You all know by now that we (kids and adults alike) love some picture books around here.
I’ve done a few picture book reviews already, and more book-based activities will be coming on future Wednesdays, but I’ll be including a few picture book reviews here on “review day” (aka Mondays), too! (Maybe this’ll be a once-a-month thing, maybe not. Are you interested? If so, let me know in the comments!)
We’ve had BIG library hauls lately, finding some good books, some okay, books, and some great books.
Today, here are two friendship books and two adventure books for you.
Two Picture Books on Friendship
Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby – A tiny rabbit feels often ignored because of his little size and tiny voice. He tries to go on adventures, but those pass him by. He attempts to make up friends to combat his loneliness, but pretend friends can only play so much. A turn of events leads to a new discovery (and maybe a friend, too). The character illustrations are very simple, but still show ample emotion. The background illustrations are quite interesting utilizing various textures and collage-like techniques. I personally like seeing how some picture books can use simple language without rhyme or rhythm, but still tell an interesting and relatable tale. Adults and children alike can relate to Squish’s story.
Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid – Pearl has a problem. She loves hugs. And her friends usually love being around her. But Pearl’s hugs hurt. Why? Because she’s a porcupine! How can a porcupine give hugs without hurting? Another book with simple illustrations and lots of blank page space, Pearl tries quite a few ideas to give happy hugs instead of hurting ones. Finally, Pearl has an idea that just might work! A sweet story, kids will love following this porcupine’s predicament while learning about perseverance and friendship.
Two Picture Books with Adventure
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano (illustrated by Erin E. Stead) – With sparse text, the author manages to offer quite a lot in this quietly stated book. Simple but beautiful phrases invoke sensory-filled images, particularly with feelings associated with the drab colors before spring and the plentiful colors of growth during spring. A boy and his dog plant seeds and experience the sometimes-languishing waiting period of the new growth of spring. At first, I didn’t take to the illustration style, but the more my kids and I reread the book, the more I like the subtle emotions drawn in. I recommend checking this one out.
Whoa, Baby, Whoa! by Grace Nichols (illustrated by Eleanor Taylor) – I love this book. Told from the perspective of this newly toddling baby, kids see funny activities a baby participates in, and parents receive a renewed perspective on how all that “mess” can signify lots of exploration. The book reads with a soft rhythm and repeated phrase of “whoa, baby, whoa!” Bright, colorful illustrations with soft edges adorn each page spread. By the end of the book, readers are cheering on this growing baby. My son regularly wants to reread this one. A big bonus with this book: my son regularly tries to say, “Whoa, baby, whoa!” at random times. Thanks to Grace Nichols for writing a book that helps invoke new speech sounds in a child with special needs!
Want a little challenge to find some new #kidlit (kid literature) books? Picture book author Adam Lehrhaupt is hosting a “Book Dare” challenge on his blog where he gives a few themes a month, and you can pick any kidlit that fits those themes. Fun!
What picture books on friendship and adventure have you and your family read lately? Want to see a picture book round-up once a month? Let me know your opinion in the comments!
Disclosure: I have no material connection to any of these books. I’ve just reviewed them because we love picture books and like to share thoughts on books.