Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (3)

This is a feature that I do weekly called Hot Off The Press! post based on my visits to Vroman's Bookstore and checking out their wall of new picture books.  This week I included a couple of recent releases that I saw at the Charlotte S. Huck Literature Festival as well.  Here are the 5 new releases that stood out from the pile this week:

Author/Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (March 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

This was a charming read and one of my favorites for today. The story is about a small cloud - aka Cloudette. She is not able to do all the things the other bigger clouds can do nor does she necessarily want to do them. She wants to find her place in the world. After trying to make her mark with no luck, she pursues a new direction thanks to the wind. Then she finds something to really go after which earns her the attention of the bigger clouds. Lovely illustrations work to enhance and bring alive the text.

The book trailer for this book is really cute.  Check it out here

Dog In Boots
Author: Greg Gormley
Ilustrator: Roberta Angaramo
Publisher:  Holiday House (March 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

Dog reads about Puss In Boots and immediately wants a pair of fancy boots for himself. The man at the shoe store gives him a pair but boots aren't very practical when you dig. He then goes back for rain boots which work for digging but are horrible for swimming. The book progresses this way until our small friend learns that maybe his paws are just perfect. Until Dog then reads about, nah...I won't spoil it for you.  I found this to be a fun read and liked the tie in with classical stories.

A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis
Author: Matt de la Pena
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Dial Book For Young Readers (January 20, 2011)
Audience: Ages 7 and up

Take a strong writer and pair him up with a phenomenal illustrator and you have a winner of a book.  Regular readers of the blog will know of my great love for the artwork of Kadir Nelson.  In Joe Louis, Nelson does not disappoint fans of of his work in books such as We Are The Ship or Coretta Scott.  De La Pena provides the reader with some information about Louis' early life but the significant focus for this story is on the Joe Louis/Max Schlmeling fight at Yankee Stadium.  A fight that was much greater than the two individuals in the ring but something that represented so much more to the Americans in the Stadium or at home listening on the radio.

Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems
Author: Kristina O'Connell George
Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
Publisher: Clarion (February 22, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 9 years

I am slowly growing to understand poetry and novels in verse.  For years, I thought I disliked anything in those categories but thanks to some special books I am slowly overcoming my hesitation to read poetry or books in verse.  Emma Dilemma is as much about the older to younger sister relationship as it is about poetry.  The story unfolds through a series of poems that are divided into chapters.  There is a sad part, but I do love the way the book wraps up.

Author/Creator: Margaret Peot
Publisher: Boyd Mill Press (March 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 10 and up

When I saw this book, I had one idea about what to expect, and then when I opened it the book, it was something completely different. I'm not sure where to put it. Likely not the picture book section but more likely the art section of the store. This is more of a how-to/activity book for those who want to learn how to create prints with an inkblot style. The pictures are lovely and I can see a teacher using this with older elementary students or high school students even.   I would probably recommend this to be shared between an adult and a child.  However, the inkblots and the artwork is creative and worth taking a look at.