Picture Book Round Up

Picture book reviews are short, and I have so many reviews to fit into October that I thought I'd do a combo post.  I have hard copies of The Antlered Ship and How to Be An Elephant to giveaway!! Like and Share this post on Facebook this weekend and I'll draw a name on Monday morning October 9, 2017.

The Antlered Ship

You know it's a great picture book when you wish it were a novel. I would have gobbled up each page as a chapter. The illustrations are both playful and beautiful. Combining the slightly existential plot of sailing with an inquisitive fox and the animal crew of the Antlered Ship as they search for answers to their many questions and perhaps find adventure along the way. I found some lines laugh out loud funny.

During a low moral point the animals were regretting their journey:

Marco eyed the deer and pigeons. "Foxes aren't supposed to be vegetarian," he said. "Still, we must do the best we can."

There is a map on both the inside front and back covers to trace and follow this seafaring adventure. On top of it all, not only does the book have a beautiful jacket; but it also looks finished without it. I mean, what can be better than that? Any well-loved book is bound to lose its jacket, and this will still look great on the shelf.

Even though we have no kids at home in the picture book age range, we all loved it and agreed that some of the lines might become family quotables (inside jokes- quotes understandable only to your family)

Leaf

I haven't gotten very many picture book review requests, and I wish I'd get more. I'm in the camp that there is no age cutoff for a good book- picture book or not. Leaf, in particular, has some gorgeous illustrations and an important storyline. The animals who encounter Leaf have never met a polar bear before and are afraid of this strange creature. They name him Leaf (because they don't know his name) and avoid him at all costs. One day the crows decide to talk to him and discover he has ended up there due to global warming. Besides the environmental message, this story encourages empathy toward strangers. 

 I read a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The Way Downtown

A picture book dedicated to showing a whole bunch of public transportation scenarios. I could see this being useful for kids moving into an urban area, children who already live there and maybe kids going to a city on vacation. 

The Zanies are a family of street performers who take public transportation downtown where they perform on the didgeridoo and juggle! Dr. Brody takes a ferry in to go to work each day, and there are other scenarios as well including a spy! I loved the maps, the explanations of the sights and sounds as I can see that being particularly useful to kids with sensory issues. Forewarned is forearmed. It even says what to do if someone gets lost. The pictures are both helpful and hilarious- we thoroughly enjoyed this one.

We chuckled at the description of the smell on the subway: " shoes and cinnamon" which may or may not be accurate in Chicago depending on the day and occupants. Sometimes it is better than that and sometimes worse. 

I read a DRC of The Way Downtown in exchange for an honest review.

How To Be An Elephant

A nonfiction picture book? Love it. Informative and Beautiful are words that I'd use to describe this gem. The details and illustrations come together to make learning about elephants seamless and enjoyable.