Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Wonderful Pile of Picture Books

I've been mulling over a zombie post for the last two weeks and time has slipped away from me. In the meantime, I read a whole bunch of really great picture books today, so I'm going to recommend those now.

Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson
Tillie Lays an Egg is simliar to the Minerva Louise books by Janet Stoeke, but is fun it its own way with vivid photographs of the lovely chickens.
There are seven chickens in the henhouse, but only Tillie is not interested in eating corn or laying eggs in a nest. Tillie is an adventurer, always exploring and looking for worms. She lays her eggs is amazing places! Children must search the pictures to find the eggs left in funny and unusual situations. Recommended for 2-4 year olds. The author has a hen-cam on her website that is really fun to watch:

Here is an excellent investigation of the history and mythology of food. From apples to pomegranates to mushrooms, the author humorously relates both fact and fiction about our most elemental and ancient foods: fruit and vegetables. A great gift for a foodie parent, this volume with its gorgeous photographs can be enjoyed by all ages.

I absolutely love this book of differences. This is one that is meant to be looked at individually with parent and/or child, as the illustrations and the things the reader needs to hunt for are quite small. Each page features an illustration in which the reader must find the differences between the animals pictured. The illustrations are just beautiful and the things we are hunting for are whimsical and not always easy to spot. Sometimes, it's up to interpretation and there are difficult new vocabulary words. This is a perfect book for examining and discussing.

Birds by Kevin Henkes
Henkes has of late been focusing on a much younger audience with his picture books. Birds is a wonderful introduction to what makes birds unique and special. It is very appealing to a young audience with simple ideas and colorful illustrations. For example: "Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire. They didn't move and they didn't move and the didn't move. I looked away for just one second...and they were gone." These are truths about birds that young children can relate to. The book also has the nostalgic feel of favorites of a bygone era like those of Lois Lenski or Charlotte Zolotow.
Three Little Kittens and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes selected and illustrated by Tony Ross
Tony Ross's new nursery rhyme collection is right up there with my favorites like Rosemary Wells and Richard Scarry. The illustrations are big, bold and bright. They clearly illustrate the predicament of the characters in the antiquated rhymes and will help children learn new vocabulary and help parents explain what's going on. There's also quite a bit of humor here, in characteristic style for Ross. If you're not famliar with Tony Ross, think Quentin Blake's humourous illustrations of his own and Roald Dahl's books. Some parents might find them too sassy. Ah well, back to Rosemary Wells if you do.


Terry Golson said...

Thanks for saying such nice things about Tillie. Keep an eye on my hencam - the baby goats are arriving in two weeks!
--Terry Golson

susiewhiteford said...

I love the Hen Cam :-) I can't wait to show this book to my recently-turned-two year old nephew.