I know that the gift giving season has officially begun when The New York Times devotes almost half of the Sunday Book Review to Children's Books, including their annual list of the Best Illustrated Children's Books. This year the section is chock full of great books. Here are a few nifty titles from the review I want to share with you in case my links to the NYTimes don't work - sometimes you have to register to read the content and I never know who gets to see what.
|illustrations from A Tale Dark and Grimm|
When Stories Had Sharp Teeth by Mrjorie Ingall features three new books with fairy tales woven into the plots. Ingall reviews Cornelia Funke's new series that begins with Reckless, a book that is shelved in the Teen Section where I work. As Ingall notes, "I'd call it Y.A. Seduction is used as a bargaining chip and there's a character called the Tailor who is about as terrifying as anything in the "saw" movies." She also has some very funny observations about Funke's writing style... Nevertheless, Ingalls says she is looking forward to the next book in the series. She also features a modern retelling of Cinderella that has other Grimm elements a part of the plot,The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman that includes the New York Circulating Material Repository, a sort of library in Central Park that contains magical objects from the Grimm's fairy tales. Main character Elizabeth gets a job there and must help figure out who or what is draining the magic from these objects. Finally, Ingalls features a book that was just published last week, but was reviewed by Betsy Bird over at fuse#8 in July of this year. A Tale Dark & Grimm, debut novel by Adam Gidwitz, sounds like a real winner, especially when Ingalls reveals that her eight year old daughter, "a tough critic who doesn't like scary books," read this book three times, back to back. All three books sounds great and, being a huge fan of fairy tales, I can't wait to dig into them. The Grimm Legacy is a Cybil nominee, so hopefully it will make the first round of cuts and I will be reading it in January!
Great picture books in the review as well! Below are images and cover art from the winners, most of which I have read, one or two I have reviewed and some that are totally new to me. Judges this year were Robert Sabuda of pop-up book fame, Besty Bird, NY Public Librarian, author of the ubër-awesome blog (linked above) fuse#8, and soon to be author of the picture book illustrated by the amazing Brandon Dorman, Giant Dance Party! and novelist and designer, David Barringer, author of There's Nothing Funny About Design.
Here comes the Garbage Barge
by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Red Nose Studio
Subway by Christopher Niemann
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Bink & Gollie, by Kate Di Camillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
Busing Brewster, by Richard Michelson,
illustrated by R.G. Roth
Henry in Love by Peter McCarty
Seasons by Blexbolex
Shadow by Suzy Lee
The great thing about this year's issue is that most of the above books are also reviewed within. Also reviewed, Bink & Gollie, The Search for WondLa, and the graphic novel of The Little Prince, adapted by Joann Sfar a respected, very popular comic book creator in France (did you know that France has a HUGE obsession with comic books and has for decades??? I didn't...) and a review of a book I can't wait to get my hands on, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, a favorite of mine, called A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, written by Michael Ian Black, comedian, actor, writer and director who also teamed up with Hawkes on Chicken Cheeks, a very funny story time book which Black describes as, an "anthology of animal butts."Although it sounds juvenile, it really is an amazing compendium of a brilliantly illustrated tower of animals worth checking out. Look for my review of it, along with The Butt Book by Artie Bennett.