I have read so many wonderful picture books this month, that I have to divide it into two posts. These picture books are wonderful stories that cover a variety of topics.
More than a Princess
More than a Princess by Shaista Pabla ($19.95, Upon A Star Books) is a fabulous book about a young princess who wants to travel and explore the world. Her parents, on the other hand, insist she needs to get married. As she meets each prince, she tells him the places she wants to go and experiences she wants to have – eating chocolate macarons in a cafe in Paris, learning a language in a country she has read about and playing with every colour of the rainbow during the Holi Festival in India. Each time the prince offers her his riches, but says he is not interested in learning to scuba dive with sharks or feel small standing next to the pyramids in Egypt. Will Princess Maya choose a husband or learn she doesn’t need Prince Charming to be happy?
This book is absolutely wonderful, both in story and illustrations. It’s a wonderful book for all little girls and boys.
Writer’s Note: Read my interview with Upon A Star Book’s publisher Jessica Alex here.
Herbert’s First Halloween
Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Ryant ($18.86, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) is another cute book, this time featuring one of my favourite holidays – Halloween. Herbert is unsure about Halloween, but his father loves it, and sets about sewing him a costume: Herbert is going to be a tiger complete with tiger paws, ears and a striped tail and he goes about finding his roar. And his love for Halloween.
This is the second book about Augusta Garrick, a gentle, helpful pirate who has proven her worth among the more traditional pirate pups. This book sees Augusta’s clumsiness destroying a treasure map and injuring Scully, the first mate. Augusta sets alone for Corssbones Island, trying to find the treasure before a band of pirate cats. The illlustrations are beautiful in the book, but I find pirate speak hard to read.
Captain Monty Takes the Plunge
Captain Monty Takes the Plunge by Jennifer Mook-Sang ($16.99, Kids Can Press) follows the story of the brave and bold pirate of the seven seas who can’t swim and refuses to go in the water – even for a bath – but who falls boot over heels for Meg, the mermaid. One day Meg’s life is in danger and Monty is the only one who can save her. Can Monty’s love conquer his fear? My eight year old thought the book was “weird” but I thought it was a cute little story.
Dogosaurus Rex by Anna Staniszewski ($24.99, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt & Co.) is about Ben who can’t wait to adopt the best dog in the world. He goes to the shelter where he sees dogs of all kinds but chooses Sadie, who is really big, says roar instead of woof and doesn’t fit inside the house. Ben knows she is the best, if only she could stop causing so much trouble.
The illustrations in this book are wonderful. Illustrator Kevin Hawkes‘ pictures are realistic, particularly the look of an angry T-Rex chasing you down the street. Perfectly terrifying. The satisfied look on Sadie’s face is also pretty fantastic. I can see why one would choose a dinosaur over a dog.
Flora and the Ostrich
Flora and the Ostrich, An Opposites Book by Molly Idle ($12.97, Raincoast Books , Chronicle Books) is board book that offers cute, detailed illustrations for the parents who have to read these books over and over. It also offers flaps every other page.
Old Hat by Emily Gravett ($22.99, PGC Books, Two Hoots Books) is about Harbet who gets a new hat that is warm and cozy and keeps his ears warm, but, as he finds out, it’s also an “old hat” no longer in fashion. Herbert then buys a new hat only for it to be out of fashion as well. Should he follow the latest fashion or be himself? A great lesson in this book. I like the illustrations. There is lots to look at.
Papa Saurus by Stephan Lomp ($22.99, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) is a super cute book about a Babysaurus who loves playing hide and seek with his papa. But one day, no matter where he looks, he can’t find him so Babysaurus turns to his prehistoric friends for help.
I loved everything about this story. I loved the adorable illustrations and how each of his friends described his own papa in his quest to help Babysaurus find his own dad. I also liked the fact I didn’t have to try to say dinosaur names as the author kindly shorten each name. The stegosaurus, for example, was called Stego, while the anklosaurus was called Anky.
Rapunzel by Bethan Woolvin ($22.99, PCG Books, Two Hoots Books) is a “dark and funny take on the classic tale”. The book is in black and white except for Rapunzel’s hair, which is bright yellow. The illustrations are different as well. While not usually my style, I liked it in this book. I also loved the ending.
Tick Tock Tick Tock
I didn’t really understand the point Tick Tock Tick Tock by Francene Manning ($10.99, Upon a Star Books), although my eight year old tells me it was simply a book about different clocks. He, of course, is right. That is what it was about. The author writes the book is a recreation of the rhyme her daughter shared with her one morning.
The Night Lion
The Night Lion by Sanne Dufft ($17.95, Pajama Press, publishing date Nov. 3) is another beautiful book with wonderful illustrations. It’s about Morgan, who feels big and strong during the day, but at night he gets scared after dreaming about a robber coming and stealing his possessions. Then his Nana gives him a lion, because everyone needs a lion sometime. That night, Morgan rides a life-sized Night Lion into the woods and together they drive the robber away together.
I hope to read this story over and over, and add it to my picture book buying list.
The Tiny Tale of Little Pea
The Tiny Tale of Little Pea by Davide Cali ($17.99, Kids Can Press) is about a teeny-tiny tot who was so small he fit into a Matchbox and drive a wind-up car. It wasn’t until he started school that he realized he didn’t fit in and wondered how he would fit into the world. Another great book with a good lesson about finding your own place in the world and realizing what makes you special. Neat illustrations.
Wet by Carey Sookocheff ($23.99, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company) shows the variety of ways you can get wet from puddles to tears. I like this story, both the story as well as the illustrations.
A copy of these books were provided by Raincoast Books, PGC Books, Upon A Star Books, Kids Can Press and Pajama Press for honest review. The opinions are my own.