What I'm excited to do here is to shine a light on two books that surprised me, in the best possible ways. I love books, especially picture books, and I read tons of them. Along with books I read myself, I follow blogs and reviews by some of the most engaged folks in the kid-lit world, including teachers, librarians, parents, kids, authors, illustrators, and editors. I read every edition of Horn Book from cover to cover, scour bookstores, and follow social media.
Surprising me about picture books is hard to do.
And yet these titles did just that. In a few cases I hadn't heard about them, or had less than stellar expectations, or had the highest hopes for them and they blew right past those and into the upper atmosphere. My reviews from Goodreads are used here for a couple of the best, in my opinion, with more to come in the days ahead.
|Abrams Appleseed, 2015|
Let's start with TICKLE MONSTER, written by Aedouard Manceau, illustrated by Edouard Manceau. This is one of those that slipped under my radar, so much so that I first read a different book with the same title. I refer to it at the end of this review, in part to caution you that THIS is the Tickle Monster I recommend, for these reasons:
"I love everything about this "tickle book": vibrant colors leaping off a black background, empowering young readers to control things they fear, emphasizing creativity and imagination, using if/then language patterns, kid-friendly simple text in a little-hands-friendly trim size, predictable patterns that allow kids to name and read body parts, and a reassuringly "safe" tone at bedtime despite the imposing cover image.
Compare these features to my thoughts on this other picture book with the same title, reviewed here."