I love working in a bookstore. When I have lunch and don’t feel like reading a novel, I can grab a picture book. If I am home and just can’t concentrate on the novel format, I grab a picture book. The below are The Dirty Half Dozen Picture Books that have been grabbed recently.
Ways to Welcome by Linda Ashman and Joey Chou (rating 3): I liked the idea, but the execution was not really to my tastes. It would be a cute story time book for a younger crowd about how everyone is welcome to be here and all of us are special. It is a lovely book but been done before.
What’s the Matter, Marlo? by Andrew Arnold (rating 3): This is an odd, but interesting, book. We never learn the reason for the anger/sadness of Marlo, but it is true to life how his friend tries to help him. Simple without being simplistic, this would be good for preschool to first grade classrooms (younger to be read to, older to start solo reading with help). But it also could be used by therapists to talk about feelings. One needs to read it, to learn if it works for them.
The Unicorn Came to Dinner by Lauren DeStefano with Gaia Cornwall illustrations. (Rating 2): I am not sure what I expected, but it was not this. A book about a unicorn who has some manner issues, feelings issues and size issues come uninvited to dinner. The modern parents accept this and cater to its needs. It is not until the end we learn why said unicorn has come to dinner uninvited several times this week and what that means for their daughter (who has been eaten by the unicorn). Awkward flow sometimes, unusual illustrations, but the contemporary feel will make it enjoyed by most.
The Hidden Rainbow by Christie Matheson (Rating 3) I really liked the illustrations. The colors are perfectly suited for the theme. The story itself is not 100% “smooth” for me but works for the younger reader. A fun way to introduce colors to younger kids and how bees help us for the older kids. The beginning reader can do some reading with help.
All Welcome Here by James Preller and illustrations by Mary Grand Pre (Rating 3) I like the concept. I like the poems (they flow as if part of one larger story, but each page is its own idea). But it never came “full circle” for me. There is nothing wrong with this book, the art is delightful, the text fun to read to or read solo (some readers will need help), but it was just not for me.
Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima (Rating 3) Had the ending not happened (the mother explaining the ocean is controlled by the moon) I think this could have been a 4. But that “serious message/tone” took away from the light, fun story about a day on the beach for two siblings and a mischievous ocean. Sweet book to read aloud and beginning (with help) to middle beginning readers can enjoy reading themselves.