Picture Books By Kevin Sherry

When I started working for Chesapeake Public Libraries, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean was one of best picture books introduced to me. Reading a bunch of Sherry’s other books was a no-brainer.

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
This tale includes the bragging of a squid who thinks he is the biggest creature in the ocean. He swims around the ocean, looking at the various creatures that cannot compare to his size. Each creature is cute in its own way, but even more interesting in that is that all these cute, animated characters also have a bit of realism to them. The book makes good use of fold out pages and spacing. It is the main character/squid, however, that brings readers in. If you know anything about the ocean, you know that squids are not the biggest creatures that live in it. Even so, that is not enough to damper the squid’s spirit… Continue reading “Picture Books By Kevin Sherry”

Educational Picture Books

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
This book intends to make more children interested in science. It focuses on Ada, a curious but silent child. Upon her third birthday, after not speaking one word ever in her life, Ada suddenly begins asking many advanced, science-focused questions. Her silence these past three years was simply the mark of a curious child soaking in her surroundings. The rest of the story, which includes a lot of rhyming, talks about her first big experiment. She notices a horrible smell that inspires a scientific search for the source. (I had a solid guess about the smell’s source, but it was sadly never confirmed.) What ensues is a crazy search, but it definitely serves a purpose. After reading Ada Twist, Scientist any child will have a new or renewed interest in the scientific process. Continue reading “Educational Picture Books”

Picture Books with Bears

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
In this story, an unknown narrator talks about the thievery of someone’s sandwich. A bear, after eating many basketfuls of berries, foolishly falls asleep in a truck. As a result, he is whisked away from the buzzing forest to a rumbling city. The bear’s new location is unfamiliar, but he repurposes it for temporary forest needs, that is, until the most delicious sandwich in the world catches his eye. The technique behind the art in this story is amazing…colorful, light, almost like watercolors, but not quite. From beginning to end this book was a joy to read…especially for that surprise ending. Continue reading “Picture Books with Bears”

Picture Books Focused on Food

Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
I fell in love with this book the moment I saw the cover. Picture books with tiny characters on page corners that make snarky, funny comments are my favorite. This story began by including that concept on its cover. The only downside is that the side characters can distract from the plot; I recommend reading the story first and the side comments later. The story builds on a hilarious and absurb premise: doughnuts are sentient beings who want to be chosen by humans that will eventually eat them. Arnie, although as alive as the other doughnuts, rebels from this true purpose. The journey of a doughnut from creation to a human’s mouth is descriptive, and the relationship between Arnie and his eventual human owner is heartfelt. The solution to the central conflict is funny and unexpected. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end, and hope that you will too. (Side Note: Arnie the Doughnut is also the central character of a popular juvenile fiction series.)
Continue reading “Picture Books Focused on Food”

Picture Books…with a Twist

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

This recommendation came from one of my coworkers, who passed the book around to everyone working in the Central Youth and Family Services office. It does not have the type of art that usually draws me in, but it had a story that did. The plot is exactly what the title suggests. In a room with a hungry lion, many animals begin to disappear. The suspense builds to a sinister moment…and then something unexpected happens. The story is goofy, it uses suspense in surprising ways, and it makes good use of alliteration, repetition and black/blank pages. Before I read this book, my coworker gave me reading advice for this story that I thought was a spoiler. Since it ended up not being a spoiler, and instead just a keen observation, I am going to give the same advice to you: watch the turtle.

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

Creepy Carrots knows how to set a mood. With black and white art, it is easy to tell this book wants to set a creepy, eerie tone. One of my coworkers recommended Creepy Carrots, and I definitely appreciate the suggestion because this book shows that young children’s literature and horror is a possible combination. Jasper Rabbit greedily eats masses of carrots from Crackenhopper Field. That changes when Jasper notices some of the carrots might be following him… What happens as Jasper reacts to the creepy carrots is shocking, and makes every moment of this book worth reading.

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood

Interstellar Cinderella rhymes. Aside from the vocabulary, rhyming is the most notable feature of the book. Creative vocabulary choices include newly invented tools: cosmicalipers, ion tethers, googol gauges, Herschel converters, flux compressors and many more examples, found inside the story and on the inside cover pages. While it is obviously a Cinderella adaptation, the repurposing of the plot points are so clever that the inclusion of the Cinderella name is almost unnecessary. This Cinderella story is in outer space. Cinderella herself is a talented engineer who fixes spaceships. The art is fantastic and suitable for the science fiction environment. If you enjoy reading fairy tale adaptations, this story is weird in many places, but ultimately worth your time.