Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hot Off the Press! (19)

Hot Off the Press is a weekly feature of picture books that are recent releases.  I usually base the post on my weekly visits to Vroman's Bookstore but this week's visit features books from Mrs. Nelson's Bookstore in LaVerne.  

The Unruly Queen
Author/Illustrator: E.S. Redmond
Publisher: Candlewick (February, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

Minerva has had 52 nannies in 52 weeks.  Her behavior is so wild and impossible no one will stay. Will nanny #53 be able to tame this spoiled child?  - Lately, I am so frustrated with books that seem to celebrate rude and inappropriate behavior.  However, Redmond gets it and gets it right from beginning to end and all without being preachy or annoying.  I have to say I LOVED this book.  Both text and illustrations work together for the enjoyment of the reader.  

A Bus Called Heaven
Author/Illustrator: Bob Graham
Publisher: Candlewick (March , 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

I am not sure why from the title of this book I thought I wouldn't like the story.  I should have known better since this is a Bob Graham book.  I loved How to Heal a Broken Wing.  In A Bus Called Heaven, a little girl named Stella sees the beauty and potential in a broken down old bus.  Her vision brings together a diverse urban neighborhood in creating a safe space.  Even when that space is threatened, Stella finds a way to save what was created and return a piece of "heaven" to her community.  I loved when the taggers come in the middle of the night that they are told to come back the next day to paint the bus.  And even snails have a special place in this community.

Below is a YouTube video of a bookstore's display for A Bus Called Heaven.   

Red Knit Cap Girl
Author/Illustrator: Naoko Stoop
Publisher: Little Brown Book for Young Readers (June 5, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

An enchanted forest and a little girl with a dream to meet the moon.  The red knit cap girl is curious about the whole forest but she is most curious about the moon.  With the advice of a wise owl and the support of the forest animals, the red knit cap girl seeks to talk with the moon.  However, the girl and her friends discover that it is in the dark and quiet that they will find the moon and that she is there to hear them.  Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful story for both a read aloud or a lesson.
I, too, Am America
Author:  Langston Hughes
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 22, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 7

I love the poetry of Langston Hughes and I love the work of Bryan Collier.  Put them together and you have a winner.  Though the words of Hughes' poem I, too, Am America are powerful supported with Collier's mixed media artwork, it is the illustrator's end notes that are extremely powerful.  Definitely a book to add to my collection of picture books featuring Langston Hughes' poems.