Friday, October 14, 2011

friday's five

Hey, what's this? A blog post of one of my favorite old features? Wowee zowee, I'm trying to make time for friday's five since it is once again the lovely time of year known as the Cybils Awards season!

I'm thrilled to be able to say that I'm in my third year of affiliation with the Cybils, and once again, I'm working with an amazing team in the Fiction Picture Book category. This little button here proudly proclaims my extreme happiness at the prospect of spending the next two months reading a couple hundred picture books to decide which ones should be sent along to the final judges. Woo-hoo!

Here are five nominated books that I've enjoyed this week:

1. Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Matthew Cordell -- You know what I love the most about this book? It's a cute little book, sure, and it's one of those mama and child sweet little stories. But you know what really makes it stand out for me? The message that the child can go out, away from his mama, to have some wonderful experiences on his own, and that he can still feel welcomed home afterward! It's like the beginnings of a Free-Range childhood for this little froggy.

2. Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler -- Interestingly enough, here's a few more free-range kids out having an adventure. Well, sort of. They're both a little nervous, until Dave enters their life. Dave, you see, is a special something that has floated onto the shore that the brothers Fergus and Dink are not quite certain about. When they discover what Dave is really good for, their whole world expands and new adventures abound. And honestly, the illustrations are stinking adorable.

3. Job Site by Nathan Clement -- When the Boss gives a direction, the trucks and workers get the job done. If you've got a construction lover in your midst, this one will surely appeal for its brightly colored vehicles and construction flair. The illustration style is different, and it's not my favorite, to tell the truth, but I think that the computer-rendered pictures will still be attractive to kids who are already gung-ho about the topic.

4. Dot by Patricia Intriago -- Oh, I really like this clever little book. I do have to admit that I wish it didn't come out at the same time as Press Here. If we don't do a comparison, then this one really shines, for its creativity, and regardless of a comparison or not, I think this one is going to be giggled at plenty by children for a while. I personally love the fact that the text is short enough that my just-learning-to-read kindergartener can decode many of the words independently, and still have a fun reading experience that is entertaining. Really, this is a cute one.

5. Follow Me by Tricia Tusa -- Beautiful. Imaginative. Soft. Lovely. These all accurately describe this gentle story that takes place simply in one child's head, incorporating colors and mood into a darling gem of a bedtime story. I think the biggest appeal this book will have is during a read aloud time between a parent and one or two children, snuggled up together for a quiet book time. Really, it's just beautiful, imaginative, soft and lovely.

Check these out for yourselves, if you're of the picture book loving type like me. And, if you've got a kids' book from this year that you loved, guess what? The Cybils Awards nominations are still open through tomorrow! Get in on the nominations before the end of Saturday, 10/15!

Surrounded by picture books,