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Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Plethora of Picture Books, by Jan Pease

If a group of crows is a murder of crows, and a group of zebras is a zeal of zebras, what is the collective noun for picture books? 

Picture books are only getting more beautiful, and here is a bevy of beauties.

A rabble of butterflies swarms in “Butterflies,” by Seymour Simon. Kirkus Reviews states: “Simon may have done more than any other living author to help us understand and appreciate the beauty of our planet and our universe.” 

 A group of caterpillars is called an army.  Marilyn Singer uses her poem, “Caterpillars” to frame close up views of caterpillars and the butterflies they transform into. An army of 10 caterpillars, the plants they love and the butterfly or moth they become is the focus of “10 Little Caterpillars,”  by Bill Martin Jr. and Lois Ehlert.  They are the creators of the classic children’s book, “Chicka Chicka Boom  Boom,” and their new book looks like an instant classic.

A pack of dogs is featured in a very unusual book by Michael J. Rosen, “The Hound Dog’s Haiku.” These are poems for dog lovers.  My own dog, Harley,  is a Shit Tsu who loves his squeaky toys.  Here is the Shit Tsu Haiku:
                 toy dog’s own toy chest:
                 snowman, hedgehog, fake steak, jet-
                 squeak is all they speak

“What Puppies Do Best” is an adorable picture book by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.  A litter of puppies of all breeds, sizes, and shapes romps across the pages as they play with cute children.  What could  be sweeter?

Gorgeous photographs by Jason Stemple are paired with the poetry of Jane Yolen in “Birds of a Feather.”  Yolen captures the personality of each bird perfectly.  This congregation of birds is well worth a look. 

“A B C Animal Jamboree,” by Giles Andreae  is a collection of short, silly poems about animals that will delight  even the youngest animal lovers.  This menagerie will be featured at story hour this week.

By the way, the collective noun for a group of books is library.  These fantastic picture books, and more, are waiting for you.  See you there!