diary of a Baby Wombat
written by Jackie French
illustrated by Bruce Whatley
It's not often I love books for being cute, but baby wombat, is, well, cute. And who has he discovered to be his new friend? A human baby. Meanwhile, mum wombat is trying to find a bigger hole for her and baby to sleep in, and baby wombat, while trying to be helpful, is only causing trouble as usual. Will mum find them a bigger hole? And will baby wombat help her?
The interactions between the human baby and baby wombat are sweet while the mum and baby wombat interactions are classically fun (especially for parents). Just looking at a sequence of mum and baby sleeping will win you over.
The Boy in the Garden
by Allen Say
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October
Allen Say is an undisputed master of both story and illustration. His books are quiet and strong, using few words to tell deep and complex stories that always leave me feeling a bit melancholic. It is important when approaching The Boy in the Garden, to make sure you read "The Story That Mom Read to Jiro: the Grateful Crane," on the first page for this legend is the basis for the story and not one common in the United States.
Pocket Full of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
illustrated by Salley Mavor
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September
I tend to be ambivalent when it comes to nursery rhymes; there have been so many collections and so many illustrators, and, for me, they were never as good as a story. But Salley Mavor's illustrations are incredible. Using beads, felt, thread, wood, and other natural found objects Mavor has crafted a soft, warm, and infinitely charming world. Every tiny piece of clothing (to give you a sense of scale, acorn tops are hats) is embroidered with textures or patterns. The most difficult part of executing a three-dimensional illustration is the lighting and photography, and the reproductions here are beautiful. The texture is soft and visible, but not overly emphasized or overwhelming. Objects have a soft shadow to give depth, and the colors retain their earth to jewel tones. While I wouldn't ordinarily think of purchasing a book of nursery rhymes for myself, Mavor's illustrations are something I want to revisit often.