So many books, so little time left! Out of more than 200 picture books, the seven first round panelists for the Cybils award have to choose and come to agreement on the seven best titles, within the next few days. All I can tell you is that the list has been in a constant state of flux! Here are just a few that have caught my eye, although that does not necessarily mean they have made any shortlists - you'll just have to wait until January 1 to find that out 😉
I have shown this one to people here at the library and discussed it with others online, and it is definitely a love it or hate it book. Personally, I loved it - a little odd, a little warped, and a lot to identify with.
"There was once an old lady who lived in a small house...with a very, very big family."
Poor woman just wants a FEW minutes of peace and quiet so that she can finish ONE task without being interrupted - do I hear an "amen", moms? That premise may be more for adults to identify with than kids, but the increasingly drastic measures she has to take will tickle any child's funny bone. The illustrations are absolutely perfect, with a slight Russian/Ukrainian leaning that made me smile.
Coincidentally, the kids were in the middle of watching (for the millionth time) "The Incredibles" as I was reading this. Gideon wants to be a hero and have his picture in the paper, but he isn't sure how to go about being a hero - especially once he realizes that being a hero mostly seems to be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
Sly, somewhat sarcastic humor, with a twist at the end (just right for my smarty-pants daughter who always thinks she knows what is going to happen next.) Looking for a moral lesson? Move along. And that's fine with me, because I have seen enough of those to last a lifetime. Lots to look at in the illustrations, too.
My kids connected with this one much more than I thought they would, which made me go back and take another look. The illustrations are obviously sweet, and the story line is as well: Dennis prefers to show rather than tell (the word mime is never mentioned, but this is an excellent introduction). In a world where most people seem to prefer the opposite, that made it hard for him to make friends. Once the right person comes along, however, that whole world can change! For a week after reading this, during play time I would hear my kids say, "I'm being a...what's that thing called from the book where they don't say things?" (Pretty impressive when my constant talkers want to be the mime!)
Look for more round-ups in the next few days, as I try to put my thoughts down before the final cuts!