Best New Children’s Books for May 2012

May is a glorious month. The weather is getting quite pleasant, the kids are playing outside, and, this year, there is a nice selection of new books to enjoy. From tales about bunny rabbits to a look at the world if it was made of food, this list-while it may not be very long- has a little something for everyone in it.

Chloe: A gem of a book all about family.

chloe

This is a lovely tale (or should I say tail?) about Chloe, a little bunny rabbit who is smooshed in the middle of a huge family with 10 older siblings, and 10 younger siblings. One might think Chloe would be grumpy (I would be) being surrounded by all of her brothers and sisters, but she’s quite the opposite. She loves what she calls “family fun time” the time at the end of the day when her family all gets to spend time together. One day, things change. Chloe’s Dad brings home a T.V. set, and everyone except Chloe and her little baby sister, Bridget, get sucked into watching it. How will Chloe get family fun time back? With a subtle yet hilarious ending, this book will please readers’ right up until the last page.

The Hueys in The New SweaterWarning-you might get obsessed with this book.

the hueys in the new sweater

This fantastical little book is probably my favorite out of all of the books on this list. It’s a deliciously equal blend of a well written story and super illustrations, not to mention the lovely theme underlying everything.

The whole book is about these egg shaped critters called The Hueys. The thing about The Hueys is that they all look the same. Consequently they all act the same, and do all of the same things.  Except for one Huey named Rupert-who one day decides to knit himself a bright orange sweater and wears it wherever he goes, breaking the sacred unspoken code of sameness. The reaction of the other Hueys, and the clever, comical ending, make this book one to be loved!

Hippopposites: A lovely new take on an old concept.

hippopposites

One of the earliest concepts we teach are children is the concept of opposites. What’s the opposite of up? The opposite of dark? We ask questions like this again and again, and then one more time. But more than we ask, we read. Books are such a perfect learning tool, it makes sense that simple books about opposites would be so very popular. But there’s one thing-they all seem so similar!

Taking an unusual example (a hippo) Hippopposites is a superb book about learning opposites, that breaks the mold a little bit in terms of what an opposite book usually is like. It has simply addicting illustrations, and I felt my delight with it growing every page I turned. It’s clean, entertaining, and holds a high educational value for those really little ones out there.

Hide & Seek: A simple, solid read.

hide and seek

I wasn’t so sure about Hide & Seek when I first saw it, but as soon as I opened it and saw various chameleons decorating the inside of the cover, I began to grow fonder of it. The storyline is simple-at the edge of a rainforest, a group of animals gather to play hide and seek. We count along with elephant while all the animals scurry off to hide, with the only hitch being that at the end of the day, nobody can find chameleon. I was definitely a fan of the collage, paper cut, illustrations, and though that they added a nice, fresh layer to the book.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons: A story about rolling with the punches.

pete the cat and his four groovy buttons

Pete the Cat is a chill dude. He has a favorite shirt-bright yellow-with what he thinks are 4 pretty groovy buttons. In fact he likes them so much, he sings a catchy little jingle that goes like this-

“My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons.”

But as the story goes on, the buttons begin to pop off of Pete’s shirt. Does he cry? Nope, because he knows that “buttons come and buttons go.” As he loses each button, the reader is asked what comes next (i.e. 3 buttons, 2 buttons) and a little math problem is added at the bottom of the page.

Pete, with his sunny outlook, is bound to teach us (kids and adults) a little something about going with the flow, and some math while he’s at it.

La luna: A short film come to life.

la luna

Author Enrico Casarosa has worked for Pixar for quite a number of years, and has contributed to beloved movies such as ‘Up.’ Originally he created La luna as a short film, before it was adapted into book form. It starts out with a big-headed (literally he has a huge head) little boy who is going to work with his father and grandfather for the first time. They climb into a little boat, late at night, and head out to sea. Fishing is the first occupation that pops into the readers mind-but that changes when the boys father sets up a ladder that goes to the moon. Together, the three generations help to ‘tidy up’ its surface that gets covered with fallen stars. But when a huge star comes and crashes into the moon, none of them can agree on how to clean it up, until the little boy puts his big head to good use.

A World Of Food: A tasty treat to read.

a world of food

I am super stoked to be writing about this book, because it’s so very, very, entertaining. At first glance, it may not look that promising, but flip open to one page-seriously just look at one page- and you’ll be craving more!

‘A World Of Food’ is about just that-our world, if it were made out of different kinds of food that are all the same color. For example, one page describes what the world would be like if it were simply brown. Chocolate trains ride around by a melted-toffee lake, chocolate covered raisin rocks are scattered about, and brown-sugar puffs of smoke steam from the train as it goes through hills of coca powder. Or if the world was green-we’d live in forests of kale and broccoli trees and rest our heads in flower beds of parsley, sage, and dill.

The best thing about it is, the illustrations are really pictures of food, set up to look like it’s actually making up the world. A lovely, catchy rhythm to the writing only adds to this books appeal.

April Showers Bring May…Books?

Apparently April showers do help new books sprout up here and there in May. After all, what better way to force a writer to finish their book then to pour rain outside and trap them inside?

Seriously though, we were quite pleased with the books that came out this month. Our top three were probably The Hueys in The New Sweater, A World Of Food, and Hippopposites. If you get the chance, definitely check some of them out, and fill your summertime up with good books to enjoy with your children!

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