Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2011: Picture Book Edition

A Pet for Petunia
by Paul Schmid
January 2011
Harper Collins

I loved the clean lines of the illustrations for this book. I don't know if I'm sold on the kind of pet that Petunia pines for: namely, a stinky skunk!  This is sure to be a silly read.

Rabbit, Ribbit
by Candace Ryan, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Walker Books for Young Readers
February 2011

I can't put into words how excited I am to see veteran blogger Candace Ryan's newest book.  Ryan has a marvelously inventive sense of wordplay and fun.  Mike Lowry's cute and cheerful illustrations, with a hint of sass should pair perfectly with this text.

A Call for a New Alphabet
by Jef Czekaj
Charlesbridge Publishing
February 2011

When looking over any alphabet book, I always flip towards the back, to see how the author has dealt with tricky letter "X"  Xylophone or X-ray's are standard, but books that include rare but wonderful and unusual words such as "Xerxes" or "xenophobe" are a little less common.  Very lame are those books that resort to using words with "x's" in the middle or at the end of the word to sit in for a proper "X" word, such as "eXtra."  This offering, which imagines what would happen if "X" rebelled and created a New World Order looks very entertaining to me.

Where's Walrus?
by Stephen Savage
February 2011

Plenty to grab my attention here.  I'm not certain if this is wordless, or nearly wordless, but it features a Walrus on the run, various disguises and hats and oversize graphic design inspired illustrations.

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party
by Melanie Watt
Kids Can Press
February 2011

I'm a huge fan of the Scaredy Squirrel series.  Can't wait for this next installment to see what our favorite neurotic squirrel is up to next!

Cinnamon Baby
by Nicola Winstanley, illustrated by Janice Nadeau
Kids Can Press
February 2011

I love the delicate illustrations for this.  It sounds like a sweetly charming tale of a baker's family who uses the scent of cinnamon to soothe a crying child.

Dear Tabby
by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by David Roberts
February 2011

A cat with an advice column needs to sort out her own personal problems.  I like the play on words, "Dear Abby" being synonymous with advice columns everywhere.

Mini Racer
by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo
February 2011

I have to admit, the thing that first drew me to this book was the picture of the cover, which reminded me a little of the "dog party" in the tree towards the end of Go, Dog, Go by Dr. Seuss.  I'm also reminded, a little, of Richard Scarry's wonderfully silly vehicles.  Just from the cover alone, we can see an ape in a banana-car, a bunny in a carrot-car, a mouse in a cheese-car and a dalmatian in a spotted-car.  I might end up recommending this to transportation-crazed kids who enjoyed The Trucker by Barbara Samuels.

by Michelle Knudson, illustrated by Andrea Wesson
February 2011

A dragon makes a surprise appearance in this story about a girl responsible for taking care of an egg.


  1. Oh my, those all look lovely--Cinnamon Baby and Dear Tabby especially! Off to update the TBR list.

  2. I know! 2011 is really shaping up to be a great looking year.

  3. Yes, I love Scaredy Squirrel too! Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm still trying to figure out the Nook and may go over to Barnes and Noble and have someone walk me through it. (I'm a technodinosaur)

  4. Those look delightful! Especially _Where's Walrus_. The cover alone is kind of selling me on it.

  5. Another fan for Scaredy Squirrel. And the Petunia one looks good, too. I'm thinking it's the purple.

  6. Yes... Where's Walrus? is entirely wordless. Hope you enjoy! --Stephen

  7. I have a want to read list started, too. Lots of the same as you, but also Silverlicious (my daughter will insist), Just Being Audrey (Oh, how I love Ms. Hepburn), The Rain Train (for my son), A Butterfly is Patient, Henke's newest, Little White Rabbit and The Invisible Man by Arthur Yorinks.

  8. Wow. So honored to be a member of this list! I'm looking forward to checking the rest out.
    Thanks Madigan

  9. @Stephen @Paul Yay, real live authors commenting on my blog! I'm honored, and can't wait to see your work when it's released!

    @Brimful - Oh, Silverlicious, yes, I liked Goldilicious, so I'm sure I'll take a look at it. And Kevin Henkes! Oh my gosh, how did I miss the fact that he has a new book coming out? I love his new style - the same as Old Bear and My Garden.

  10. Thanks, Madigan, for including MINI RACER on your list. I'm looking forward to PETUNIA as well and you convinced me to add a few more to my order!
    On a side note, I'm part of a book newsletter called The 4:00 Book Hook and we featured the book trailers for A PET FOR PETUNIA and MINI RACER this issue, among other great reviews and book related news & activities. Check out new and past issues at:

    Or subscribe via



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