Monday, March 9

12 Brand-Spankin' New Favorite Picture Books for Winter 2015

It's time for a new batch of picture books! Woo! So, just like I did back in November, I have created a list of my favorite favorite recently-published picture books.

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
Written by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien

ISBN: 978-0763675783
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of publication: February 10, 2015

Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl—he's a master of disguise! He lures in prey with his dastardly tricks. Like, there! A rabbit! Hoot Owl will become...a carrot! But drat, he ran away. He sure is getting hungry. Surely he can fool a meal somehow? And his attempts at such are hilarious. Initially, I was concerned: this owl is really going to prey on this cute bunny! And baby lamb! But don't worry, it has a great ending. And the voice, the character of this owl, with such a dry humor, so tongue-in-cheek—it goes perfectly with the simple, yet amusing, illustrations. I may have a new favorite owl book (and you know how I feel about owls).

Written by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

ISBN: 978-0803740464
Publisher: Dial
Date of publication: January 22, 2015

Snuggleford Cuddlebun is an excellent sleeper. But there's one event that she'll leave her bed for: the Snoozefest! A whole festival to celebrate sleep! I reviewed this previously, which you can find here, but I had to include it here—it's just so darn cuddly! Gah!

Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage

ISBN: 978-1596438217
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Date of publication: January 6, 2015

The firetruck puts out fires! The tow truck saves stranded cars! But the garbage truck? He just gets the trash. But what happens when a powerful blizzard hits the city? Well here comes SUPERTRUCK! This is just a great book all around. Simple text and illustrations, so it reaches the youngest readers, but with enough intrigue to keep older reader's attention. Plus, it's perfect for Summer Reading this year!

Please, Mr. Panda
Written and illustrated by Steve Antony

ISBN: 978-0545788922
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of publication: December 30, 2014

Mr. Panda has a full box of delicious donuts. Does anyone want one? "I want that one!" Well too bad. There's only one way to get Panda's delicious donuts. This is just my style of book: it's hilarious, snarky, but still has a lesson. See my full review here.

Wolfie the Bunny
Written by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

ISBN: 978-0316226141
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Date of publication: February 17, 2015

When the Bunny family adopts an adorable little wolf, it seems as though the sister, Dot, is the only one who realizes that—well, that he could EAT them! She tries to warn them, but to no avail. But what will happen when it's her little wolf brother that gets threatened? You should read it and find out. It's a great book for kids with a new little sibling, and has just the right amount of humor. And OHora's illustrations are pretty fantastic, he's a favorite of mine.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Written by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss

ISBN: 978-0805097153
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Date of publication: January 20, 2014

When leaving for boot camp, Henry Colebourn saw the baby bear at the train station for sale, and knew he could take care of her. He named her Winnie, and she quickly became the beloved mascot of the regiment. But what should he do when he's sent off to war? The story behind the read Winnie-the-Pooh is simply heartwarming. See my full review here.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach

ISBN: 978-0375858604
Publisher: Knopf
Date of publication: January 6, 2015

It really is quite the tale. See, a bear fell asleep in a truck that made it all the way to this new forest (city) where he followed his nose to the happiest of places (the park) and he happened to see it sitting there. He couldn't help himself; he ate your sandwich! And who might this mysterious narrator be? With the story of the bear being cute enough, it's really the ending and the reveal of the narrator of such a tall tale that makes this book a favorite. The illustrations are vivid and engaging as well. Young and old alike will enjoy this one.

The Baby Swap
Written by Jan Ormerod, illustrated by Andrew Joyner

ISBN: 978-1481419147
Publisher: Little Simon
Date of publication: February 17, 2015

Caroline Crocodile does NOT understand what her mother sees in this new baby brother—he drools! And yet, Mama thinks he's gorgeous. Caroline has to do something! So she takes her brother to the baby store to switch for a new one. Perhaps something else will be better? Yes, another good book for the new siblings. This one is pretty dang cute with all the baby animals. And Caroline does learn her lesson in the end! The illustrations contribute further to the cuteness, of course. Try it for yourself.

Who Wants a Hug?
Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack

ISBN: 978-0062220264
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date of publication: January 6, 2015

Everyone LOVES bear, especially his big bear hugs! Except for skunk. He's out to make bear as stinky and unlovable as he, himself, is! But bear will not be deterred. Skunk will get a hug, too. In a classic, Wile-E-Coyote-and-Road-Runner sort of tale, the skunk tries to get bear, but fails miserably in some pretty comical ways. And then the bear is just so darn lovable! Sure, the tale is pretty silly and cartoon-ish, but it's a good one.

No, Silly!
Written and illustrated by Ken Krug

ISBN: 978-1481400664
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Date of publication: February 3, 2015

You ride a bike, and on your dad, and on an airplane. But do you ride your bed? No, silly! It's a perfect book for that intrepid toddler who just loves to assert what is right and wrong, and recognizes when someone is being silly. It has several examples in the books, but is perfect for talking about other silly ideas! Maybe preschoolers can illustrate their own examples. It's a fun book that really lends itself to further activities.

I Don't Want to Be a Frog
Written by Dev Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt

ISBN: 978-0385378666
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Date of publication: February 10, 2015

Being a frog is too wet. Being a cat would be much more fun! Or a rabbit. Or an owl. "No," says the older frog. But the little frog is not convinced. It takes a much scarier passerby to show the frog why being what he is has its perks! I enjoyed the dialogue between these two frogs and thought it was pretty cute. I wish the little frog had a better reason to enjoy being himself than what the ending provides, but I still think it's a good message for appreciating yourself.

Sick Simon
Written and illustrated by Dan Krall

ISBN: 978-1442490970
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of publication: January 13, 2015

Sick Simon is the champion of germs everywhere! He sneezes everywhere and coughs on everyone and touches everything! Germs love him! But everyone else is getting sick. When will it end? So, in all honesty, this book is GROSS. But! It also teaches a really valuable lesson on hygiene. In a pretty hilarious way. I think it will really help kids understand why good hygiene is important.

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