by Jan Pease
Happy New Year! Looking back at our blog entries, I realized that it is time to peek at some new picture books. I reviewed picture books in November for National Picture Book month, but we’re starting a whole new year. May I just say, “I love picture books!”
1 2 3 Dream is a beautiful counting book written and illustrated by Kim Krans. Each spread pairs a numeral with a corresponding animal or plant which begins with the same letter as the numeral. For example, five fish are paired with the numeral five. Ms. Krans also published A B C Dream, which is another wonderful book to share with a child you love.
The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep, by Caroline Nastro, is a sweet book that tells about the adventures of a young bear that just can’t seem to hibernate. He walks into New York City, visits several famous landmarks, is rousted out of Central Park, and finally makes his way home to the quiet winter forest. This is a perfect book for grandparents to have on hand to helpbusy children go to sleep.
Kurt Cyrus is a very talented illustrator. He has a bold, recognizable style and has illustrated books with many well-known authors including Eve Bunting. Mr. Cyrus also writes and his style is bold there, too. Billions of Bricks is not your usual counting book. It also isn’t about Legos. Younger children will simply enjoy the catchy rhymes: “Two, four, six. Look at all the bricks!” Older children will figure out counting by twos and tens, patterns of four and eventually hundreds.
Many of you know that at one time I had a favorite cat, a huge black and white domestic short-hair named Patches. He was white with black patches and was so lazy that he liked to lie on the floor and barely bat at the red dot of the laser toy. He eventually weighed about eighteen pounds. Frans Vischer is an illustrator who lives with his family and a lazy, fat cat, and he has immortalized his kitty in the character, Fuddles. The first two books were Fuddles and A Very Fuddles Christmas. The third Fuddles book has just been published, Fuddles and Puddles. Poor Fuddles has his world turned upside down when his family brings home a puppy named Puddles with predictable results. Mr. Vischer has worked in animation at both Disney and Dream Works and it shows in his illustrations, which seem ready to move right off the page.
Cat in the Night, by Madeleine Dunphy, is about a cat that is not at all lazy, named Rusty. Rusty wakes up just has his owner, a little girl named Gwen, falls asleep. He prowls through the night, meeting other night time creatures and fighting with an intruder cat before he comes home and crawls back into bed.
While this makes a great story, I just have to add that it’s a bad idea to let cats roam at will. In Litchfield, there has been feline leukemia in the feral cat population, which can be spread by bites and scratches from an infected cat. There are also wild animals such as coyotes that prey on domestic cats and raccoons and skunks which can be rabid. My current cat, Kitty M, has lived a long, indoor life after being rescued from a dumpster in Willmar about 14 years ago.
News Flash: Therapy dogs will visit the library on Saturday, January 14 at 10:00. Sign up to practice reading with a very nice dog.
P.S. I love picture books!