Sunday, August 02, 2009

Picture Books Round-Up

From time to time I get sent some lovely picture books from various publishers.

My very first introduction - as an adult - to these was from a friend of mine, Michelle, who now lives in South Africa. She dragged me from shop to shop to find a copy of Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus.

I loved it so much, I recently bought myself a copy. The artwork depicts the slightly unhinged and very amusing Pigeon desperately pleading you to allow him to drive the bus. That's it. But what Mo Williams manages to do is bring such hilarity to this small book that everyone should have a copy of this in their library. It always cheers me up if I feel a bit down. Published by our good friends at Walker Books.

There is only one way to describe this picture book and Mark actually said it wafter he read it: Neil Gaiman is drunk with words and his imagination runs wild in this crazy illustrated book by Dave McKean.

Creatures like gorillas and tigers stalk in Bonnie's father's hair. She meets pirate ships and dancers. Expeditions of hunters and adventurers disappear into his crazy hair to discover what all lives in there.

A little surreal and very clever - for most ages.

It was bedtime in the jungle and on each page we meet another animal, beautifully illustrated, with their young. As the story progresses, not only do we learn what the animal is called, but also what its young is called, and each animal and young is chosen for the number of babies it has.

A clever way to teach little ones about animals and their young and how to count.

I am a big fan of both Charles Vess and Neil Gaiman's work and when I first got this I was completely taken aback by the lovely prayer contained within.

Evocatively illustrated by the incomparable Charles Vess, the prayer is for a friend of Neil Gaiman's, the singer and songwriter, Tori Amos. It was written for Tori's daughter and it is an intensely beautiful and private reading. Highly recommended as a gift to yourself or someone special. Kids would like it, but adults would love it.

Laugh out loud amusing - Hattie the Bad is definitely a big favourite. When Hattie was bad, she was very, very bad and when she was good...she was boring.

I chuckled so much reading this wildly coloured story. Everyone loves a baddie and Hattie's badness is truly giggle-worthy. In fact, I envy her tiny undies ... they have pirate flags on them! She is definitely my kind of girl.

Beautiful. A must have for any collector. And for younger readers who will relish the artwork by Vladyslav Yerko. The story of the Snow Queen is retold by the very talented Nicky Raven, whilst remaining true to Hans Christian Anderson's original it is updated for a new generation. She's ironed out some of the gaps in continuity of the story as it was original published within 16 days of being written, which meant that although it was a brilliant and engaging tale, it had a few problems, something you don't even pick up in this reworked and complete version. The Snow Queen is the niche publishers Templar.

One of my absolute favourites. It is also a very clever little book, richly illustrated with the quirky and brave Emily and her grey rabbit, Stanley, as they try and figure out what EXACTLY it is that Thing is so afraid of.

It is clever because it turns preconceptions upside down: scary things are hardly ever that scary and maybe just act or appear scary! A fun and very amusing read.

A must have for any urban fantasy fan (adult or slightly older child) as it revels in highly original and bizarre mythical creatures - most of which, I can guarantee you have never ever ever actually heard of. These creatures are wonderfully drawn and each creature has a small story to illustrate its peculiar ability or history.

Very clever and can be used as examples to create your own creatures - especially for writing prompts in creative writing class.

Babies Love Books is filled with bright and vibrant illustrations as tiny folk share a range of books in different locations on every page.

And I quote: Never forget once you have met a book “…a book is your own special friend, who will stay with you right to the end.”

Very cute and very accessible.


Stephanie said...

I love the pigeon books by Mo Williams! I've read Pigeon wants a puppy (which is hilarious) and Don't let Pigeon Stay Up Late (or something like that). They are such great books.

Tez Miller said...

That Jungle Bedtime cover is SO FREAKING ADORABLE :-)

P.S. Reckon the book brings up the topic of deadbeat dads? Te animal kingdom is full of them, leaving the parental responsibilities to the mum...