We've been receiving many new picture books. Some I've shared with our Mock Caldecott committee, but one that is great but won't be eligable for the Caldecott - One Hen by Katie Smith Milway, Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. One Hen has a captivating message and story with beautiful illustrations.
One new book by Indianapolis artist Nathan Clement called Drive has good perspective and great shadowing technique. It is very impressive for his first picture book.
Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy, Illustrated by Steve Bjorkman is a fun frolic through a child's life. The poetry is good, but not too sappy. I especially liked Making Friends. The art follows the words and poems. The illustrations are expressive, see Bubbles "I like to play and splash and sing when I take my bath, But it's the bubles that I make myself that always make me laugh!" or try Snakes Alive! where the dad is as afraid of the snake as the kid.
Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost, illustrated by Leonid Gore is a non-fiction book that depicts the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. Although the text is not rhyming is does have a nice poetic quality. Paired with the ethereal acrylic and pastel illustrations, this book gives the non-fiction information a natural picture book aspect.
I've loved Judi Barrett since her animals that shouldn't wear clothes, her new offering Never Take a Shark to the Dentist(and other things not to do) with art by John Nickle is in the same style as the her "animals" books: 'Never share your lunch with a pig.' With descriptive illustratioins done in acrylics. I love the illustrations for 'Never hold hands with a lobster.' Each animal that tried to hold hands with lobster has a painful reminder. Their faces are so expressive.
My last new book is On the Farm by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly Meade. Holly won the Caldecott for Hush! A Thai Lullaby. She has ventured out to try woodcuts and the result is terrific! Although this is labeled a non-fiction book, it is short rhymes about different animals on the farm. It starts off with a raucous rooster and takes you all the way around the farm to end with the quiet, listening rabbit. Beautifully painted with watercolors, this book captures life on a farm to a 'T'. Holly may be in for another win. We'll see.