Welcome to Critter Lit Book Reviews! The first Thursday of every month Critter Lit will review two newly released picture books, representing two categories: WORDS and PICTURES, that are especially worth while and must reads. So without further ado, Critter Lit's picks for July 2018:
Drum roll please....
W O R D S
We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Published by Disney-Hyperion, June 2018
So I'm already pretty partial to orange dinosaurs, but I knew this book would be a keeper even before I had the chance to read it, simply because the title is so great. WE DON'T EAT OUR CLASSMATES is the newest book from author/illustrator extraordinaire, Ryan T. Higgins. We are big fans of the MOTHER BRUCE books in this house, so I had pre-ordered this book ages ago. But it wasn't until it arrived in the mail recently, that I finally got the chance to take a peek....
Meet Penelope Rex. A small(ish), orange, adorable T. Rex who is about to start school. And like most kids, she's pretty nervous about it.
"Penelope's mom bought her a new backpack with ponies on it. Ponies were Penelope's favorite. Because ponies are delicious."
"Penelope's dad packed her a lunch of three hundred tuna sandwiches and one apple juice."
The big day arrives, and it turns out Penelope's class is filled with...CHILDREN! And Penelope loves children. Because children are delicious. But we don't eat our classmates, right? Well, Penelope does, which makes it that much harder to make friends. Soon, all of Penelope's classmates are afraid of her. So she decides to befriend the class pet, who just might give her a dose of her own medicine. Hilariously written, with spot on pacing, this book is a must have for any library or picture book collection. Not to mention the art is great, as always, with any Higgins book. A perfect back to school read aloud.
Click here for more information on We Don't Eat Our Classmates
P I C T U R E S
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Published by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, April 2018
This is quite possibly the most beautiful book that Sophie Blackall has done. Which I realize is saying a lot because she's already won the Caldecott Medal for Finding Winnie, but this is hands down my favorite.
I've been a huge fan of Blackall's illustrations since being introduced to them as a bookseller with the Ivy & Bean series. She has created such an amazing body of work as an illustrator, but HELLO LIGHTHOUSE is simply stunning. Blackall has taken everything into account when creating this gorgeous book, from the art itself to the trim size, which reflects the height of a lighthouse. The entire book is masterfully crafted together. I especially loved her use of patterns to emote the feeling of the ocean as the story progressed and the circular spot illustrations to recreate the intimate setting of a lighthouse.
But the page where she shows the lighthouse in the fog is on a whole other level. The delicacy of the line work and feeling that she creates is so incredibly lovely. This book made me feel nostalgic, lonely, happy, and sad all at once. HELLO LIGHTHOUSE is a wonderful look at a job and the life of a lighthouse keeper that has been lost to technology. A must own for any picture book collection. If you haven't done so make sure you spend some time with this beautiful book.
Click here for more information on Hello Lighthouse