The Latest In Progress
Smart, clean design and a text built around unpunctuated phrases allows room to ponder and discuss ideas and images that will hold great appeal to children. Colorful, decorative scenes on predominantly while backgrounds show how to: make a sandwich (with children and pillows), see the wind, make new friends,disappear. Inventive and quietly joyful. Up to Seven. Wendy Lukehart.
Almond's powerful text and McKean's other-wordly caricatures create a magic that is all-absorbing in this original creation myth set "long ago and far away, in a world rather like this one." The gods have grown lazy, yet there "places that are filled with emptiness." When three bored children take matters into their own hands, well, let's just say Pandora could relate. Moved to Ten to Fourteen. Wendy Lukehart.
In this wordless allegory of friendship between and bird and a boy, Staake uses digital renderings of geometric shapes and shades of grey and blue, along with comic-style framing, to portray the urban setting. When a bluebird perks up a boy's miserable day, they frolic together on the street and in the park. A tragic event (that may shock some readers) leads to an inspirational, unforgettable ending. Seven to Ten. Todd Krueger
Travel to “amazing Africa” by listening to this series of stories about Anna Hibiscus, a young girl who lives with her lively extended family including her cousins Double and Trouble. The descriptions of the setting, the characters’ African English accents and Anna’s mundane and extraordinary experiences give the listener a flavor of life in a West African city. Ade-salu’s voice is clear and melodic, switching smoothly between the narration and the accented characters’ voices. She convincingly conveys the emotional ups and downs of a naive school girl becoming more aware of her social context and trying to distinguish herself as an individual. For Up to Seven listeners. Lena Berrios
A counting book, a guessing book, a rhyming book, a bedtime book with lots for adults and children to enjoy. The black pages are sharply contrasted with the colorful double page spreads showing vehicles that all children can identify and enjoy. I appreciate that the child is always in the driver's seat. The comforting conclusion, which includes toy versions of all the vehicles mentioned and the book as well makes for just the right ending. Up to Seven. Edie Ching
Anthony Browne takes the reader through a bevy of primates. A one-time Children’s Laureate of the United Kingdom, he has drawn on his lifelong fascination with gorillas and apes of all sizes. Using his signature strokes and employing the technique of varying dry and wet brushes, each page becomes a lifelike, head-on portrait of the featured creatures. Generous white space keeps the focus on the intense images of monkeys, chimps, and orangutans, among others. Browne reminds us of our own relationship to this group of animals with an arresting self-portrait, followed by a double-paged spread of diverse humans. Up to Seven. -Todd Krueger
Reid offers readers and listeners an open-ended invitation to looking at trees in a different way. This imaginative celebration of all kinds of trees in all kinds of weather is made even more appealing by her unique illustrations, done with plasticine, which include both astonishing detail and fuel for the imagination. Up to Seven. Kathy Isaacs