Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (4)

This is a feature that I do weekly called Hot Off The Press!  based on my visits to Vroman's Bookstore and checking out their wall of new picture books.  This week's post is a couple of days late but there were so many good ones that I didn't want to wait. Here are the 5 new releases that stood out from the pile last week:

All The Way To America: The Story Of A Big Italian Family And A Little Shovel
Author/Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

This was my favorite of the pile.  Yaccarino conveys a sense of connection between generation after generation with the use of a little shovel that is passed from one generation to the next. The story begins with Yaccarino's great grandfather as he leaves Italy and travels to the United States.  Each generation shares more in common than just a small shovel.  Children and parents sharing this story can also tell their own family histories as they share in the Yaccarino family history.

Check out the Book Trailer:

A Mango In The Hand: A Story Told Through Proverbs
Author: Antonio Sacre
Illustrator: Sebastia Serra
Publisher: Abrahms Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

Another top pick for the week included Sacre's A Mango In The Hand I enjoyed the multi-cultural/multi-lingual book as well as the lesson learned by Francisco as he prepares for his special day. Serra's beautiful illustrations bring the text to life.  I was pleased that rather than one or two Spanish words interjected into the text there were whole sentences which were then explained/translated in the context of the paragraph.  I am looking forward to sharing this one with my students.

Pirates Don't Take Baths
Author/Illustrator: John Segal
Publisher: Penguin (March 3, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

Some books just make you smile or laugh and Pirates Don't Take Baths is one of them for me.  A little pig sets out to avoid taking a bath by telling his mom that he is a pirate or an astronaut or a knight. However, each time he discovers something new which eventually leads to a fun ending.  I see this as being an enjoyable evening read aloud as part of the night-time routine.
Nurse, Solider, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, A Civil War HeroAuthor: Marissa Moss

Illustrator: John Hendrix
Publisher: Abrahms Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2011)
Audience: Ages 7 to 10 years

With this being National Women's History Month, I couldn't leave this story of Sarah Edmonds off the list.  This non-fiction picture book tells how Sarah Edmonds at 19 decides to dress as a man and joins a Michigan Army Regiment to fight the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Not only was she a solider, but also served as a nurse and when her unit needed someone to go undercover, she didn't shy away from the task.  An inspirational story and a nice addition to any picture book collection of prominent or influential women.

Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted To Take A Nap
Author/Illustrator: J.C. Phillips
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (March 3, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years

A companion novel to Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed.  In this installment, the story picks up with our Ninja hero who at first doesn't want to take a nap but then changes his mind after being tired out from attempts to hide from all of his admirers. With a little help from some a wise elder, our little ninja develops the perfect plan to shake his followers and sneak in a nap.