I LOVE picture books! So this year, I’ve decided to start at A and work my way through the picture book section of our local library, I’m choosing around 5 books a week (maybe a few more) from each shelf and then writing a blog with my thoughts on each book.
My Choices This Week
In A Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, Illustrated by Tricia Tusa
At first, I didn’t love this book. I thought it was a mother giving in to a child’s sleep avoidance, then I felt like it was a mother giving a child sleep aids when all she needed was the light turned off, then I decided that the mother probably didn’t realize that that’s what the child was asking for when she asked for a blue room.
With all that aside, the illustrations are beautiful and emotive, it’s a gentle bedtime story and I like that it plays on a child’s language. Children often express things in unexpected ways, it’s one of my favorite things about being a mother, and in the book, we aren’t sure what Alice means until her mother turns off the light. I won’t give it away, because I do recommend getting this out of the library or picking it up for your home library. I love how we end up, on the last page, just looking at a tiny Earth – our pale blue dot – and Moon, it’s a beautiful evolution of the story. After the second read, I forgot all about my initial dislike.
4/5 I liked it, especially the end.
Except If by Jim Averbeck
The second book on this weeks list is by the same author as the first, and I really started to get an idea of his style, which I really like. It’s another story that takes you to an unexpected place in an unexpected way. This time we are presented with an egg and taken through a series of suggestions about what the egg could be (except if it’s… something else). We go through snake, lizard, dinosaur, fossil, and so on, until finally it ends up being a bird (of course). Like the twist that I didn’t give away in In A Blue Room, you don’t realize where you’re going until you’re there, when you’re there it all falls into place. It makes for a really enjoyable and fulfilling read. I love how it teaches a science lesson, but you don’t even know it.
4/5 A fun, subtly sciencey read.
Dream Something Big: The Story Of Watts Towers by Dianna Hutts Aston with Collages by Susan L. Roth
I’ve seen the Watts Towers in a documentary before, so I knew of them, but didn’t know much about them or the man behind them.
This story is from the perspective of a girl who grows
It’s a heartwarming story that allows us to look at the human behind the art, and not just as a mysterious eccentric artist. It’s illustrated with collage, not my favorite style, but fitting for the subject. At the back is a short authors note telling the story of the Watts Towers and Simon Rodia, and then a crafting activity you can do yourself. Definitely worth reading and especially as an educational book.
3.5/5 We enjoyed the culture/art lesson and how it was presented.
The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston, Pictures by Jerry Pinkney
The space nerd that I am, I absolutely LOVED this book! We join a family as they wait for the TV broadcast of the moon landing in 1969. The illustrations are incredible, the story is emotive, I actually felt the excitement, emotion
5/5 I loved this book!
Desmond and the Naughty Bugs by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Anik McGrory
This book, I didn’t love, unfortunately. The illustrations are beautiful, the idea is cute, I get where the author was trying to go with it. But I believe in taking responsibility for your
2.5/5 I felt it was just slightly off in its message.
Bonus Book (Not from the Shelf)
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt
4.5/5 Fun, funny and useful!