So many great picture books this month, and each so different from the other. But they are all about animals, and Spork, who doesn’t fit in until he does.
One day a young boy, who lives in the middle of a great forest beside a pond that would fit a medium-sized whale, went for a hike and came across an alligator trapped in a twisty vine. Afraid, but wanting to help, the boy threw the alligator food, which it ate all up – except the onion, which he spit out. But the alligator was stick stuck. So the boy sang him a lullaby, which helped the creature fall asleep and allowed the boy to get close enough to free him.
The alligator and the boy eventually became friends. But the townspeople have the same fears the boy did until they get to know the soft-hearted creature that loves leftovers. But when the mayor makes a proclamation that says no alligators, the townspeople have to do something to save their friend.
Aaalligator! by Judith Henderson and illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier is from Kids Can Press and retails for $19.99. There was some funny parts in the story with the alligator hiding in various places and positions so he isn’t spotted by the mayor. The illustrations are really different, but I quite liked them. And the end is funny, too.
Little Fox an the Wild Imagination
This book is super fun. When Poppa Fox picks Little Fox up from school he finds his boy in a bad mood. To cheer him up, he encourages him to use his imagination and transform into race cars to see who can get to the bus stop first. The imagination continues, taking the pair to an ice cream shop, which the exhausted father regrets come at dinnertime, bath time and bedtime. Ha.
This book is great. I loved the story and the illustrations. You can relate to every expression on Poppa Fox’s face – and certain relate to his evening.
Little Fox an the Wild Imagination is written by Jorma Taccone with illustrations by San Santat, whose work I like a lot. The book actually reminds me of another illustrated by Santat – Are we There Yet.
When the sun goes down, Little Owl and his family are awake and start to explore their home seeing a fun fellow night creatures along the way. When the night is over, it’s time for Little Owl and her family to say goodnight.
I really love everything about the book. Published by Orca Book Publishers, the Orca’s All Natural series is printed in Germany with 100 per cent recycled paper and eco-friendly inks. Each book in the series features a young creature who is exploring its world. The story is cute. The illustrations are cute. And I love the colours.
Little Owl board book for kids up to two is by Britta Teckentrup and retails for $10.95. It comes out Oct. 6.
Little Wise Wolf
The forest creatures call the wolf who lives far away on the other side of the mountains Little Wise Wolf because he reads big books, discovers new stars and knows every herb. The other creatures in the forest often ask Little Wise Wolf for advice or help, but each time he would say he was too busy and he didn’t have time for questions. One day, Little Wise Wolf receives a message from the king who has fallen ill and needs his help. Little Wise Wolf starts on his long journey, telling his neighbours he didn’t have time for them. But the creatures were worried he would need their help. Little Wise Wolf pedalled and walked and realized he was lost, but at each step of the journey, he wasn’t really alone – his friends were there for him.
What a great book by Gijs van der Hammen and illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma (Kids Can Press, $19.99). The illustrations are dark with just bits of colour for Little Wise Wolf’s red boots or the moon through the trees. I really liked them. The story as great as well. I loved the message and the ending.
Spork is not a fork or a spoon. He is a bit of both and because of that, he doesn’t really fit in. He tries to wear a hat, but the forks say he is too round. He makes a crown, but the spoons says he is too pointy. Until he finds a messy thing, where neither or fork nor a spoon will do. This messy thing needs a spork.
The illustrations in all these books are so different from each other and different from what I usually like, but again, I like them. I also like the message in Spork that regardless of what you look like, you just need to find your people.
This is the Path the Wolf Took
This book by Laura Farina and illustrated by Elina Ellis was unexpected at every page.
A little boy begins to tell his little sister the story about Little Red Riding Hood starting with “This is the path the wolf took through the woods,” and continuing “This is where he met a red-caped girl on her way to her grandma’s house,” but then Sir Gabriel, slayer of dragons, raced out of the forest on his trusty stead and the story changes, flipping back to the little girl who is not enjoying this story, which is different from the one her daddy reads. The little boy flips to a different story about a wolf and some pigs, again adding Sir Gabriel and this time a dragon.
The little girl again complains about the story and runs away, leaving Sir Gabriel to continue his story, which he realizes is “very boring.” Ha! He then creates a new story for his sister.
I love this book a lot. There is a mix of speech bubbles and a new story told in a new way. I love the illustrations in this as well. This would be a fun book to read.
This is the Path the Wolf Took is from Kids Can Press and retails for $19.99.
A copy of these books were provided by Kids Can Press, Orca Books
and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.