I love a good commercial or ad. I like the cleverness of someone I do not know selling me something. This usually does not work on me for something like dog food (I do not have a dog) but I have begged my parents for a toy or two. But it has with more than a book or ten. And, hopefully I know enough about books to make you hum, “The picture books ae here” (to the tune of Chewy’s “The Peanut butter box is here”) song as you go off to your local store to buy copies.
I mean, picture books have a lot going for them. First, they are short. And second, when you finish that short book, you still can say you finished a book. (And does that not feel good?) And finally, they are clever, humorous, serious, have a message or all the above. And two books I found recently, If You Ever Meet a Skelton and The Perfect Sushi, you get a little of everything.
I might have read If You Meet a Skelton before. I do not remember (yet it feels familiar). Therefore, this was my first time reading it. Rebecca Evans has a sweet, simple story that would work well in a large board book format. It is cute as a traditional hardcover, but this book can be read to almost all ages. And Katrin Dreiling’s art has some quirks that make it a pleasure for most ages as well. The cover reminds me of The Rugrats, but the inside just silly Halloween fun. There could be one or two of the creatures a little spookier than some kids are okay with, but overall, there is nothing overly “too much.” Our narrator tells you all the fun things you can say, do and enjoy when you have the pleasure of meeting a skeleton. Sometimes they can look spooky (I mean, that cover tells you really all you need to know), but they just like hanging out with their buddies like you! A fun rhyming Halloween picture book with simple, but cute illustrations. A nice treat for your trick-or-treater!
And I am so not a sushi person (I mean, where I come from, we call that bait!) Joking aside, people love good sushi and Emily Satoko Seo knows that maybe sushi might not be perfect when you make it, but a good book is something you can devour all the time. The Perfect Sushi is about a young girl who loves everything “just so” and it must be perfect. We see in the illustrations of Mique Moriuchi how she folds her clothes like origami and never colors out of the lines. But when she tries to make sushi, it is lumpy. A little technology later, the perfect sushi is in her grasp, but will it be in her beloved grandmothers’ heart? This idea of perfect is okay, but it only matters if your heart is in it might be lost on the youngest crowd, but at least five and up can enjoy. And of course, the simple artwork is a treat for all. It might not be busy or hiding little gems, but it does let you know what is special and important.
There is a recipe for sushi, other afterwards information and two lovely author and illustrator biographies that should be read as well. I had the pleasure of reading Sushi from a reader copy supplied to me by Barefoot Books. It is due in Spring 2023.