Did you know November is Picture Book Month?
Personally, I feel every month could be Picture Book Month as I am always receiving some truly beautiful, always unique titles.
And this list is no exception.
What an amazing book. I confess when I saw the cover of Feather by Remi Courgeon ($25.95, PGC Books, Enchanted Lion Books), I didn’t want to read it. I am glad I looked beyond the illustrations, which are not my style, because the story inside is wonderful and should be read to every little girl and boy. Feather is a little girl who loves the piano, but lives in a home filled with three older, bigger brothers, and her father. The siblings fight to see who will do the chores and as she is the smallest, she always loses and therefore spends here time doing laundry. One day, after coming home with a black eye, she decides to pick up boxing and her life changes. “This is a great book about being a girl, taking charge and realizing your dreams” said the press release. I agree.
Hugo Makes A Change
What a fun story by Scott Emmons (Hugo Makes A Change, $20.50, PGC Books, Nobrow Press). Hugo is a vampire who gets up every night and eats all the meat he can find, washing it down with a bucket of buffalo wings. But the meat makes him sluggish and feel bloated so one night he turns into a bat and goes out in search of new tastes. He turns down the vegetables in the garden because they look lumpy and gross but comes across what we realize is an apple and takes a bite. Life changes for this vampire once he adds fruits and vegetables to his meat diet. What a unique way of telling kids about the importance of healthy eating. Cute illustrations, too.
I Am Bat
I Am Bat by Morag Hood ($21.99, PGC Books, Two Hoots Books) is a cute story about a bat who loves cherries because they are juicy, red and delicious. Bat will whatever it takes to protect them so don’t eat them. But wait, who eats Bat’s cherries? Was it you? Will Bat ever be happy again?
What an adorable book, with cute illustrations and so fun to read. I particularly like Bat’s face when it accuses the reader of stealing the cherries.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman ($20.50, PGC Books) offers a brief overview of our solar system providing this space lover with information I didn’t know including that scientists think there are millions of diamonds floating at Uranus’ centre, but you have to get through a boiling hot ocean first. The illustrations are cute and the information is presented in a way that is interesting, without being too much.
Singing in the Rain
Singing in the Rain ($24.99, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company) is based on the song by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herbe Brown and is illustrated by Tim Hopgood, who dedicates the picture book to “everyone who smiles in the rain!”
I couldn’t help but sing (those who have heard me sing will deny that is the sound I make, but I digress), while reading this book. I love the illustrations and the fact there is so much going on in each page. I particularly liked all the pictures of the kids being lifted by their umbrellas and soaring through the dark, rain-filled skies. The children in their bright raincoats are sometimes the only colour on the page, which makes them pop. This picture book makes me want to go and play in the rain.
The Great Puppy Invasion
The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim ($23.99, Raincoast Books, Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a town called Strictiville, which bans fun, playing and particularly cuteness. And then something awful happens – the town is invaded by cute puppies who want to play, fetch sticks and try to corrupt the townspeople with their cuteness. What should people do?
The picture book was quite funny, particularly Teddy’s mother who keeps telling her son to close his ears and shut his eyes and to run away from those puppies with big eyes. Cute illustrations by Kim Smith, particularly the puppies.
The Only Lonely Panda
The Only Lonely Panda by Jonny Lambert ($23.95, PGC Books, Tiger Tales) is story of panda who wants to be friends with panda, but comes to the realization he doesn’t know how to do it. So he watches the other animals and copies what they do, hoping to win panda over. The story is cute as are the illustrations, which seem to pop out of the page because of the sliver background.
What is Hip-Hop?
What is Hip-Hop? by Eric Morse with art by Anny Yi ($22.95, PGC Books, Black Sheep/Akashic, offers a look at the start and the global continuation of this “unique expression, an urban form of art.” The book begins with how how hip-hop was created – by Djs spinning and a crowd that started dancing – and profiles some of the people who are still making this art form popular. While I confess I am not a hip-hop fan, I found the book, written in rhyme, extremely interesting and, surprisingly, I knew many of the artists/groups mentioned in the book including Public Enemy, whose goal was to shine a light on racism; Queen Latifah, who I knew as an actress before being a singer; and Salt-N-Pepa, whose “success was proof girls can do what boys can.”
The book is illustrated in clay and Yi did a fantastic job of creating the musicians’ likeness, particularly Snoop Dog.
A copy of these books were provided by PGC Books and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.