School is back in session, and so I’m back to reading 5 or 6 picture books every week. So, I thought I’d start posting the books I’m reading.
So, here are some of the books I’ve picked out for this week.
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
This is an adaptation of the story of Ganesha writing down the Mahabharata. It’s very much adapted to be accessible to children, but that is, by no means, a criticism. It’s a beautiful book, and I’m honestly sad it didn’t get a Caldecott nod when it came out.
Sanjay is an animator and storyboard artist at Pixar, so it’s not surprise that the illustrations are amazing. I honestly hope I can find some of these as posters or prints.
Little Elliot in the Big City by Mike Curato
This is an adorable book about a tiny elephant who lives in New York. He has various issues because he’s so small. This saddens him until he meets someone even smaller than he is and realizes that together they can accomplish so much more. The art is adorable and the setting is full of vintage cars and backgrounds.
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
What do you do when you are a warrior princess and instead of getting a majestic steed to ride into battle you get a tiny, dumpling-shaped, derpy pony?
You ride it into battle anyway!
To the Sea by Cale Atkinson
Tim is a small boy who no one notices. Sam is a whale who has lost his way. the whole book is in shades of blue and orange, which sounds either garish, or like an Auburn fan’s dream come true. The colors work really, really well, and the overall style is adorable!
The story is about the power of friendship. One of the refrains is “You never let your friend down.”
Just Right for Two by Tracey Corderoy and Rosiland Beardshaw
Dog has a large blue suitcase that is filled with everything he needs. There’s no room in his life for anything else until he meets Mouse one day. Then he realizes that maybe he’s missing something after all. It’s a sweet book. The illustrations don’t blow me away, but they’re still very nice. (I think most things would have trouble following Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth and To the Sea.)
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
This book got a Caldecott Honor medal in 2012. I like it much better than Klassen’s later works (This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back.)
The basic story is about a little girl who finds a box full of colorful yarn. She uses it to brighten up her very monochrome village. A fashionable aristocrat wants the box, and resorts to unscrupulous means when the girl refuses to sell. However, because he’s a cold-hearted snake (to reach back to my musical roots) the box won’t work for him.
The illustrations are subtle and beautiful. And, of course, as a knitter, it appeals to me greatly.
This is a really brief post, but I just started Uprooted by Naoi Novik.
Guys, this book is really, really, really good. I’m only about 100 pages in so far, but I highly recommend it.
Agnieszka is the daughter of the village woodcutter. She has a talent for getting messy, snagging her clothes, spilling things on herself, and snarling her hair. Her best friend is the most beautiful, most talented girl in the district. Which means that when the Dragon, the local magician, chooses his newest servant, he’s sure to pick her.
But instead, he picks Agnieszka. No one, including the Dragon, really seems to understand why it has to be this way.
The Dragon protects the district from the Wood. In return, every 10 years he chooses a girl to come live with him. They change while they’re gone. They’re grand ladies, unable or unwilling to settle back into village life. Sooner or later, they all leave, head to the capitol for richer husbands or more education.
But Agnieszka is not the sort of girl who could ever turn into a grand lady, no matter what the Dragon tries over the next 10 years. But he took her for a reason. Exactly who or what will Agnieszka become during her time with the Dragon?
Obviously, this book has a strong connection to the tradition of the Grimm’s fairy tales, but it is even closer to the wilder tales of Eastern Europe. Baba Yaga, Vasillisa the Brave, the Firebird… they all have something to add to Agnieszka’s story.
It’s beautiful so far. I cannot wait to come back and tell you more about it. Although, I do think we got cheated a little on the cover. I like the US edition, but here is another one that I love even more:
Hello folks. It’s been a bit. I am now teaching in one of the preschool classrooms at CMS while one of the regular teachers is out for a while. It’s three adults vs twenty-nine 3-6 year olds. I have no idea how the regular teachers do it. I’m whipped every night.
So, I haven’t been finishing new books as fast as I’d like, but I did come by an extra copy of Castle Hangnail by the irrepressible Ursula Vernon. So, I thought I’d give it away.
To enter the giveaway just comment down below with what you would do with a real castle of your very own.
I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner on June 30.
My MPS/Tor/Forge sales rep came by this week, so I have a huge pile of new toys!
Dragon Heart by Cecelia Holland
A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe
Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees & Bill Flippin
The Boy Who Knew Everything by Victoria Forester
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStafano
The August 5 by Jenna Helland
The Day the Mustache Took Over by Alan Katz
The Golden Match by E. D. Baker
Calvin by Martine Leavitt