Niko Draws a Feeling
Written by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin
This story is an example of how amazingly different some people feel, and see, and hear, our world. Some are even lucky enough to be able to express these experiences visually. Niko is one. I relate to Niko SO much. My experiences are very abstract, but SO strong. The pieces Niko makes are true to him. Immovable. The hard work of a robin’s nest, a ring-a-ling of an ice cream truck. They are what they are and he shares that. Not many others understand, but finally Niko finds someone who does. And that is magical:)
Lubna and Pebble
Written by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
I say it a lot, but this is a BEAUTIFUL book. Beautiful illustrations, beautiful colors, beautiful in story, beautiful in heart. I feel the worry and the love from Lubna. When Lubna finds a shiny pebble, she loves it immediately and draws a smile on it. I feel the reassurance and support from her father. When she worries about her pebble, her father gives her a box for it. Lubna loves it, and tells it stories, and holds it. When Lubna sees a littler someone who is also worried, she gives the pebble. She loves and supports too. It's such a moving narration of love and color. So perfect.
Pig and Small by Alex Latimer
This story is SO cute, SO awesome, and SO perfect! Pig and Small want to be friends. So they hang out, and do stuff. But neither of them likes to do the other one's thing. Playing is difficult because Pig is so big and Small is so tiny. Playing catch doesn't work out. Neither did hide and seek. Sadly, they decided to part ways. Thank goodness a newspaper flew into Pig's face with the movie showtimes on it! Pig knew right away Small would love to watch a movie with Pig! Hey! They enjoy doing stuff! They enjoy relaxing at the beach, and going to the zoo, or the art museum. They DO enjoy hanging out and doing stuff!
Sweety by Andrea Zuill
There couldn't be a more unique, energetic, optimistic, and creative character as Sweety is. She knows she doesn't quiet fit in, but she still tries to. She'll try and do things other girls do, like have fancy hair, but it doesn't work out. She tries playing dolls, but her doll's personality is a tad extreme for the others. She wonders if there are other kids like her. Other kids that like mushrooms and alternative dance. I love this kid so much. Such imagination and wittiness. Her Aunt Ruth is a kindred spirit, and helps Sweety see that embracing her awesomeness is the best way to go, to not change herself just to fit in. Sweety could could try a new hobby or two if she was interested though. It turns out, Sweety is pretty good at stuff:)
The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli
I am totally a book hog. Just like Book Hog, I had a big secret too. I had a very hard time reading books with no pictures and small type. I would "read" the books through the pictures. Book Hog collects ALL the books he can. Pours over them over and over. While collecting books, he notices there is a someone who reads books aloud to others! This is amazing! She is Miss Olive, and she says she will read with Book Hog! As many as he's like! It's a dream come true. Now Book Hog can hog even more books. Hahaha.
Sloth at the Zoom
Written by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Orbie
Who knew there was more than one kind of zoo? There is the zzzzzoo, where you chill out and take your time, and there is the zoom, where you are always in a hurry with no time to spare. A mistake was made, and Sloth ended up at the zoom. Dun dun dun. Everybody is so fast! Zebras, monkeys, parrots, they all zooom by. There is this one dude who is "chill" though. Snail. Sloth and Snail chat at the same speed, they totally jive. They even have a laid back snack with a pretty sunset all to themselves. But wait, are the speedy animals interested in slowing down and having a snack too? From a mistake, they end up with something great. I love the adorably playful illustrations too.
Dragons Father and Son
Written by Alexandre Lacroix, illustrated by Ronan Badel
Drake is told her must burn down a house to become a dragon. Drake toils with this, and even attempts to burn things down, but finds humans are pretty nice. Humans even think dragons are pretty cool! They draw pictures of them and tell stories about them. After finding all this out, and not managing to burn anything down, Drake has to finally go home and tell his father he didn't burn down a house. He dreads it, but goes in prepared to defend his point, that humans are pretty cool. The illustrations are wonderful. I love the textures of the line art. The expressions on the dragons and the townsfolk are just precious. It's colorful and bright and silly.
Bilingual Tale of the Legendary Creature Known as... El Chupacabras
Written by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Crash McCreery
This is HILARIOUS! Watch out! El Chupacabra could be around any corner. Stay alert goats! Just look at their eyes! They are totally freaking out around every shadowy spot they see! Then... comes the night! El Chupacabra claims its first victim. The next morning all the goats are up in the trees. All except one. One was found sucked empty like a pancake by... El Chupacabra!
The text is written bilingual. It breaks sentences in half or mirrors them identically. Very easy to understand and even learn from. It is a super fun read and the illustrations are amazing.
Llama Destroys the World
Written by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Heather Fox
Llama is Llama, and it is Monday. Mondays are for cake, but by Friday, Llama will destroy the world! Llama manages to eat waaaaay too much cake on Monday. Then of course Llama can't fit into dancing pants on Tuesday. These events can totally lead to the world being destroyed as we know it. A catastrophe of universal proportions is unfolding before your eyes, as Llama is Llama and says "Dat!" a lot, and remains ambivalent about the circumstances as long as eating lunch is still doable. We can't forget about painting a masterpiece day, no can we? There seems to be a lot going on around Llama, that Llama's not too worried about, and then, it goes black!
Bear Came Along
Written by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Saving the best for last today. Best books I've seen for a while. Gorgeous illustrations perfectly compliment the narrative with a stunningly blue running river, and an inquisitive group of colorful forest folk. The adventure begins slowly, adding a character at a time to a log floating on the unavoidable force that it the river. Steadily it gets more splishy and splashy, as the log gets super crowded, and then, it explodes in a frothy waterfall! It is right then, that all these animals realize, they were in it all together. Not a single one of them was alone, and it was great. Now they get to enjoy each other, as the goof off and play at the bottom of the falls. There are lovely author and illustrator notes at the end as well, about finding togetherness in this little world of ours.