Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Picture Books

The new fall crop of picture books are coming in and I can't even keep up with them all! I must say there are some spectacular new books from great writing to beautiful art.

First I want to mention two new books from a favorite author and a beloved character: Ian Falconer's Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, and a new book from Mo Willems (always a delight) - Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Olivia brings on the PINK! She is not one to wear pink, or even like it. How will she handle that? And Mo Willems turns the story of the three bears on it's ear with the substitution of dinosaurs. Be prepared to look at every detail on every page. (Don't forget to look for pigeon, either!)

I've got some other great finds on the new cart with Bea at the Ballet by Rachel Isadora. This is perfect for the youngest dancers to learn the vocabulary of dancing and to see themselves in a class. It is perfect for little children, both boys and girls. Candice Fleming and Eric Rohman have pooled their talents on Oh, No! It is set in the jungle. As little animals fall into a deep hole, they are all aware that they will be eaten by a great big tiger. However, a giant elephant is there to rescue them all. This is a perfect book for early literacy skills. A child will enjoy the phonological sounds of the animals, and will also want to retell the story because the narrative structure is easy to follow. Looking at the animals and their dilemma is such fun with wonderful illustrations.

The last book I want to mention is one that I'm afraid most people won't take out. Please give it a second look. It is Jimmy the Greatest! by an author and illustrator from Colombia, South America. The book has been translated. It is about a young man who wants to box. He doesn't know much about it, but his little town has a little gym, with a punching bag and a ring. Jimmy starts training and loves it. Then he is given a box with clippings and books about Muhammad Ali. Now Jimmy wants to read and even wear the glasses he never wore before. His reading gets better, as does his boxing. Pretty soon he is making improvements in his little town and happy to be where he is. This book is not filled with a lot of text. It is just right. The pictures mostly tell the story of Jimmy's confidence growing and his community understanding what Jimmy brings to them all.

Picture books are a time for parents to sit with their children, even through all of elementary school. Kids are never too old to be read to, especially if you phrase it as "Oh, I just saw this book at the library and I couldn't resist bringing it home to read with you." Your kids will secretly thank you for it!