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Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Savor these Hearty Picture Books!

By Jan Pease

Warning: questionable word play ahead! Here is a veritable harvest of new picture books to enjoy! Here’s another image: a cornucopia filled with the bounty of books.

“5 Cherries,” by Italian artist and illustrator Vittoria Facchini, is a long picture book (56 pages), with gorgeous illustrations. What can two children do with ten cherries, five for each? It turns out that they can imagine quite a lot. This book reminds me of that feeling of being totally lost in the moment of playing.

“After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)” is a new book by Dan Santat, who is becoming more well known since winning the Caldecott in 2015. What happened to Humpty Dumpty after he fell from the wall, and what was he doing up there, anyway? If you have time, visit Mr.Santat’s blog, He includes many links about his books and illustrating, but be sure to click on the link for One Question with Colby Sharp. Dan Santat is incredibly open about the inspiration for “After the Fall,” his wife’s battle with anxiety, post-partum depression, and fear.

“Pug Meets Pig” and “Pug and Pig Trick or Treat” are two very cute books by Sue Lowell Killian. I can’t imagine having a pug and a young potbellied pig together, but it would be fun. This duo should not be confused with “Pig the Pug,” a very funny picture book series by Aaron Blabey. There’s just something about pugs.

Eric Litwin started a new series about an unusual animal with “Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs.” (Mr. Litwin no longer writes the Pete the Cat books.) “Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown” includes the opportunity to download the “Disco Party Bow Wow Song” as well as other free songs. Groovy Joe is a dog who loves to eat ice cream, play the guitar, and dance. I think children will enjoy this new series as much as the early Pete the Cat books.

“A Different Pond,” by Bao Phi is a completely different kind of picture book. It is simple enough to be understood by a young child but the meaning of the book will grow as the reader grows. I admire people who have come to America leaving behind trauma and loss and this picture book reminds us of how much adjustment immigrant groups have faced. This Vietnamese father and son can represent people of any culture struggling to adjust to life in America.

Finally, by the time you read this, Halloween will be past. But you might still look for “Bonaparte Falls Apart,” by Margery Cuyler. Our main character, Bonaparte, needs to literally “get ahold of himself.” When he throws a ball, his arm takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a jaw-dropping experience. Fortunately, he has friends with names like Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula who all have some “bone-headed” ideas to help him. These punny, funny books are waiting for you at Litchfield Public Library – see you there!