Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (10)

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.  Here are the 5 new releases that stood out from the pile this week:

Leap Back Home To Me
Author: Lauren Thompson

Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (April 26, 2011)
Audience: Toddler/Preschool 

With a nod towards Mother's Day, this story celebrates the classic theme of developing some independence while knowing that mom will always be there.  This little frog goes leap frogging all over the place but mama frog is always waiting for him to return.

Itsy Mitsy Runs Away
Author/Illustrator: Elanna Allen
Publisher: Atheneum  (May 3, 2011)
Audience: Preschool

You can have a lot of fun around the "I'm not going to bed" theme and Allen does just that with Itsy Mitsy Runs Away. With a twist on "The House Jack Built" repetitive lines, children will enjoy all of the things Mitsy must do before she can "run away". Below is the official book trailer which gives you a taste of the book.  I think my favorite line was "LITTLE GIRLS don't mow lawns - GROWN-UPS do!"

Author/Illustrator: Ethan Long
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 6 

There are a lot of picture books or stories that focus on being yourself/celebrating one's uniqueness.   Chamelia wants to stand out but sometimes this can be a challenge for making friends and participating in things at school.  Can Chamelia find a way to fit in that doesn't cause her to be the same as the others. This is an enjoyable story that does a nice job with a common picture book theme.

Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator!
Author/Illustrator: Mo Willems
Publisher: Balzer & Bray Books (May 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7 

Mo Willems does it again. I really enjoyed the 6-1/2 stories about Amanda and her stuffed alligator who is awfully busy for being a toy. Perfect for beginning readers.  Below is a great interview/book trailer which will tell you more about this new offering by Willems.

Ollie and Moon
Author: Diane Kredensor

Photographer: Sandra Kress
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (April 26, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 6 

This has been on my list to read for several months and it finally is out. Though it wasn't exactly what I expected, I was still excited about this one.  Ollie & Moon have a great friendship and trying to guess what the end surprise would be kept it interesting too. I enjoyed the cartoon characters layered over real photographs.  Check out the trailer below.