Take Your Mama to Work Today
By Amy Reichert, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Published 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Violet is off to work with mom today and she has some advice along the way. After all, she is an expert at working. This is a really cute story about what office life is like in the eyes of a child. I think it would be a great book to talk about what mom or dad does at work, though kids with stay-at-home parents might not get as much out of it. I absolutely love the illustrations - to the point where I actually looked in the front of the book to figure out how they were made (and wrote it down!). Lovely and adorable.
By I.C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies
Published 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
I love this one! Which might be surprising because I hate birds, but this story is just so darn awesome that I'll overlook it. This book is deceptive - it appears simply to be the story of a greedy magpie, but it actually asks some more complex questions. The text is sparse but the illustrations are gorgeous - I want Brian Lies to create art just for me. This would be a great book for dialogic, one-on-one reading.
The House at the End of Ladybug Lane
By Elise Primavera, illustrated by Valeria Docampo
Published 2012 by Robin Corey Books
Angelina comes from a family of neat freaks, but she is definitely not one herself. She loves to get dirty. She is not allowed to have a pet because, let's face it, pets are messy. But something unexpected happens after Angelina and her family move to Ladybug Lane - maybe they will find a solution they'll both be happy about. This is a very whimsical story, accompanied by suitable illustrations, but it's not entirely successful for me. It doesn't really have much of a compelling story; it all seems a bit random. I'm sure there are kids who would love it, just not me.
Animals are Sleeping
By Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Gary R. Phillips
Published 2008 by Sylvan Dell Publishing
This is an absolutely lovely bedtime book that highlights how different animals go to sleep in their habitats. There is an excellent variety of animals featured here and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous - bold and beautiful. The thing that surprised me most (I suppose maybe because I'm not terribly familiar with this publisher) was the extra material at the back of the book - tons of suggestions to further explore some of the things covered in the book. Great!