The Children’s Book Review | January 2, 2017
9 New Release Picture Books
From a bedtime book for the youngest readers, to a classic tale of bravery and transformation, these are the picture books that we feel represent the best of January. To be fair, one of these books is a board book (Nighty-Night) and one of these books is an early reader book (My Kite is Stuck! and Other Stories), but all of them are really wonderful for kids ages 1 through 8.
Written and Illustrated by Leslie Patricelli
Publisher’s Synopsis: Nighty-night, Baby! The cheekily charming tot goes through a typical nightly routine in a humorous bedtime book.
Dinner is finished, the sun is setting, and Baby is getting ready for bed, sneaking in a naked dance before bath time. Then it’s on to tooth cleaning, hair brushing, bear hugging, and getting cozy in PJs. Finally it’s time for a bedtime story (“Again! Again!”) and a song with Mommy before Daddy turns out the light. Kissy kissy!
Ages 1-3 | Publisher: Candlewick | January 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763679323
Pablo in the Snow
Written by Teri Sloat
Publisher’s Synopsis: What is soft, fluffy, and white? Pablo’s wool, of course. But this little lamb soon discovers that there’s something else as well: SNOW! From making trails to sledding with friends, having snowball fights and crafting snowmen, there’s tons of fun to be had in the snow. But winter days grow dark very fast, and Pablo finds himself lost on his way home. Not to worry―Mama and Papa help Pablo get back to the cozy barn so he can talk about his adventures.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | January 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1627794121
Wolf in the Snow
Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Publisher’s Synopsis: A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?
Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.
Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | January 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250076366
Publisher’s Synopsis: Egg is a graphic novel for preschoolers about four eggs, one big surprise, and an unlikely friendship, by Caldecott Medalist and New York Times—bestselling author Kevin Henkes. Egg is not only a perfect Easter gift, but also a classic read-alone and read-aloud that will appeal all year long.
This masterful and stylistically original picture book introduces young children to four eggs. One is blue, one is pink, one is yellow, and one is green. Three of the eggs hatch, revealing three baby birds who fly away. But the green egg does not hatch. Why not? When the three birds return to investigate, they’re in for a big surprise! What will happen next? With a compelling mix of comic-like panels, wordless pages and spreads, and a short text featuring word repetition, surprise, and suspense, Egg is an ideal book for emergent readers, as well as for sharing in a group. Egg is sure to inspire creativity and storytelling in preschoolers, as they anticipate the page turns and determine their own endings! Kevin Henkes is the bestselling author of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Waiting, and Kitten’s First Full Moon, among many other beloved titles.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | January 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062408723
How to Be a Bigger Bunny
Written by Florence Minor
Illustrated by Wendell Minor
Publisher’s Synopsis: Florence and Wendell Minor, the husband-and-wife team behind If You Were a Penguin, If You Were a Panda Bear, and Christmas Tree!, have created a picture book treasure featuring a cast of adorable bunnies. The artwork and story are reminiscent of picture book classics by Margaret Wise Brown and Richard Scarry.
When Tickles the bunny’s family goes on an adventure without her, Tickles reads her book, How to Be a Bigger Bunny, and then winds up on an adventure of her own. When she finds her furry family in trouble, she must become a bigger bunny and save the day. Perfect for Easter time and springtime as well as year-round reading aloud and sharing.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | January 24, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062352552
XO, OX: A Love Story
Written by Adam Rex
Illustrated by Scott Campbell
Publisher’s Synopsis: Dear Gazelle,
For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you. You are so graceful and fine. Even when you are running from tigers you are like a ballerina who is running away from tigers.
I think that what I’m trying to say is that I love you.
And so begins an epic, if initially unrequited, love affair between a graceful gazelle and a clumsy, hapless ox. Romance will never be the same.
Adam Rex’s hilarious, sweet, and at times heartbreaking letters between a hopelessly romantic ox and a conceited, beautiful gazelle are paired perfectly with Scott Campbell’s joyful illustrations to bring you a romance for the ages.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | January 3, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626722880
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Publisher’s Synopsis: Celebrate the life of Lena Horne, the pioneering African American actress and civil rights activist, with this inspiring and powerful picture book from award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford.
You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way.
Lena Horne was born into the freedom struggle, to a family of teachers and activists. Her mother dreamed of being an actress, so Lena followed in her footsteps as she chased small parts in vaudeville, living out of a suitcase until MGM offered Lena something more—the first ever studio contract for a black actress.
But the roles she was considered for were maids and mammies, stereotypes that Lena refused to play. Still, she never gave up. “Stormy Weather” became her theme song, and when she sang “This Little Light of Mine” at a civil rights rally, she found not only her voice, but her calling.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | January 24, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481468244
My Kite is Stuck! and Other Stories
Written and Illustrated by Salina Yoon
Publisher’s Synopsis: Continuing in this exciting paper over board reader format, award-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s early readers are perfect for fans of bestselling series like Elephant & Piggie, Ballet Cat, and Pig in a Wig.
Loud and in-charge Big Duck, quiet and clever Little Duck, and friendly and gentle Porcupine return in another delightful trio of stories. First, Big Duck and Porcupine are so busy building her lemonade stand that they forget one very important ingredient. Next, when Porcupine and Little Duck make a new friend Big Duck feels left out. Can they find a way to include everyone? And lastly, after Big Duck gets her kite stuck in a tree, Little Duck’s smart suggestion will save the day! These three friends may be different, but they always find a way to have lots of fun.
Ages 5-7 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | January 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1619638877
Beauty and the Beast
Written by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Meg Park
Publisher’s Synopsis: Beauty asks for little, finding joy in simple things and the company of her father. The Beast, shut away from the world in his great stone castle, knows only loneliness. Brought together by a stolen rose, each finds that love may call for sacrifice, but true love can bloom in even the darkest places.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | January 31, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1423119814
For more of the best new picture books for kids, follow along with our articles tagged with New Books for Kids, Picture Books, Books for Ages 0-3, and Books for Ages 4-8.