On the blog:
- A review of Kathleen Krull’s Women Who Broke the Rules series for Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
- A Top Ten list of 10 Wishes I’d Ask the Book Genie to Grant Me
Instead of finishing any of the many, many books I’m in the middle of reading right now, I spent my week starting new books. This might be the smallest Monday post I’ve ever written!
There is something incredibly charming about Ed Vere’s Max the Brave. Max himself is an adorable big-eyed kitten who fancies himself full of courage. Cats hunt mice, and so he is determined to find a mouse to hunt. Eventually he gets tricked by the real mouse (in a scene that will no doubt be very amusing to young readers) into hunting a monster. And then Max discovers that some of his bravery was more like bravado. A fairly predictable plot, but the book still feels fresh and original, thanks to Vere’s illustrations and excellent pacing.
Salina Yoon’s Found is a sweet take on the classic story of the lost and found stuffed animal. Bear is worried when he finds a lost stuffed animal in the forest. He searches high and low for its home and rightful owner, but over the course of the search, he becomes quite attached to Bunny. In the end, the rightful owner is found–in more ways than one. A satisfying twist at the end resolves the plot. Yoon’s text is very simple, even spare, but elegantly written, and her illustrations are bright and colorful.
Counting Lions has one of the best covers of the year, and many of Stephen Walton’s illustrations inside the book (because yes, that’s a drawing on the cover) are just as good, if not, perhaps, as arresting. The book is beautifully designed as an object–oversized, printed on thick paper that’s a pleasure to touch. It combines the purely practical (those counting skills) with a strong message of conservation, as all of the animals featured in the book are endangered or vulnerable. There are endnotes that provide more information about each animal’s endangered status. Katie Cotton’s text describing each animal’s particular traits or behaviors is poetic, lush. I’m not entirely sure about the audience for this book, as counting books generally skew quite young, but the sophistication of this book, in both image and text, widens its appeal to much older readers. Really a book for all readers, I think.