Bunnies! Bears! A llama, a hamster, a couple of apes and holy crap I hope I am never face to face with a wolffish!
And in the end, a little girl who just wants a giraffe for her birthday. Enjoy!
Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood
Just once I'd like to see a picture book about a grumpy old solitary fella who, when his cheerful new neighbors move in, does NOT soften like butter in the sun. But until then, I'll read this book, savor its rich illustrations with their delicate watercolor shadings, and like it.
Bear & Hare Go Fishing by Emily Gravett
Three cheers for spare text, funny pictures, and thick heavy paper - this is a good one for tiny littles who are just past board books. And FOUR cheers for Emily Gravett, just because.
Beastly Babies by Ellen Jackson
"Babies can be smooth or hairy,
Perky rhymes and seriously adorable art make this jazzy picture book a winner.
The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea by Ellen Z. Guiberson and Gennady Spirin
Fabulously detailed underwater portraits of some of the biggest, most deadly, or flat-out weirdest creatures in the sea. Gennady Spirin's murky tempera, watercolor and pencil art recalls Dutch Renaissance still life paintings, and deserves a place alongside the similarly outrageous naturalist work of Ernst Haeckel and Maria Sybilla Meriam. Yep. I will go that far.
Tiny Hamster Is a Giant Monster by Joel Jenson, Joseph Matsushima and Amy Matsushima
The medium is the appeal here - photographs (with superimposed comic ZAPs) of a furry hamster eating his way through a model city. Pretty sure that building is made of granola bar. I don't care what you think of the story - kids will not be able to resist that pink nose and shiny eyes taking center stage amid tiny cars, trees, and helicopters. And yes, Tiny Hamster was a YouTube sensation before creeping between the covers of a picture book.
Lloyd Llama by Sarah Jones
You know that old brainteaser kids like to tell each other? "When I enter through the green glass door..." I can take bees but not honey, wood but no sticks, etc. Well, in this book Lloyd likes jelly, lollipops, and his friend Stella the gazelle. Al the alpaca, however, prefers jam and apple pie.
Will these two at-odds quadrupeds find common ground?
Second Banana by Keith Graves
Slapstick circus humor in fun fancy pencil drawings and cheerful color. I love that fine, feathery pen line contrasted with big healthy shapes.
One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail
Oh, this is smart. Sophia pleads her case for a pet giraffe using a variety of persuasive techniques, tailored to the particular temperament and values of each decision-making stakeholder in her family.
Except it's fun, and not horrible like I just made it sound. Think Emma Stone talking her parents into letting her move to Hollywood with a PowerPoint. Experienced picture book readers will guess what that "one word" is going to be!