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F&G’S! Spring Edition May 17, 2013

Posted by ccbooks in Book Reviews.
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It’s been over two months since I last did a post on F&Gs (bookseller speak for ‘Folds and Gathers,’ the preview copies of picture books), so clearly now is the time to get excited about new picture books coming our way. Here are some of the delicious goodies you can expect to see on library and bookstore shelves in a few months.

Let's Go NutsLet’s Go Nuts: Seeds We Eat by April Pulley Sayre

With bold photographs and an exhaustive list of types, Sayre introduces the reader to many delicious nuts–the seeds we eat. From a photo of coconut that had my mouth watering to close-ups of rice and beans that made me want to stick my hand into the pictures, Sayre draws the reader in with engaging visuals along with short, punchy text. Great for use as an intro to a lesson on seeds or food, with excellent additional information at the back, including on nut allergies.

Planes FlyPlanes Fly! by George Ella Lyon

As any three-year old will tell you, there can never be too many books about planes. George Ella Lyon starts off with an overview of planes and their various parts, going through a list of fun words that little ones will quickly learn to recite along with the reader. From there Ms. Lyon details the different kinds of planes out there and the various jobs they can do. She finishes with a look at the experience of riding in a plane from take-off to landing, making this a good choice for parents who are preparing a child for his or her first flight.

Tree LadyThe Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins

My first thought after finishing this book was that its protagonist would have been good friends with Miss Rumphius. Based on a true story, it chronicles the life of Kate Sessions, who used her scientific skills and love of plants to transform the gardens of dry San Diego in the early part of the 20th century. With a text punctuated by short, affirmative sentences and illustrations by Jill McElmurry that harken back to Barbara Cooney, this is a great addition to the many wonderful picture book biographies out there for young scientists.

Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin

There can never be too many Halloween books. Even before Neil Gaiman started his tradition of All Hallows Read, I was stockpiling a set of scary and not-so-scary books to read to my class each year. I am slightly sad that I will not have a group of eager third graders giggling at this new title, which reunites the beloved characters of the Click Clack Moo farm for a Halloween party. Even Farmer Brown, who hates Halloween, eventually gets in on the fun.

Henri's ScissorsHenri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter

This is a great addition to any artist or art teacher’s library. Winter, who has profiled many other artists in her books, turns to Henri Matisse here, focusing on the end of his life and his beautiful paper cutouts. Smaller paintings that show his earliest artistic efforts evolve into multi-page spreads as Matisse, stuck in bed or a wheelchair finds new ways to satisfy his imagination. A book that is as inspiring as it is beautiful.

Battle BunnyBattle Bunny by Jon Scieszka & Mac Barnett

What started out as a sweet story about a little bunny’s birthday has turned into a tale of Evil Plans, agents and megatron bombs thanks to the doodling of an unnamed reader (I suspect Mr. Barnett, as Mr. Scieszka is old enough to know better. Then again, maybe not.) The many crossed out words, additional sentences and word bubbles make this a bit hard to decipher at times, but I’m sure kids will love it. They may need to explain to their parents however that “Really, the book came like that!”

Can't Scare MeCan’t Scare Me! by Ashley Bryan

Anything by Ashley Bryan is a treat for both eyes and ears. This new story is text-heavy for a picture book, but clever rhymes and otomotopeia keep the reader engaged. Bryan’s usual bright colors and thick brushstrokes give us a mischievous hero whose run-ins with various giants teach him the meaning of fear. Fortunately, there is Grandma to make sure everything turns out ok in the end.

Baby Bear Counts OneBaby Bear counts One by Ashley Wolff

Baby Bear sees Blue was one of the most stunning picture books of 2012, and this is a more than worthy follow-up. As Mama Bear patiently explains each sound and sensation, Baby Bear counts the animals of the forest around him, making this a perfect read-aloud for the classroom as well as for bedtime.

Little SantaLittle Santa by Jon Agee

Did you ever wonder what Santa’s early childhood was like? Turns out the Claus family wasn’t that happy with their life at the North Pole. It makes sense–endless snow, lots of chores, too many children. Doesn’t Florida sounds like a much better place? According to this new book by Jon Agee, yes, except for the youngest child, whose ability to direct reindeer and elves meant that he was willing to stick around.  This is a laugh-out-loud picture book perfect for the holidays or any time of year.

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