Read Aloud Thursday–2011 picture books

 It’s not often that I get to read new picture books to my girls, but we have begun frequenting a library that obviously spends money on its children’s collection and puts all the new picture books in one place, so I’ve been picking up new titles every few weeks.  Today’s lot is a mixture of simple stories that will appeal to preschoolers and early elementary aged kids.

I picked up I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs because I had read Carrie’s glowing recommendation of it and because we were about to study eyes and vision, and I thought it would make a fun “go-along” for our studies.  Of course, this story has nothing at all to do with how eyes work and there are no human eyes at all in this book, but it is very engaging and fun. Every other page in this book has a die-cut hole through which the reader looks to see the next animal in the game of “I spy.”  Along with the die-cut hole is a clue–for example, the clue for fox is “I have a bushy tail.”  I think the best part of the book is that there is a die-cut hole  in the front cover and the back cover.  Of the two girls, Louise (age 5) enjoyed it the most, and I think this would really be a hit for children younger.  Beware, though, of the holes–I always think these are risky sorts of books for libraries to purchase (their shelf-life is usually pretty short because they get torn).  It’s fun, though.  (Candlewick Press,  2011)

Follow Me by Tricia Tusa might just be one of the prettiest books I’ve seen in a while.  It’s the very simple story of a little girl and all of the imaginative fun she has swinging.  That’s it.  The little girl flies and floats through the air, and her experience is described in terms of colors:  the blue sky, the pink sky (gorgeous! ), the browns of the woods, the colors “all tumbled together.”  This sounds a little out there, maybe, but it really isn’t–I think most children can relate to that flying, floating feeling while swinging, or at least I hope they can!  The really noteworthy thing about this gorgeous book, though, are the illustrations.  The information inside says this:  “The illustrations in this book were done using an etching process with monoprinted colors,” which really tells me nothing.  All I know is they are beautiful, ethereal, and perfectly capture the mood of the story.  Highly Recommended, for the pictures alone.  (Check out this interview at Seven Impossible Things before Breakfast to get a feel for Tusa’s illustrations.)  (Harcourt, 2011)

Confession:  Monkey Truck by Michael Slack is one I picked up for the DLM.  While it’s not a board book, it has a board bookish feel to it–sturdy, squarish cover with slick, thick glossy pages.  It’s a silly title that even the “big girls,” as I’ve taken to calling them, enjoyed.  I don’t really know why it’s a monkey truck instead of just a monkey or just a truck, but there you have it:  “When there’s trouble in the jungle, Monkey Truck knows what to do.”  What little boy doesn’t love trucks?  (Don’t answer that.  Mine does, and that’s all I know.  Even at 11 months, some odd days, he waves at almost every loud vehicle that goes by.)  Monkey Truck rescues a little igauna from being stomped by an oblivious elephant, and the iguana becomes M.T.’s companion for the rest of the tale.   M.T. burns “banana gas” (“TOOT!”), a fact that tickled the girls.  The point of the story is that Monkey Truck can do it and will do it, whatever it is that needs doing, in typical little kid fashion.  I can’t help but think this one would be a winner for just about anybody.  One thing that really intrigued me about this book is that the dedication page is inscribed thusly:  “To Stephanie–my heart, my happiness, the love of my life.  W.Y.M.M.?”  Swoon.  What girlfriend-of-a-book-author/illustrator could possibly reject that offer?  I’d love to know how that turned out.  For the romantic-hearted mama and her truck-or-animal-loving little boy (or girl), Highly Recommended.  (See the book trailer here.) (Henry Holt, 2011)

What’s in your read-aloud pile this week?  Have you read any recently-published titles you’d like to recommend?  Link up your RAT post in the comments!

Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!

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13 thoughts on “Read Aloud Thursday–2011 picture books”

  1. I may have to get ‘Follow Me’ just for myself. It looks lovely. On Monkey Truck, I certainly hope Stephanie said yes. How awful to have the proposal in print otherwise! (Thus the grimmer possibilities kill Janet’s sense of romance. Sigh.) 😉

    Wish I had a post for today, but I’m afraid The Five Little Peppers is going to take us awhile.

  2. Goodness, I do love Tricia Tusa’s illustrations! The first two books are on our “want to read” list. Glad to hear you liked them.

    Our library reinforces books with holes and flaps with clear packing tape. It greatly increases the shelf life, but it does require extra time spent processing.

    Today we read a classic – Tomie dePaola’s “Charlie Needs a Cloak”

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