Previously in my capacity as Children’s Department Manager for the Odyssey Book Shop, I had the opportunity to look over publisher’s catalogues at the new books for each season. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Fall 2011 catalogues, so decided to revive my seasonal picture book highlights series.
Disclaimer: I have not seen these books with my own eyes. So, these books have been chosen based on my knowledge of the author and/or illustrator’s previous work, the catalogue description, and my own personal taste.
Animal Fun from A to Z: Decorative Flash Cards
by Junzo Terada
I’ve mentioned before my slight obsession with the alphabet, alphabet books, and alphabet cards. Here’s just one more set to add to the ever-expanding list of alphabet-related paraphernalia I’d like to have some day.
A is for alligator and Z is for zebra! Showcasing the adorable vintage-inspired animal illustrations of Japanese artist Junzo Terada, these distinctive flash cards feature an animal for every letter of the alphabet. Printed on sturdy board, these cards are educational and absolutely delightful—perfect for both play and display.
Adapted by Cedelia Marley, based on the song by Bob Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Adapted from one of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics of his music to life for a new generation. Readers will delight in dancing to the beat and feeling the positive groove of change when one girl enlists her community to help transform her neighborhood for the better. Adapted by Cedelia Marley, Bob Marley’s first child, and gorgeously illustrated by Vanessa Newton, this heartwarming picture book offers an upbeat testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts.
A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns
An embarrassment of pandas, a galaxy of starfish, a shiver of sharks…these are all collective nouns used to describe their groups. Woop Studios, acclaimed for their work on the Harry Potter movies, has illustrated these quirky phrases, creating a series of extraordinarily beautiful art that has been collected here for the first time. The colorful introduction to animals and the alphabet is accessible for young children, while the gorgeous, whimsical art and clever wordplay make it perfect for design-savvy parents and inspired gift givers. Longer than the standard picture book, with high design and production values, this is a volume readers will want on their coffee tables in addition to their child s bookshelf.
by Laetitia Devernay
Pairing two seemingly disparate elements an orchestra conductor and a grove of trees award-winning artist Laetitia Devernay herself orchestrates a visual magnum opus. Her spare, yet intricate, illustrations truly appear to take flight before our eyes and her wordless narrative nearly roars with sound as the conductor prompts the leaves to rustle, then whirl, then swirl to unexpected life with each turn of the page. It is a celebration of creativity, imagination, storytelling, and the renewing power of nature that will entrance readers of every age.
Over and Under the Snow
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neil
Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter s snowy landscape in this magical book.
Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love
by Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick L. McKissack Jr., illustrated by Randy DuBurke
Cheating a bit with this one as it’s actually a graphic novel for ages 12 an up, but the illustrations are just gorgeous, so had to include it.
From acclaimed authors Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack Jr. comes a thrilling biography of an unforgettable man told in compelling graphic novel form. Born into slavery in 1854, Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, grew up to become the most famous African-American cowboy in the Old West. A contemporary and acquaintance of Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid, Nat was widely known as an expert roper and driver, a crack shot, and a real Wild West character. Featuring lively full-color artwork by Randy DuBurke, Best Shot in the West is an exhilarating mix of high-interest historical fiction and nonstop adventure.