A Ball For Daisy
by Chris Raschka
Schwartz & Wade Books, Random House Kids: May 10, 2011
Chris Raschka is able to express a motion or emotion with just a wiggle of a line. His dynamic characters are capable of holding an entire story- even on a blank page. Raschka's newest book, A Ball for Daisy, does away with words entirely, allowing the pictures to deliver the full story. Daisy the dog loves her red ball, she cuddles up against it on the couch and chases it about. But what will Daisy do when another dog pops her ball? Bright colors, ecstatic lines, and a dynamic framing sequence makes A Ball for Daisy a strong wordless picturebook children will delight in "reading" to themselves.
Edwin Speaks Up
by April Stevens illustrated by Sophie Blackwell
Schwartz & Wade Books, Random House Kids:
I'll admit it, I have to pick up every Sophie Blackwell book I see. Her combination of pencil and watercolor is soft, yet her colors are strong, her quirky and odd with fun details. The candy palette of Edwin Speaks Up is a mix of bright funky colors and softer shades that brings flair to her 50s inspired costumes and cars. The story, written by April Stevens, follows an absent-minded mother and her brood of children as they trek to the supermarket. The children, all but little Edwin, roll and tumble, wrestling about, while the mother forgets one thing after another- and no one listens to little Edwin's babble. But astute young readers will quickly decipher Edwin's messages, bringing laughter with each line.
If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet
by Leslie McGuirk
Tricycle Press, Random House Kids: May 24th, 2011
I'm often surprised at how literal some young children an be. If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet, will challenge these children, asking them to see subjects in seemingly abstract rocks. If the alphabet rocks were spotted on the beach, some might pass them by, but Leslie McGurik places them with text, and their purpose is immediately apparent. Other found rocks, which she uses in the illustrations for each letter, might be overlooked if not for the props and text McGuirk uses to hint at their role. Some children see subjects in rocks, leaves, and clouds already- If a Rock Could Sing will validate their creativity. For less visual children, If Rocks Could Sing will encourage them to really look at the abstract, and challenge their preconceptions.
Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five
by Valorie Fisher
Schwartz & Wade Books, Random House: July 26th, 2011
Brightly colored, quirky illustrations made from small toys fill the pages of Valorie Fisher's Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five. From numbers (six penguins totting purses), to opposites (little cleaning ladies on a big ladybug), to shapes, colors, seasons, and the alphabet, Fisher packs all the board book basics into one eye-catching gem.