I’ve been reading a heap of picture books lately. Some of them have been pretty average but most of them have been perfect picture books that I want to read over and over again. Here are a selection of my favourites that I read in April:
The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog by Sue deGennaro
Finding the right animal wasn’t easy. It was Camille who finally gave me the idea of being a frog! Frogboy and Camille are best friends but they are very different. Camille speaks in numbers and Frogboy likes to dress up. With Camille’s help he finds that dressing up as a frog is perfect for him, but when he tries to convince his friend to be a frog too, his plan goes terribly wrong.
This is a beautiful story about friendship and how, even if you’re completely different you can still be friends. I really like Sue deGennaro’s illustrations, which are a blend of different media, including collage, pencil and ink.
Eric!…the Hero? by Chris Wormell
Eric is a boy who sometimes gets things wrong. Some days he’s a little bit slow, some days he’s a little bit clumsy and most days people would agree that he’s the opposite of a hero. But when a huge monster stomps down from the mountains, Eric might just get the chance to prove them wrong.
I absolutely love Chris Wormell! When I was working at The Children’s Bookshop a few years ago my boss introduced me to Chris’s Two Frogs and I’ve been a fan ever since. I love the way he captures emotions in his illustrations and he often writes stories about characters who are different or misunderstood(like Eric in this story).
Cloth From the Clouds by Michael Catchpool and Alison Jay
The boy who spins cloth from the clouds is wise. He spins only enough cloth for a warm winter scarf, not one stitch more. But a greedy King sees the marvellous cloth and demands that the boy spin cloaks and gowns galore. Soon there are fewer clouds in the sky and finally the rain stops. Will it be possible to undo the damage done by greed?
This is a perfect picture book for older readers, with an environmental message about the impact of human greed on the natural world. The story is a pleasure to read aloud and the words just roll off your tongue (it would make a great story to act out with costumes and props). Alison Jay’s illustrations are stunning and they seem to glow on the page. I keep picking this book up just to look at the pictures.
Six Little Chicks by Jez Alborough
Busy Hen has five little chicks to look after while making sure number six – still an egg- stays warm. The last thing she needs is hairy, scary Fox sniffing about. She is frantic when the other birds warn her that her chicks are in danger, but her five little chicks are a lot braver than she realises!
Jez Alborough (creator of Duck in the Truck) is the king of picture books for preschoolers and this is another great book from him. The text is rhyming and is full of fun sounds for children to join in with (which make it fun for adults to read aloud too). The illustrations are bright and bold and the chicks are incredibly cute, which will appeal to preschoolers.