We’re off for a day of fun celebrating the DLM’s first birthday (yikes!) staying in with a sick DLM (and celebrating his first birthday, somehow), and so I’m leaving you with a couple of notable new picture books. Enjoy!
I’m pretty sure I saw a rave review of Hopper and Wilson somewhere online before I saw it at the library, which is what prompted me to pick up this rather babyish looking picture book. While the artwork is lovely and muted and reminds me a lot of A.A. Milne, like Winnie the Pooh, this is a story with a whole lot of heart that even impressed my rather sophisticated seven and five year olds. It’s the story of the unlikely titular duo Hopper and Wilson, an elephant and mouse, who long to find out what it’s like at the end of the world. What is there to do but to pack up their balloon and launch out in their newpaper boat (leaving their cactus behind, of course, since it is too small to go along) and find out? Naturally, much of the adventure comes when the friends are separated, but all comes right in the end, when they learn that maybe, just maybe, what they were looking for they had all along. I could see giving this lovely picture book as a graduation gift to just the right graduate. Maria Van Lieshout has struck gold with this one, I think, and the story is just as lovely as her illustrations, which are described in this way:
The art was created with watercolors, ink, collage, colored pencil, crayon, a smudge of acrylics and some technology to pull it all together.
I like finding humor, be it ever so slight, in unexpected places. 🙂 The muted tones of this book remind me a lot of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, this year’s Caldecott winner that I adore. I think we’ll be hearing more from Maria Van Lieshout and more about Hopper and Wilson. Highly Recommended! (Penguin, 2011)
Knowing how much Carrie loves Jim Arnosky’s books, I simply couldn’t pass up his new title, At This Very Moment, when I saw it. (I’ve reviewed one of his books here at Hope Is the Word, so I was already a fan, too.) This latest book certainly does not disappoint! At This Very Moment is a beautiful look at exactly what a number of animals might be doing “at this very moment” the reader is climbing out of bed, eating dinner, finishing homework, etc. Written in verse form, this is a lovely and gentle book that shows Arnosky’s love for the natural world, a love that fairly sings off the pages. Here’s a sampling of the verse:
You wash your face and comb your hair
and brush and floss your teeth,
and as you do, a toothy shark
is circling a reef.
The illustrations are trademark Arnosky–drawings and paintings that give careful attention to detail. If you have an animal loving child or if you’re hoping to foster a love for nature in your home, this is a fantastic book to share with your family. (Dutton, 2011)
So, what are you reading together these days? Link up in the comments! 🙂
Happy Read Aloud Thursday!