Book Bonanza — 5 New Picture Books

Once in a blue moon, I fill in for the children’s librarian and lead family storytime. I love the books, I like the storytelling, and I must admit I have a weakness for Laurie Berkner’s music. Dancing is often a must.

So I try to stay on top of new, interesting, and funny books to use in storytime. I’m just THAT serious about being good at my job, or possibly I just like picture books that much. I scan the library’s books on order for new picture books regularly, and then I put them on my request list, often without really knowing what they’re about. BOOM! SURPRISE! – a few weeks or months later they end up on my desk.

My book bonanza a few nights ago included five really wonderful books.

Nerdy Birdy, Aaron Reynolds, pictures by Matt Davies – Nerdy Birdy is a bundle of awkward and uncool. He tries to hang out with the eagles and cardinals, but they are not impressed and leave him behind. He finds some new friends who say there’s always room for another nerdy birdy. Perfect! At least until a vulture shows up… Goofy illustrations, funny text, hilarious “cool” birds, sweet Nerdy Birdy – great for conversations with kids about friendship.

We Forgot Brock! Carter Goodrich – Phillip and Brock are best friends and spend all their time together, although others seem to think Brock is “imaginary.” What will happen when they go to a carnival and Brock is left behind? So much fun — creatively drawn, true to the emotions of young children, and also a nice story about friendship.

Beyond the Pond, Joseph Kuefler – Ernest D. is an explorer, and today is the day he will finally explore his pond. What will he find? Will it be beautiful? (Yes.) Will it be scary? (Yes.) I was drawn to this book partly because its author-illustrator is from St. Paul – we liowabrary people love Midwesterners – and I have a dear friend named Ernest who lives in St. Paul. It all seemed a little too serendipitous to ignore. The art is wonderful, Ernest D. has adventures. Perfection.

Finding Winnie, Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall – Many years ago, a veterinarian named Harry Colebourn saw a young bear as his troop train carried him off to war. He bought that bear and called her Winnipeg. She became the mascot for the regiment, traveling from Canada to England, and accompanying them to training. It wasn’t safe for her to go with the troops to the battlefield, so Harry left her with the London Zoo, where a boy named Christopher Robin saw her, and she became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. A sweet read with lovely pictures. Too long for storytime, but perfect for bedtime reading.

The White Book, Silvia Borando – A boy. A white wall. Many colors of paint. What will happen? I’m a fan of wordless picture books, so I was thrilled to come across this. It’s joyful and bright and even funny at times.

Looking for something new and fun? Try one!

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