Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Six of the Best! Wonderful New Picture Books to Share

1. 'Good, Night, Good Beach', by Joy Cowley & illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper

"An evocative and beautiful bedtime picture book that distills the essence of summer at the beach―skin sticky with salt, sandy feet, waves hush-hushing and a shell under the pillow."

This simple poem of just 42 words by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper will transport readers to the seashore and the fun of the beach.

It is quite a gift to be able to use so few words and yet, so clearly evoke from the reader the wonderful joy of the beach in summer. The rhythm of the poem reflects so perfectly the rhythm of such a special day.
Hilary Jean Tapper’s water colour drawings offer a corresponding 'simplicity' to the text. This can only be achieved by a very accomplished artist. I just love this book.

2. 'Always Never Happens' by Meg McKinlay & illustrated by Leila Rudge

"A poetic and quirky one-of-a kind classic-in-the-making, that encourages readers to explore their world, from two award winning creators."
Not to be outdone, Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge have created another wonderful picture book. This text has over 250 words and uses rhyme so well. It is aimed at slightly older readers. But once again, author and illustrator create a wonderful picture book. Leila Rudge's images offer delightful detail and an older key character who is very relatable.
I love the 'wisdom' McKinlay communicates in her story. Sometimes with tongue in cheek, but also with a special message. For example:
"Always carry useful things - a torch, a notebook, fairy wings."
"Never throw a key away. Who knows what lock you'll meet today?" 
"Always follow secret tracks – the paths that wind and wend through cracks."
"Never worry where they go. When you get there, then you’ll know."
This is a wonderful book that every library needs. Any lucky child who owns one will treasure it.

3. 'A Way to the Stars' by David Almond & illustrated by Gill Smith

In this book David Almond
Hans - a Christian Andersen Award winner - shows how a father and son bond as they collaborate to "defeat gravity and realize a dream."
Joe is starstruck, and determined to find his way up, up, up to the magical lights in the night sky. 
“In your dreams!” his pals say. But when Joe and his dad put their heads and hearts together, there is no stopping them. Together they climb ladders, construct towers, and launch rockets in a tireless quest to reach the unreachable. 
David Almond's wonderfully playful book, and Gill Smith’s dynamic illustrations, lead to a story of great courage, and the power of the imagination.

4. 'Mr Clownfish, Miss Anemone and the Hermit Crab', written & illustrated by Sean E. Avery

5. 'Dasher Can't Wait for Christmas', written & illustrated by Matt Tavares

Matt Tavares’s sequel to the New York Times best-selling Dasher is a joyful ode to helping others—and another holiday classic in the making.

“If you ever get lost, just look for the North Star.”

With only one sleep left before Christmas Eve, Dasher can’t contain her excitement for her favorite holiday. With the sound of Christmas carols on the breeze and twinkling lights radiating from a nearby city, she sneaks off to visit the festivities. But as night deepens and snow starts to fall, Dasher realizes she can no longer spot the North Star in the sky to lead her home. Will the kindness of a child, an unexpected gift, and a dose of Christmas spirit get her back in time to help guide Santa’s sleigh? The New York Times best-selling creator of Dasher has crafted another delightful journey featuring everyone’s favorite reindeer doe, in a story full of giving, joy, and holiday magic.

6. 'Cosmic Wonder: Halley's Comet and Humankind', written & illustrated by Ashley Benham-Yazdani

I love this book! And when I learnt that Ashley Benham-Yazdani worked on it while pregnant with her second child, I was even more impressed. Unlike many of us, she can clearly do many things at the one time. A wonder in itself!!
As the sub-title indicates, this beautiful picture book is about Halley's Comet. It was first recorded on Earth in 240 BCE. While it only 'appears' every 73-75 years I was fortunate to 'see' it when it last appeared in 1986. Even then it was hard to see, and was little more than a bright star without a telescope. We caught sight of it from the banks of the Murrumbidgee using telescopes of enthusiasts in the dark of night and could see its blazing tail.
This innovative and visually stunning picture book imagines Halley’s Comet observing Earth and its inhabitants at every pass, tracing human evolution over millennia. It tells the story of the comet when it showed itself in 1986, but also traces the history of the Earth through its 'eyes'. It follows on a journey with the comet 200,000 BC to the present. If the comet 'looked down' what would it have seen?

No comments: