A Fresh Crop of Juicy Picture Books
Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly written by Carolyn Parkhurst and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Five-year-old Henry is trying to put on a TV cooking show with his two-year-old sister Elliebelly. They're making raspberry-marshmallow-peanut butter waffles with barbecued banana bacon. Of course, things don't go smoothly when a two-year-old is "helping." Full of funny cooking and TV jokes, this one will be fun for both parents and kids.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Amos McGee has a routine. Every morning he gets up, puts on his uniform, eats his oatmeal, and catches the bus to the zoo. Amos has many animal friends at the zoo and plays a special game with each one. One morning, Amos is sick and can't go to the zoo. The animals miss Amos and decide to visit him to help him feel better. Each animal plays a special game with Amos and they all cheer him up. This book features familiar zoo animals and the comfort of routine to delight very young readers.
The Cow Loves Cookies written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Marcellus Hall. All of the animals on the farm have a special kind of food - hay for horses, cracked corn for geese, etc. But will the cow eat grass or hay? No, the cow loves cookies! And why not? Cookies go great with milk! This toddler story has fun rhymes and bright, silly illustrations.
Miss Lina's Ballerinas written by Grace MacCarone and illustrated by Christine Davenier. This rhyming book is reminiscent of the classic Madeline, with its school of girls in rows and excellent rhymes. Eight little ballerinas dance in perfect lines of four; plie, jete, and fourth position. When a ninth student joins the class, the girls must figure out how they can dance in even rows once again. This story is very fun to read aloud, with good cadence and rhythm.
Let's Count Goats! written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jan Thomas. Looking for sheer silliness? You know you've always got it with Jan Thomas, who has paired here with Mem Fox for the silliest book of the year. Fun rhymes, counting, and those wacky and very goat-like illustrations make a perfect read for little ones.
Bedtime for Mommy written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. This role-reversal bedtime book had me laughing out loud. A little girl bosses her mommy all the way to bed - have you brushed your teeth? Only one book tonight! The illustrations are lots of fun and the story might inspire similar bedtime antics at your own home.
The Green Line written by Polly Farquharson. Start at the beginning of this walk to the park by putting your finger on the line. You can trace the line all the way through the book as it goes across the street, down hills and follows a ladybug, all the way back home. After you have fun reading this book, you could probably make one of your own, telling about your own day.
Bag in the Wind written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Barry Root. If you're looking for a book with a social conscience, this story by former Poet Laureate Kooser might be just the ticket. The story follows a plastic bag as it blows in the wind, finding people who can use it for all different purposes. While making a case for recycling, the story also has messages about helping others and cleaning up our world. Barry Root's illustrations are beautiful and set a wintry context for the story. This may sound like a too-sweet story, but it strikes just the right note.