Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (7)

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.  Lately there have been so many recent releases that I was unable to get through them all in one visit. Here are the 6 new releases that stood out from the pile this week:

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People 
Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (March 29, 2011)
Audience: Grades 2nd to 5th

Every since reading The Dreamer by Pamela Munoz Ryan, I have been trying to figure out how to ladder it for certain students.  With this book, I have found the perfect introduction.  Brown does a fabulous job of summarizing Neruda's life into 32 pages and still manage to touch on important facts and themes.  The text is enhanced by Paschkis' illustrations in wonderful earth tones and with words in English & Spanish woven into the design.  I read the book through once and then returned to just admire and analyze the pictures.  Definitely a must have for any collection on poets.

Perfect Square
Author/Illustrator: Michael Hall
Publisher: HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books (April 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8

Some books begin with a smart concept but then they fizzle.  Hall manages to create a unique concept with Perfect Square and excutes it marvelously. A square begins perfect with four matching corners and four equal sides.  It was happy so says the book.  However, on Monday, something happens to the square and he must over the week continue to change both in color and shape.  There is a wonderful twist at the end.   Browse inside the book, click here

Spring Is Here
Author/Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Publisher: Holiday House (March 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8

I somehow missed this book earlier in the month and decided to add it in here.  Mole wakes up to discover that Spring has arrived.  He wants to share it with his friend Bear, who is still asleep.  So begins Mole's attempt to wake his friend.  This is one of those perfect read alouds.  Beautiful illustrations, great text, humor, and a fun twist at the end.  A definite keeper.
The Bear Who Shared
Author/Illustrator: Catherine Rayner
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (March 17, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8

There are some picture books that have a gentleness about them and this is one that fits in that category.  Norris the bear is waiting patiently for the fruit to fall from the tree.  Tulip the racoon and Violet the mouse are not as patient in waiting.  The smaller animals learn a special lesson in sharing and friendship.  Another beautiful story for read aloud.  Rayner's illustrations blend perfectly with her text for a delightful story.
Chicken, Chicken, Duck

Author/Illustrator: Nadia Krilanovich
Publisher: Tricycle Press (March 22, 2011)
Audience: Ages 2 to 5

Young children will love the bold illustrations of all the barnyard animals and will enjoy repeating the sounds each animal makes.  But what are these animals up to?  The end holds a very special surprise.  Perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers. 

Take a sneak peak inside this book.  Click here.
Little Bea
Author/Illustrator: Daniel Roode

Publisher: HarperCollins (March 29, 2011)

Audience: Ages 2 to 5

This is another wonderful book for the under 5 crowd.  If you watch the trailer, you'll see why.  Bea is a very busy bee.  She has friends to see and things to do.  Another great read aloud that will go over well in a storytime or even in just 1:1 reading.  Don't be surprised if you here "again, again" when you reach the end.  Good news for fans of Little Bea - there will be a sequel out this fall, Little Bea And The Snowy Day.

To check out the book trailer, click here