Hot Off The Press! New Picture Books (14)

This is a feature that I try to 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:

Jonathan And The Big Blue Boat
Author/Illustrator: Philip Christian Stead
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (June 7, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

According to Jonathan's parents, he has become to old for his stuffed friend.  Jonathan discovers a boat and a way to search for Fredrick.  He meets a goat, an elephant, and a whale along the way.  His journey eventually leads him to a beautiful understanding and a special ending.  Some books are unique and beautiful and powerful both in text and illustrations.  As I read through this book, and savored the story and pictures, I knew I was holding something special in my hands.  If this doesn't get on some award lists, I will certainly be shocked.

Below is the book trailer for this book.  Happy Watching!

Prudence Wants A Pet
Author:  Cathleen Daly
Illustrator: Stephen Michael King
Publisher: Roaring Brooks Press (June 21, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Prudence wants a pet.  Her parents have reasons why they don't want to get her one.  Prudence doesn't let this discourage her.  She finds a branch, and then a twig, and then various other objects that she attempts to turn into a faithful pet.  Even her baby brother isn't safe from becoming a potential pet.  I nearly fell out of my chair in a fit of a laughter when Prudence feeds him grass.  I smiled, I chuckled, and I just plain enjoyed this one.  A feel good story with a fun ending that is perfect for any child who is looking for a special pet.  

A Good Knight's Rest
Author: Shelley Moore Thomas

Illustrator: Jennifer Plecas
Publisher: Dutton Juvenille (June 9, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Parents planning to set out on a vacation trip in the car with their young ones might want to read this for fun.  The Good Knight sets off seeking a vacation of rest and relaxation which is waylaid when 3 young dragons join in.  It isn't long before there are choruses of "Are we there yet?" and "I need to go."  The Good Knight does the right thing until at one point he just can't take it any more and his young friends realize it is their turn to do the right thing.  Lots of chuckles in this one.  A good summertime picture book.

Detective Blue
Author: Steve Metzger

Illustrator: Tedd Arnold
Publisher: Orchard Books (July 1, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Little Boy Blue has grown up and is now Detective Blue.  His assignment - to find Miss Muffet.  All of your favorite Nursery Rhyme characters are grown up and make an appearance in this film noir style twist on some classic stories.  Adults can have fun helping young children make a connection between the characters and their original stories.  Tedd Arnold's illustrations add just the right touch to this book.

Who's There?
Author: Carole Schaefer
Illustrator: Pierr Morgan
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (June 9, 2011)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

There comes a time when every child seems to have a moment of fear about going to bed.  In this version, little rabbit wonders what is making the bumps and thumps outside his door.  His active and creative imagination comes alive with Morgan's illustrations.  Of course, in the end there is a perfectly good reason for all that scary noise.  A fun addition to the "bedtime fear" category.