Saturday Picture Book Reviews: Unexpected Behaviors

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This morning we headed to Portsmouth with the boys to run pre-Easter shopping errands and spend some time at Barnes & Noble. I read a huge pile of picture books to the boys, and my husband browsed the aisles and drank coffee. I was excited to finally get the chance to read some books which have been getting real buzz on Twitter, especially those by Julie Falatko (Maine Author!), Ame Dyckman and Tara Lazar, all of whom I’ve been following on Twitter for a while. Tara is the brainchild behind “PiBoIdMo”– “Picture Book Idea Month”– which I participated in this past fall. The concept is to come up with ideas for 30 new picture books, one for each day in the month of November. It’s a great writer’s challenge, made even better by the support found on Tara’s blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. Tara has a few other books I’m also itching to read, but one will do for today.

I titled today’s post “Unexpected Behaviors,” because all the books I’m reviewing seem to subvert the expected idea of the book– either by breaking the 4th wall, or by having an unexpected plot twist. In my children’s school, they are taught about expected and unexpected behaviors (e.g. pushing vs. standing quietly) as part of the school’s “responsive classroom” behavior management philosophy. So my kids know all about what constitutes “unexpected behavior.” There’s plenty of it in these stories! Enjoy the reviews!

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Another Library Saturday…

yplbooks19marchLast Saturday was the 7th birthday party for my youngest, so we didn’t get to the library. This morning he decided he wanted to be a “bump on a log,” so I took my 10 year old to the library just the two of us. I got him to help me look at the picture books, inspecting each for the copyright date. It is my goal to mostly review books from the last three years in order to have a good feel for what’s being published currently. While it’s not surprising that a small town public library wouldn’t necessarily be filled with current titles, what did sadden us a bit was how many of the books which LOOKED brand new were actually at least ten years old. Either they are being impeccably well cared for, or they haven’t been read much.  Perhaps this summer I’ll go on a quest for “forgotten gems,” but for today’s reviews, everything is 2012 or newer. There are some really cute ones — enjoy!

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