The Crocodile and the Scorpion
By Rebecca and Ed Emberley
Published 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
I really like the illustrations here - the Emberleys have done some other folktales in a similar style and I haven't enjoyed them that much. In this case, I think the illustrations are great - very bright colors, vivid and eye-catching. However, I can't even remember the story very well. I know it's a riff on a classic tale, but the story didn't really capture my attention and I don't think it would hold a storytime crowd's attention.
The Fort that Jack Built
By Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Brett Helquist
Published 2013 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
This is a simple twist on "The House That Jack Built" but it is so much fun. I'm in love with Helquist's illustrations - he's someone who I seek out everything he's illustrated and read it whenever I get a chance (as much as that doesn't make a ton of sense). They work really well here - detailed and delightful. This story also works really well as it takes a popular subject - forts, duh - and then twists a classic tale. You see, Jack has "borrowed" items from his family members to build his fort and they kind of want them back. So, we readers get to see Jack's fort slowly being taken apart. It's fun and I think this has tons of kid appeal.
Don't Push the Button!
By Bill Cotter
Published 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
As long as they keep making interactive picture books that are actually fun and work with a crowd, I'll keep reading them in my storytimes. Because really? How can you not push the button???? Of course, pushing the button sets off a series of disasters. Can we get them all under control before the end of the book? Kids will love this!