By Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell
Published 2013 by Clarion Books
This is a really fun book about Yankee Doodle and his eager pony. I don't know if it would work in a storytime setting - there is a lot happening on many of the pages - but it would be great one on one. This had tons of kid appeal because it's really funny and the illustrations are bright and bold. Additionally, I liked that this explains "macaroni" was another word for "fancy" back then, which I am surprised and disheartened to admit that I didn't already know. Is it the greatest book ever? Probably not, but it's fun and kids love fun.
The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses
By Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Published 2013 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I don't usually pick up poetry books these days (I know, shame on me) but I found this one hard to resist. A little girl who wants a pet embarks on a series of scientific investigations to discover which is the perfect pet for her. The rhymes are really clever and fun ("rabbity lies/...Vikings in disguise") and I was very charmed by this book.
Building Our House
By Jonathan Bean
Published 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
If I'm being entirely honest, I probably would not have picked up this book were it not for Betsy Bird's enthusiastic love of it. However, I'm glad she swayed me - this is a lovely book. It does seem a bit longer than your average picture book, but it is beautiful and kids who love construction will be endlessly fascinated. Actually, I imagine many kids fascinated with the concept of building your own house - how many of them have experienced that? The illustrations are so, so lovely - I want to just look at them all day. I think this book is the complete package and I think, for the right kid, this is a perfect book.