Saturday, March 5, 2011

Four Fun Picturebooks

Animals Home Alone
by Loes Riphagen
Seven Footer Kids, Publisher Group West
One day, a little girl and her father go out, leaving fifteen animals alone in the house. In the wordless story that follows, the animals get up to all sorts of things. The book opens with images of all the animals and closes with the results of the animals' actions. These final images are paired with questions asking readers what happened to the animals over the course of the story. These questions are a good place to start, but careful readers will pick up many more adventures than the questions reveal.

by Tom Lichtenheld
Henry Holt
Cloudette is only a little cloud, which can be fun when it comes to hide-and-go-seek or watching fireworks, but when the big clouds make storms, Cloudette feels left out. After one particvularly big storm Cloudette finds herself in a new place, a place that once had a pond. And it is here that Cloudette learns how to make a storm. A story about finding one's place and learning new things, Cloudette is also great for tired parents. Side notes and comments hidden in the illustrations will hold the attention of both parents and children.

Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior
by Leuyen Pham, Lynn Munsinger, Joe Berger, Judy Schachner, Adam Rex, Peter H. Reynolds, Tao Nyeu, Bob Shea, Kevin Sherry, Henry Cole, Sophie Backall, Dan Santat, Frank Morrison, Tedd Arnold
Reading through the long list of author/illustrator contributors, I'm sure you've gotten an idea of the sorts of fun that await you inside. Yes, I just said fun in regards to a book about manners; this is no ordinary guide to etiquette. Each spread is illustrated by a different contributor and takes on manners for different occasions, including party manners, doctor's office manners, supermarket non-no's, etc. Children will laugh uproariously at the horrid behavior of the characters. Some of my favorite pages include Tao Nyeu's "Please don't pick in public" and Judy Schachner's "Party manners". Great fun for the all ages, from the rudest person you ever did see to the absolute angel.

On the Road & Busy Boats
by Susan Steggall
Frances Lincoln
These two books are perfect for the car, truck, or boat enthusiast in your life. Sparse text illustrated by intricate cut and ripped paper collage allows children to find larger stories in the illustrations. They'll love pointing out details in the background or identifying the names of the many vehicles whose names they know. On the Road is a light paperback, easy to tuck into a backpack for a car journey, while Busy Boats would be a wonderful gift for children headed to the shore.

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