Hot Off the Press! (15)

I am so happy that this feature is back.   It is a weekly feature of picture books that are Hot Off The Press! and I base the post on my weekly visits to Vroman's Bookstore.  Their new picture book wall is back and here are the 5 new releases that stood out from the pile this week:

The Cloud Spinner
Author: Michael Catchpool
Illustrator: Alison Jay
Publisher: Random House Children's Books (March 13, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

With the feel of a classic fairy tale, Catchpool tells the story of a young boy who is able to weave cloth from the clouds.  Beautiful cloth in the colors of gold, white, and crimson.  The young weaver creates a scarf and catches the attention of the king who wants a whole wardrobe from this special cloth.  The boy warns the king, but his greed is great.  As with any fairy tale or fable, there is a lesson to learn with modern consequences.

The Hero of Little Street
Author/Illustrator: Gregory Rogers
Publisher: Roaring Brook/Macmillan (March 27, 2012)
Audience: Ages 5 to 8

Wordless picture books can be simple or complex.  In either format, there is a story to be told.  I had one image in mind when I saw the cover of this book and was surprised to find out that the book was wordless.  To escape a group of bullies, our boy hero jumps through the frame of a picture in a museum.  The adventure begins with a romp through art and time.  With a nod to Vermeer, readers get a chance to experience 17th century Holland.  This is one book that will require multiple readings in order to grasp all of the details of the story and the illustrations. 


Author/Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Publisher: Roaring Brook/Macmillan (March 27, 2012)
Audience: Ages 5 to 8

Green.  All types of green.  Seeger explores variations on the color green in the outdoor world with the help of die-cuts.  The text leads reader to anticipate what is presently before their eye and what is coming on the next page.  Brilliantly executed, and fascinating to explore.  I found myself searching for the die-cuts (which at times are quite small) and trying to imagine what would be on the following page.  Well done by the woman who knows how to do concept books. 

Author/Illustrator: Tim Jessell
Publisher: Random House Children's Books (March 27, 2012)
Audience: Ages 5 to 8

A young boy imagines what it would be like to be a falcon.  He describes what he would do and where he would go as a falcon. Jessell's illustrations make the reader feel like they have indeed transformed into this awesome winged creature.  May favorite scenes were the ones where the falcon dives between buildings skimming right above the people and cars and then sharply returning to the air.  The illustrations would be beautiful as wall art.

Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth
Author/Illustrator: Jon Chad
Publisher: Roaring Brook/Macmillan (March 13, 2012)
Audience: Ages 7 to 12

I truly have no clue how to classify this book. Graphic Novel? Sort of.  Nonfiction? Not completely. Science Fiction? Partly. Humor? Yup. This book is horizontally long, but the narrator suggests that the reader turn it vertically.  Makes sense when you think you will be drilling to the center of the earth.  The simple line drawings with speech bubbles take you on an adventure where the reader encounters strange creatures, and some twists and turns.  However, a careful reading will also reveal that this book is filled with a ton of geological facts.  Who says adults can't learn something from children's books.