New picture books for kids arrive at the library

In the stacks

Posted: Sunday, September 05, 2004

This week is a sampling of the new picture books that are out at the Juneau Public Libraries.

"The Cat who Walked across France," by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben: Tear-jerker alert! When the unnamed cat hero's idyllic life with the old woman he lived with ends, he and the rest of her belongings are sent north, to the house where the old lady was born. But no one in that house needs a cat, and it is cold and not at all like his house by the sea, so the cat leaves. When at last he returns to the house he loved, there are new people there, ones who know about cats and care for them. Expressive, chunky pictures illustrate this story of a lucky cat.

"Berry Magic," by Teri Sloat and Betty Huffmon, illustrated by Teri Sloat: Have you ever tasted a crowberry? Then you know why everyone used to complain about them long ago when they were the only berry around. Then one day a young woman named Anana came up with a plan, and with her dance fans and the help of four dolls decorated in rose, red, blue, and orange, she creates salmonberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries! Based on an old tale from the Arctic.

"Oh, Look!" written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco: In the style of "going on a bear hunt," three wayward goats lead their young owner through a gate, across a bridge, up a hill, and all the way to the county fair, until they all meet an ogre! In a panic, they reverse their tracks and head back for home. Chant-along text accompanies Polacco's endearing illustrations.

"Kitten's First Full Moon," written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes: Henkes experiments with drawing styles again in this wonderful book of a kitten's misadventures with the moon, a bug, a tree, and a pond. When the little kitten sees the full moon for the first time, it looks just like a bowl of milk. Being a hungry kitten, she tries to get to it several ways, finally ending up wet, tired, and still hungry. But when she returns home, she finds a nice surprise waiting just for her.

"Don't Forget I Love You," by Miriam Moss, illustrated by Anna Currey: Billy and his mama are on different schedules this morning: Mama is in a hurry to take Billy to nursery school before she goes to work, while Billy plays with his stuffed animal, Rabbit. Billy's day starts going really wrong when he drops his lunch box, spilling his lunch and making Mama cross. And it only gets worse when he gets to nursery school and discovers Rabbit isn't with him any more. And that's not the worst thing... This short, sweet story about moms, kids, and routines is a winner.

"Flower Girl Butterflies," by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by Christiane Kromer: The excitement of being in a wedding wars with a fear of muddy dresses, tripping, and dog-chewed shoes in a young flower girl's mind.

After choosing the dress she'll wear in her Aunt Robin's wedding, Sarah starts getting butterflies in her stomach. But by the time the big day's over, she wonders which of her aunts will get married next! Lovely illustrations catch the heroine's various moods perfectly.

"A Good Day's Fishing," written and illustrated by James Prosek: Beautiful watercolor paintings show off the contents of a young boy's tackle box as he unpacks it looking for what he needs for a good day's lake fishing. It's all here, from spinners and spoons, to bobbers and sinkers, alongside the fish they catch. And, down at the bottom of the box is the most important thing of all! Light on story, but rich with opportunities for fishing parents to talk about fishing with kids.

"Don't Forget to Come Back," by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Harry Bliss: There are three things to know about this delightful book. 1. The young heroine REALLY doesn't want her parents to go out without her. 2. She tries everything she can think of to let her go with them or keep them from going, including announcing a trip to the South Pole. And, 3, when nothing works and she's left with the babysitter anyway, she has a lot of fun! Bouncy illustrations and a subject near and dear to kids' hearts everywhere make this a fun read for parents and kids (and babysitters).

Author and illustrator Janell Cannon will be visiting the Juneau Public Libraries on September 18th. Start getting acquainted with her through her books and see a whole new side of creatures you may not have thought much about before: try "Stellaluna," about a bat who is raised by a bird, or the lovely "Crickwing." Nope, that's not a cricket on the cover! The public libraries also own "Trupp," the story of a fantasy creature who visits a town filled with humans, and "Verdi," the story of a small yellow snake who doesn't want to grow up to be big and green.

Storytime and Toddler Time start up again this week. Check out our online calendar at or pick up a paper calendar at any branch for more information.

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