Du Iz Tak? by Carson EllisDo you speak Bug? You will after meeting the curious, well-accessorized insects in Du Iz Tak? The titular question is posed by one bug to its friend when they discover a small green sprout. A confused "ma nazoot" is the answer, but as more bugs gather to build a "furt" in the growing plant's leaves, readers will spy some clues that this plant is actually "unk scrivadelly gladdenboot!" Though the plain backdrop hardly changes, the dainty, folk art-style illustrations contain charming cumulative details that will prompt close attention and repeat reads. For further witty wordplay, try Antoinette Portis' Best Frints in the Whole Universe.
A Small Thing ... But Big by Tony Johnston; illustrated by Hadley HooperTiny, pigtailed Lizzie is playing in the park with her mom when she suddenly comes face to face with a feared adversary: a dog. The dog's human, a dapper older gentleman, is friends with Lizzie's mom, and the dog is small and perky, but Lizzie's still skeptical. Yet after some gentle questions and reassuring answers (the dog's name is Cecile, and no, she doesn't bite), Lizzie's canine confidence begins to grow, and by the book's end, young readers will share in her triumph as she parades around the park with Cecile. Old-fashioned illustrations in light, cheerful hues strike just the right visual note for this celebration of small victories.
Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre; illustrated by Steve JenkinsA squirrel's tail can be used as a flag, a balancing tool, a hiding place, or an umbrella… and that's just one of many intriguing items you'll find in this introduction to the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed mammals. Though the story uses punchy poetry and crisp collage art to describe squirrel behavior, the book's final pages are packed with scientific facts, making Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep valuable for pleasure reading as well as report writing. Those who appreciate the harmonious collaboration of author April Pulley Sayre and illustrator Steve Jenkins should be sure to check out their previous works in Vulture View, Woodpecker Wham!, and Eat Like a Bear.
Dear Yeti by James Kwan"Dear Yeti, We're searching for you. Sincerely, Hikers." If you want to find the elusive yeti, it can't hurt to let him know, right? That's the logic employed by the two young hikers in this book, who venture out into a snowy landscape to look for the yeti, who shyly shadows their journey and reads each of the notes they leave behind. With sweet, stylized illustrations that portray the mythical beast as fuzzy and friendly-faced, this gently suspenseful story is sure to be a crowd-pleaser among kids who are fascinated by imaginary creatures. For another appealing pair of cryptid hunters, try Mary Ann Fraser's No Yeti Yet.
Yeti, Turn Out the Light! by Greg Long; illustrated by Wednesday KirwanAfter a long day and a tasty spaghetti dinner, a tuckered-out yeti switches out the light and snuggles into his bed for a good night's sleep. Except…what's that scary shadow? "On the light goes, and to Yeti’s surprise, he sees only bunnies, and their big bunny eyes." Yeti's bunny buddies (who naturally decide to cuddle up in his bed) turn out to be just the first of many friendly but unexpected nocturnal visitors, each appearing in comical page-turn reveals. How is a Yeti supposed to get any shut-eye? Find out in this rhyming tale of bedtime jitters featuring stylish, retromodern illustrations.
The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot! by Scott MagoonThis book begins with a little boy named Ben telling a big fat lie: “LOOK EVERYONE, IT’S BIGFOOT!” At first people believe Ben’s tall tale, but when no Bigfoot materializes, they start to get frustrated. Kids will chuckle as Ben (aided by his long-suffering dog) deploys increasingly outrageous tactics to get his skeptical family and friends to believe in his Bigfoot sightings. And when Bigfoot finally does appear…well, we don’t want to give away the surprise! Expressive, playfully retro pictures help to balance the underlying lesson about honesty in this lighthearted and quirky retelling of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
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