Because of It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? posts, I find myself often with huge piles of picture books from the library that were highly recommended by fellow bloggers. I celebrate many of the nonfiction pictures books on Wednesdays, but I want to share some of the fiction picture books I have enjoyed. So, I decided to start series here on UR where I can pass on the love for these books sporadically as I read them. Here is a list of some great pictures books that I’ve read recently from my huge library pile (part 7!).
Breaking News: Bear Alert
Author and Illustrator: David Bierdrycki
Published September 9th, 2014 by Charlesbridge
I am so glad that I read this book! The story is simple enough: Two bears escape into the city and cause a panic; however, there is more going on than anyone realizes. This book tells its story through “Breaking News” segments that show all the different situations the bears are getting into. In each spread, the text says one thing, but the illustrations show another. There are also lots of other things going on in the illustrations including a whole different side story and many, many things that could be discussed. It is almost like Where’s Waldo? but without being told what to look for. There are some really great allusions and humor within this book as well.
Author: Philip C. Stead
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Published March 3rd, 2015 by Roaring Books Press
This is a book that is getting a lot of love recently, and I now know why. Special Delivery takes Stead’s silly adventure story and puts Cordell’s colorful and quirky illustrations with it to make one grand adventure. Although the story was a bit over the top, it all added up to a fun, crazy story about a young girl that had to get an elephant to her Great Aunt Josephine and the cast of “characters” (alligator, a train, bandits, ice cream truck, air plane, etc.) who help her get him there. I found Stead’s humor to be laugh-out-loud funny and Cordell’s illustrations to be a perfect companion (did they remind anyone else of Quentin Blake, one of my favorite illustrators ever?!).
Orangutanka: A Story in Poems
Author: Margarita Engle
Illustrator: Renee Kurilla
Published March 24th, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
This book is right up my alley! As you all know, I love apes and orangutans might just be my favorite; however, they very rarely show up in text, so I was so happy to learn about this one. (Whoever told me to read this text, you definitely know me!) Additionally, I just love Engle’s work. I haven’t read anything by her that I haven’t enjoyed, and Orangutanka is definitely no exception. This text tells us a story of an orangutan family in tankas, a style of modern Japanese poetry. Tankas are more fun than haikus and allow for more freedom which makes for a playful book about our orangutan family. The colorful and page-encompassing illustrations add to the overall fun feel of the book. I also really like that at the end of the book, Engle included information about orangutans, their endangered habitat, and the dangers of palm oil and didn’t ignore the seriousness of the orangutan’s situation.
Author: JonArno Lawson
Illustrator: Sydney Smith
Published March 17th, 2015 by Groundwood Books
This wordless picture book beautifully illustrates how kindness spreads. When the book opens, only the little girl who is collecting flowers is in color. As she walks home with her distracted father, the little girl stops and finds flowers within the city in the most unlikely places. She sees beauty where others do not. She then spreads her love and happiness by giving away the flowers she has collected. As she gives away her flowers, more color is added to the illustrations to show how a kind gesture can light up anyone’s day. Beautiful. (Reminds me of The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson.)
What picture books should I add to my pile next?
Want to see Part One? You can view it HERE.
Want to see Part Two? You can view it HERE.
Want to see Part Three? You can view it HERE.
Want to see Part Four? You can view it HERE.
Want to see Part Five: We Need Diverse Books (NF)? You can view it HERE.
Want to see Part Six: We Need Diverse Books (F)? You can view it HERE.