Bad Dog by Mike BoldtThe question: Why is Rocky such a bad dog? Her enthusiastic new owner can’t get Rocky to come when she’s called, or go for walks, or even play with other dogs! Instead, she prefers napping and watching the fish tank. What gives?
The answer: One glance at the adorably exaggerated artwork will show readers what the protagonist doesn’t see: that Rocky is actually a cat -- and might also make a pretty great friend.
Little Mole's Wish by Sang-Keun KimStarring: lonely Little Mole, who builds a friendly snowball to talk to on his bus ride home, only to be told that the bus is for animals, not snowballs.
What happens: Undeterred, Little Mole finds a clever work-around.
For fans of: the soft snowscapes and whimsical tone in Raymond Briggs' classic The Snowman, although sensitive souls can rest assured that Little Mole’s Wish has a more hopeful ending.
Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold; illustrated by Renata LiwskaWhat it’s about: How do you make it snow? The animal friends in this picture book have a few ideas: they throw pebbles at the sky, wear their PJs backwards, and even try a snow dance, but nothing works. Could it be that patience is the only way forward?
Art alert: Gentle colors and fuzzy, delicate lines emphasize the warmth in this wintry tale.
If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin E. SteadWhat it’s about: A boy gazes hopefully at the sea, eager for a glimpse of an elusive whale. It’s hard to stay focused when there's so much to see (roses waving in the wind, a far-off ship full of "possible pirates"), but nevertheless he keeps watching...and waiting...
Why kids might like it: Told in gently rolling free verse and illustrated in muted colors, this quietly beautiful book will leave readers enchanted.
Waiting by Kevin HenkesWhat it’s about: A group of toys -- an owl, a puppy, a pig, a bear, and a rabbit -- sit on a windowsill and wait. Some anxious for the weather to change, or for their human to arrive, while others contentedly abide in anticipation.
Why kids might like it: This contemplative slice of life depicts a truth that even the most squirrelly kids can recognize: sometimes, you just have to slow down, look around, and wait.
Pearl by Molly IdleWhat it's about: Though pink-finned mermaid Pearl longs for a big, important job, her mother asks her to patiently look after a tiny grain of sand.
Read it for: swirling jewel-toned illustrations, plus an ending that reminds readers that "the smallest of things can make a great difference."
Who it's for: mermaid fans of all ages, as well as kids who love author/illustrator Molly Idle's Flora books.
Wait by Antoinette PortisWhat it’s about: While rushing to catch a train, a mother keeps asking her dawdling son to "hurry!" But each time, the boy implores her to "wait" as his attention wanders to a hungry duck, a friendly construction worker, a curious dog, and finally, a sight that makes even the stressed-out mother stop and wonder.
Try this next: JonArno Lawson's Sidewalk Flowers, another simple, lovely book about an observant child's ability to find beauty in the everyday world.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!