HOW DO YOU HUG A PORCUPINE? By Laurie Isop (Simon and Schuster 2011) is the winner of the Cheerios New Author Contest. Gentle rhyming text and comic illustrations (by Gwen Millward) show a young boy trying to decide how to go about petting a porcupine.
CATCH THAT BABY by Nancy Coffelt with illustrations by Scott Nash (Aladdin 2011) would be a terrific pairing with NO DAVID by David Shannon. A family pursues the naked baby all over the house to the chortling laughter of the escapee Nudie Rudy.
Marilyn Singer and illustrator Kathleen Habbles team up for WHAT IS YOUR DOG DOING? (Atheneum 2011). Some of the descriptions are simple, but much of the language is quite rich. For instance, famous dogs get chauffeured. There is even a dog with the President!
BIG BROTHERS DON’T TAKE NAPS by Louuise Borden and Emma Dodd (MCElderry Books 2011) is the story of a close sibling bond between Nicolas and his older brother James. Watch for the lovely surprise ending about big brothers as well.
THE LITTLE LITTLE GIRL WITH THE BIG BIG VOICE by Kristen Balouch (Little Simon) is the tale of a little girl who manages to frighten away animals with her loudness. Of course, there is one animal that will be able to match her in volume: the lion.
Willa Perlman and Carolyn Fisher team up for GOOD NIGHT, WORLD (Beach Lane Books 2011). A young child says good night to ice capped mountains and painted deserts and other locations across the planet and even into the heavens.
BOY WONDERS by Calef Brown (Atheneum 2011) is about a boy who wonders about all manner of things: are phones annoyed if no one calls? Do paper plates recall being trees? What about befuddled crabs and bepiddled pools? Language is at play here in this wondering tale.
CHARLIE AND KIWI by Peter Reynolds is subtitled AN EVOLUTIONARY ADVENTURE (Atheneum 2011). Cahrlie does a report on an unusual bird for his class: the kiwi. His classmates challenge him to prove that the kiwi is indeed a bird despite the fact that it does not fly and it has whiskers. Charlie travels back through time (think Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) to discover the answers.
Everything you need to know to become a paleontologist can be found in DINOSAUR DISCOVERY (Simon and Schuster 2011) by Chris McGowan. Pages of information on the most important species of dinosaurs plus more than a dozen experiments that will delight all budding dino lovers are part of this large format nonfiction book.
DREAM AWAY by Julia Durango, Katie Belle Trupiano with illustrations by Robert Goldstrom ((Simon and Schuster 2011) is a lovely lullaby with two story lines. Dreams and real life adventures into the nighttime are lyrically described. The gentle illustrations in shades of blue and white are a perfect match for this dreamy book.
SAY WHAT? By Angela DiTerlizzi with illustrations by Joey Chou asks what animals are really saying. Could the duck’s quack mean it wants a snack? Is a meow a demand for something now? Simple rhyming text poses questions about the sounds animals produce.
Beware the TRAFFIC PUPS by Michelle Meadows and Dan Andreasen ((Simon and Schuster 2011)! Two erstwhile young pups manage to catch red light runners, speeders, and other miscreants while clearing traffic away from an accident.