Picture book round up part… I’ve lost count. I will add three books that are not my OMG Best Books ever but were an interesting experience to read.
Today is a Me Day is a story that is exactly what it sounds like it would be. The world has things it wants to do, and wants the young narrator to do, but she has decided she needs a day off. She is going to be happy and choose what she wants to do. She will cleanse her inner self with a picnic with a teddy bear, pose, relax, and even ponder. Ev Starkey wrote a poetic tale of taking care of yourself and rejuvenating yourself so you are ready to take over the world tomorrow. The illustrations of Kristiina Haapalainen and Sami Vaha-Aho are equally sweet and flowing as the text. The artwork is not crowded, but busy and lush with color. The story is both bold and modern, with an almost classical feeling to it as well. Good for most ages.
Bear Is Never Alone started off decent, but then turned unusual. At first Bear is playing for the forest. The audience is so mesmerized by the piano music, they even hush the person who yawns; not realizing it is Bear themselves. When bear is done playing, the audience cries for more, chasing him, and of course, have no boundaries. It is not until Bear meets Zebra that he finds someone that understands what he needs. It was the stalking of Bear that was intense and I’m not sure if a younger child would be ok with that or the mostly black and white art of Jeska Verstegen. Still, the story has a good message, just know your reader. As there is a translator (Laura Watkinson) I am assuming that Marc Veerkamp’s story might have lost a smidgen of the tone in the translation, but I’ve also noticed that some non-American works are more intense than our stories. The black and white with red illustrations are artistic and different, and set the tone of the story.
And finally, we have Stillwater and Koo Save the World. When I saw the book I thought, oh a new Jon J. Muth book. Then I read it and thought that it sounded oddly familiar. Finally realizing that I had read this picture book before at some point in my reading career but had forgotten it. Therefore, I got to read about kindhearted Koo and their need to try and save the world as it is so delicate again, but as if it was for the first time (an experience that is rare and fun). Of course, as we follow along and see the things they do during the day, we realize that Koo does not think that they have done anything to help. But of course, Stillwater in his wise uncle ways, shows Koo how even the littlest act is a big deal.