Thursday, July 10, 2014

New(ish) Picture Books of Note

One of my favorite parts of my job as a children's librarian is being able to see all the new children's picture books that have been ordered as they come in.  Here are some of my recent favorites:

A Lion in Paris, by Beatrice Alemagna (Tate, 2014).  

In this enormous picture book, a young, curious, and bored lion wanders far from his savannah home to find a "job, love, and a future." Where else to go for these but Paris, where he is initially scared by the big city, but soon is enjoying a coffee at a famous Parisian cafe, riding the Metro, and visiting Parisian landmarks like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Older children and adults are likely to appreciate the unusual and sophisticated artistic style of drawing mixed with collage but even young children can appreciate the "fish out of water" theme that recalls classic stories such as Babar and Curious George.  Those who have visited Paris or dream of visiting Paris will particularly enjoy the artist's renditions of well-known Parisian sights.

Boa's Bad Birthday, by Jeanne Willis (Andersen Press Picture Books, 2014).

Every kid has experienced getting a present he can't stand and having to pretend that he likes it. Find out what happens when all of Boa's jungle friends bring him the worst presents ever in this hilarious new picture book. Whimsically illustrated by Tony Ross, this book offers perhaps the only boa constrictor you'll see in a birthday hat.  This is a great storytime book for preschoolers and early elementary school students.  The kids had a great time trying to figure out why each present that Boa gets was ridiculous for him! (i.e. mittens--no good because he has no hands...)  Whimsical illustrations by Tony Ross add to the fun.

I am Cat, by Jackie Morris (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2013).

Cat lovers of all ages will delight in this magnificently illustrated ode to cats of all types. Through lyrical but brief text, a house cat dreams of her wild sisters, imagining herself a tiger, lion, cheetah, cougar, and other cats both rare and familiar. The book features gorgeous full-color two-page spreads. Back matter offers small illustrations and brief factual descriptions of the wild cats seen in the book for those who would like further information on these animals, most of which are endangered in the wild.

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