Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Want My Hat Back

Here's a new picture book by Jon Klassen called, I WANT MY HAT BACK, that will appeal to kids and parents, especially the snarky ones.

I WANT MY HAT BACK seems straight-forward and cute. A big bear wants his pointed, red hat back. It's missing and he sets off to find it. He asks an array of other animals if they've seen his hat. Makes sense. It's like a classic, cumulative tale that builds toward a satisfying end. But what an end!

Random House, the publisher, calls the end a "mischievous twist." It's mischievous alright. In fact, it's so surprising and funny, as in adults will think it's funny, that kids might miss it entirely. You can point out the twist to your kids, if you want to. Or just enjoy the juicy little twist yourself.

I highly recommend I WANT MY HAT BACK, especially if you appreciate subtle, sly humor.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Books from MN Authors

Every fall there's a new crop of great children's books by Minnesota authors. Here's a list of some of my favorites:

BookSpeak! by Laura Purdie Salas. This awesomely illustrated book is filled with poems about books themselves.

Hello, Minnesota! by Constance Van Hoven. Through the use of opposites, this sweet board book is a fun visit to all things Minnesotan.

The Tanglewood Terror by Kurtis Scaletta. This middle-grade novel is a mushroom mystery. Why are there so many glowing mushrooms sprouting up everywhere. And will they take over the town?

Love of the Game by John Coy. Here's the newest addition to Coy's middle grade series about four friends who love to play sports. This one's about football.

Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman. This beautiful picture book explores swirl patterns in nature like snail shells and fiddleheads.

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson. This 2009 Caldecott winner is now out in a board book format. Not all picture books work well as board books, but this one does. Happily.

Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth. This young adult novel is about a boy who remembers everything. Literally. Every event, every word, every number he's ever seen. Could this be a blessing or a curse?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good Fall Reads

It's definitely Fall - school's back in session, the leaves are turning and falling to the ground, & soon it will be Halloween.

Here is a photo of the "Books for Fall" table I put together recently at Micawber's. It includes one of my all-time favorites, OWL BABIES by Martin Waddell. It also features a new book by my friend David LaRochelle, THE HAUNTED HAMBURGER and OTHER GHOSTLY TALES.

THE HAUNTED HAMBURGER is about two little ghosts who won't go to bed and the spooky ghost stories their father tells them.

While the little ghosts find the stories scary, your child won't. They are funny and goofy. For example, can a ghost be used as a diaper? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Press Here

Instead of being a lift-the-flap, scratch & sniff, pop-up, or a screen-driven iPad book, PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet is an interactive book that is entirely text and illustration driven. The simplicity and beauty of it is like a breath of fresh air.

With a simple yellow dot in the middle of a white page and the text suggestion "press here," children reach out with their finger and touch the dot. Then with a page turn, they see the result of their interaction. Now there are two yellow dots on the page.

With the press of a finger children can "magically" change the yellow dot to red, multiply the dots, or make them grow larger.

Chronicle Books, one of my favorite publishers, has done it again. They've published a creative, unique book for children that is as fun for adults as it is for kids.