Happy New Year!
Clearly I love reading but when I’m in a book shop the first place I have to go is the children’s section. The colourful front covers and the catchy titles always have me hooked. That’s why I’ve decided to share my personal list of the 5 best picture books of 2017.
5.‘Bee and Me’ by Alison Jay
Bee and me is a picture book with no words. This book is not only entertaining; it also teaches readers/listeners about the importance of bees in our world. When a lonely girl in the city befriends a bee, the magical, fantastical journey begins. As the story evolves and the bee leaves for the winter, the girl makes friends with a boy in her building and the fun continues in a city changed by the bee. Alison Jay’s lush oil painted illustrations enhance the magical quality of the story, but in a note at the end, she clearly explains the need to invite bees to our gardens and cautions children not to touch them. I highly recommend this book.
4. ‘Do Not Open This Book’ by Michaela Muntean
I saw “do not open this book”, so of course I had to open it. This book is fun but a little mean. However, makes up for it in the end by thanking the reader for their help with the story. It’s a challenge to kids (ok, me) who you know are so curious that if told not to do something, they will do it. It is about how to write a story and shows how powerful words are.
3.‘Douglas, You Need Glasses’ by Ged Adamson
Nancy and her dog Douglas enjoy playing in the woods, but as it becomes clear that his nearsightedness is causing problems, she takes him to the eye doctor. Readers will be amused by the dog’s inability to identify anything on the eye chart and the many choices he has in trying to find the right frame. As anyone who has worn a pair of glasses for the very first time will attest, everything looks completely different once you have a way to improve your vision. The funny text and the illustrations, created with pencil and watercolor, provide a reassuring message to anyone facing his/her first visit to the optometrist.
2. ‘I Don’t Want Curly Hair!’ by Laura Ellen Anderson
A book about curls, swirls, and hair. It was such a fun, hilarious, and cute book.
It is about a little girl with a giant head of curls (really, a mega giant head of curls). She doesn’t want the curls, she wants straight, pretty, easy flowing hair. So she tries out all sorts of, mostly hilarious, ways to get her hair to be straight. From piling big books on her head, to having friends help her out, to hoping that gravity will help her. Will any of her trick work out?
The art was just fabulous, colourful, and fun. I just love how much detail there was in the curls. I can’t imagine how much work that must have been to draw each curl, and then also in different colours of red/orange.
All in all, a sweet book, perfect for children, but also adults. I would highly recommend it to everyone.
1.‘Oi Cat!’ by Kes Gray
Poor Cat has been instructed that cats sit on gnats – it’s the rules! But Cat doesn’t enjoy the gnats biting his bottom – perhaps HE can change the rules like Frog and Dog have done? What else can a cat sit on?
This brightly coloured and wonderfully illustrated book is full of animal rhymes that you wouldn’t expect: Racoons and macaroons, armadillos and pillows, alpacas and cream crackers. So many animals, so many rhymes. You would think by the third book of essentially the same premise, that there would be no rhymes left but nope they keep on coming. It helps introduce new animals to children and adds the odd bit of classic potty humour.