Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (6)

This is a feature that I do weekly called Hot Off The Press!  based on my weekly visits to Vroman's Bookstore and checking out their wall of new picture books.  This week there were so many recent releases that I was unable to get through them all in one visit. Here are the 5 new releases that stood out from the pile this week:

Queen Of The Falls
Author/Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (April 4, 2011 - available now)
Audience: Grades 2nd to 5th

I never really thought about who was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.  However, this book gave me a lot to think about.  VanAllsburg retells the real life story of Annie Edison Taylor in a way that will fascinate young readers.  VanAllsburg's illustrations are beautiful. This takes top honor this week and will be one that I recommend.

Click here to watch a video of Chris Van Allsburg talking about the book.  

The Loud Book!
Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator: Renata Liwska
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (April 4, 2011 - available now)
Audience: Ages 2 to 6 years old

I really loved The Quiet Book and have given it out as gifts.  I wasn't expecting to love The Loud Book even more, but I think I do.  I laughed and smiled at all of the examples of being loud.  Liwska's illustrations are charming and compliment the text wonderfully.  Underwood has a successful companion book on her hands with this one.  I think I will be giving the pair of books as gifts now.

The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred
Author: Samanatha R. Vamos
Illustrator: Rafael Lopez
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing (February 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8

Books that introduce words in another language can be tricky.  Is it just randomly inserting these words into the text or is there a specific purpose.  Vamos's play on The House That Jack Built does so in a wonderful manner.  After each word is introduced in English, the next time it is used it is then given in Spanish.  First, the Farm Maiden stirs a pot and then a cazuela, and it continues in this manner.  Lopez' illustrations are colorful and festive.

Author/Illustrator: Ellie Sandall
Publisher: Egmont, USA (March 22, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8

Sandall takes a simple, familiar concept, adds in bright fun illustrations, and then executes it well. A bird sits on a branch and sings. He is then is joined by another and another...all with different songs. They are having fun and finally they are joined by one very loud bird who knocks them all off, but it is something very small that makes the biggest change of all.  This one gets the smile award for the week.

The Loopy Coop Hens
Author/Illustrator: Janet Morgan Stoeke
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (March 17, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

I don't usually say this, but I want a book trailer for this book.  I searched but couldn't find one.  Someone make one fast...*waits* Okay, so it isn't happening.  This wins the "make me laugh a lot" award for the week.  The hens in this book are certainly loopy.  They wonder why rooster Sam can fly.  They try.  They see other creatures that fly and wonder why they can't.  Finally, they discover a little secret but realize maybe it doesn't matter after all.   I anticipate that children will get a chuckle out of this one.