I love picture books. My personal favourite as a child was Oh What Busy Day by Gyo Fujikawa. I remember getting it from my local library as often as I could, and my mom reading it, over and over. I am not sure we ever got to the end in one sitting. I suspect probably not as I have read it to countless other children before bed and had to stop half way through. It is a story to help grow your imagination and wish that you, too, could live within its pages.
I have read a number of picture books over the course of this month and you can visit to find more. But as November has just two days left, I thought I would review several titles at the same time.
My seven-year-old son’s favourite in the pile is Good Morning City by Pat Keirnan ($23.99, Farrar Straus Giroux ). The book shows life as a large city wakes up – we see the bakers mixing and kneading dough and the newspaper carrier delivering the news. We watch people jog and a waitress serve up breakfast. As the sun rises, the school bus driver prepares for his day, the construction workers are already at the job site and a family gets ready for their day. It is a pretty neat look at a day in the city.
My son would like Keirnan to write another book called Good Night City.
My favourite in the pile, and one I hope to read again, is The Story Book Night, even dragons love a good story, by Helen and Thomas Docherty ($23.85, Sourcebooks). I have a soft spot for dragons, and reading, so the book is really is a win-win. I love that a number of fantasy creatures made an appearance in the mouse knight’s journey, and our brave night uses reading to conquer griffins, trolls and more.
My son and I didn’t discover Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle until he was too old for the books. Much like the other titles we have read, Little Blue Truck’s Christmas ($15.72, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is adorable with just enough counting and animal sounds to teach the listener, but not annoy the reader. The beautiful flashing lights on the Christmas tree makes the book even more fun to read.
A Harbour Seal in Halifax by Doretta Groenendyk ($22.95, Nimbus Publishing) was a funny story made even better by the fact book is based on a true story, which you get to read at the end. We laughed at the thought of going to your vehicle in the middle of the night to hear hissing sounds and discovering a seal under your car.
Bunny Slopes is by Claudia Rueda ($21.89, Chronicle Kids). Rueda is the illustrator of Deborah Underwood’s Here Comes Cat, a very funny series about a speechless cat who gets into lots of trouble. My son and I took one look at Bunny Slopes and knew it was the same illustrator. Rueda also wrote Bunny Slopes, which has a Press Here feel to it.
The Snow Knows by Jennifer McGrath ($22.95, Nimbus Publishing) is a neat look as to where the creatures go once the snow comes. I liked the end. I wasn’t a fan of the paper craft illustrations.
Jack and Holman Wang do it again, this time bringing to life ETA Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker ($12.41, Cozy Classics). It always amazes me the brothers are able to tell a classic story in 12 words. My son wanted to read it, but agreed it’s truly a baby book – perfect for parents with babies with short attention spans.
Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold ($20.98, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a cute book about Badger, who is waiting impatiently for the snow to fly, Hedgehog who offers some pretty wise advice, and their friends who try to help snow come quicker. Sweet illustrations.
And finally Before Morning by Joyce Sidman ($24.73, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a strange book about snow and enjoying your time with the one you love. The illustrations are weirdly likeable, but the story makes me sad.
Note: Book publishers and distributors send me books, but the opinions are my own.