Picture Book Extravaganza

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Are you ready for the holidays? I know there is a saying that says one gift they can wear, one toy gift and one book gift. The next couple of weeks I am focusing on books and trying to clear off my recommendation shelves. Today I am starting with the picture books. There are books in this grouping for the very young to the older lovers of picture books. I am  going to share them by age group as best as I can, so if you are looking for picture books for older kids, scroll down. Are you ready for our picture book extravaganza? 

Our first book is for 2 to 5 year-olds. It is The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham. This story is about a ring. A heartbroken young woman throws it in a field in 1830 and it is forgotten and lost for decades. Does it have more to its story than becoming one with nature? 
The story is sweet and fun. It is fun to imagine the history of lost and found items. How did that ring get to the consignment store? This book has an imaginative one. The book itself is rather simple and thus appropriate for the young age group. The illustrations are fun and clear. It makes your imagination run a bit wild while you think about such adventures items may go on.

Our next book is a sequel to a book we shared when Hazel was much younger. It is What the Ladybug Heard Next by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks. The crooks are out of jail and head back to the farm. They have been stealing eggs but want the red hen. Can the ladybug save her? In the same fun way this book brings the farm alive with the animals all working together to save their friend. 

This book is recommended for ages 2 to 6. It is a fun book with rhymes and talking animals. The illustrations are colorful and simple. It lives up to Julia Donaldson reputation and shouldn't be missed.

Our next book is Bunny Built by Michael Slack. Bunny is out of carrots. What is he to do? He goes to find some carrots, but each of his friends has lost theirs because of different things like losing a house, a boat, etc. Then he finds possibly a giant carrot seed. He plants it and helps his friends out. This is a wonderful story about friendship and helping others.
It is a sweet story with a happy ending and good lessons. It is recommended for ages 2 to 6, and I agree with that range. The six-year-olds may be able to read it themselves. The story is definitely for the younger child.

Our next book is I Don't Want to Go to Sleep by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt. This is the fourth book in the series: I Don't Want to Be a Frog, I Don't Want to Be Big, and There's Nothing to Do.  These books are written for 3 to 7 year-olds. They are definitely aimed at younger kids. This book has the young frog back and he is learning about hibernation and how frogs spend the winter. The problem is he doesn't want to hibernate. What is he to do? 

This is a cute book that shares a bit of information about frogs as well as other animals and how they survive the winter. It is perfect for the younger kids who will be entertained by the fun illustrations and big words. 

Our next book is perfect for those kids who have a parent who works at night. It is Night Job by Karen Hesse and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. In this book it is Friday night and a young boy goes with his father to his night job as janitor of the school. The boy describes the ride there, the smells and sights. He describes the nap he takes on a sofa in the library and how his father wakes him. 

The book is a wonderful example of descriptive words and writing. It shares so much on its pages. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7. It is eye-opening for kids whose parents do not work at night and to realize how it is for some kids and parents. 

The next book is an anniversary edition of a book about a goose with no feathers. The book is Borka by John Burningham. Borka is born without feathers. Her mother knits her feathers, but he cannot fly. As winter comes her family flies away and leaves her. How is she going to survive alone in the winter? She goes on some adventures and the tale is a good one. It is one of acceptance as well as friendship and life. 

Our next book is Mother Earth's Lullaby: A Song for Endangered Animals by Terry Pierce and illustrated by Carol Heyer.  This book is a wonderful bedtime story. It shares many endangered baby animals going to bed in rhyme. The pictures are adorable and there is a bit about the animals in the words. It is such a sweet book. At the end of the book there is a paragraph about each animal as well as information on helping endangered animals. The animals on the pages are just as adorable as the wolf on the cover. This is one of those books that just make you want to go "ahhh." It is recommended for ages 4 to 7.

Eric Carle is back with his friends and they are discussing bugs. The book is What's Your Favorite Bug? by Eric Carle and Friends. They each share their favorite bug and each bug is illustrated and the words share facts about the bug. 

This book is a fun addition to preschool and kindergarten units on bugs or for those kids who just love bugs. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Our next book is also recommended for ages 4 to 8. It is a book of short stories that are perfect for quick story times or for new readers. It is Vernon Is on His Way by Philip C. Stead. This book is apparently a sequel. It brings back some much loved characters and has three short stories: Waiting, Fishing and Gardening. The stories are sweet and have a bit of humor. The characters are all animal friends who show love and caring for one another as well as others.

I could see many kids loving these characters and new readers wanting to start chapter books enjoying these stories. The illustrations are just that--illustrations. You can see the pen marks and the drawings. It is perfect for those young readers.

This next book is for 5 to 9 year-olds. It is The Dam by David Almond and illustrated by Levi Pinfold. This is the story about how a daughter and father remember the past before the final parts of the dam are finished and flood the valley. They remember the music that was played there. The good times filled with parties and dancing and music. It is a beautiful book with gorgeous pictures. 

It brings to mind what progress can do and how it sometimes takes away. It shares the importance of remembering and of music and dance. It is such an elegant book.

Our next book is for ages 6 to 8 and is about saying goodbye to a pet. It is Tim's Goodbye by Steven Salerno. Margot is feeling sad about her turtle, Tim, dying. Her friends gather and help her say goodbye and give Tim a wonderful send off. This book shares the sadness and grief that comes from losing a loved one and how others can help us move beyond.
The illustrations are simple and the book only uses the colors yellow, blue, black and white. It keeps away the fuss that some books share and helps portray the grief Margot is feeling. This is a wonderful book for a child who is trying to deal with the loss of a loved one and especially a pet.

Our next book is also for ages 6 to 9. It is a multicultural book. It is The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd. This story takes place on the edge of the desert. The village is full of homes made of mud walls. What is there to do out there? Not much but to make your own fun. So the narrator and his brothers build a bike from various things they find or take. It has wooden wheels and a bucket seat. To the narrator the bike is the best thing around. 

This book shares another life. It is so different from the life kids around here live and it opens their eyes to the simpler pleasures. Imagine creating a bike from scraps and having it as the thing to play. 

Our final book for today is humorous and educational. The book is If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold and illustrated by Greg Newbold. This book looks at what dinosaurs might look like if painted or drawn by famous artists. It has artists like da Vinci, Edgar Degas, Franz Marc, Mark Rothko, and Lois Mailou Jones. Can you imagine what Diego Rivera or Andy Warhol would do with a dinosaur in their artwork? Amy and Greg Newbold do!

For some of the artists the dinosaur(s) is added in to a famous painting and for others it is just done in that artists style. I love how the reader learns a bit about the artists with the humor of dinosaurs mixed in famous paintings. At the end of the book there is information about each of the artists shared in the book. It is truly an educational book and perfect for lessons on art. 

So there is a wide range of picture books for ages 2 to 9 shared here. I hope you will check them out and consider gifting them this holiday season! Stay tuned for more book round-ups the next couple of weeks!!