Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Discoveries at My Local Bookstores

Week of October 16—Finding Hooks to Inspire Your Books
Thursday, October 20—New Discoveries at My Local Bookstores

When I browse my local bookstores, I’m always looking for what is displayed and what pops off the shelf and causes me to pick up a book. Like you, I pass by more books than I ever pick up. Of the ones I pick up, most I read only a fraction of the text, or thumb through the pages. So when a book gets my attention, I actually read it, and even enjoy it, I assume that’s a sign of good book (at least to me). So here are my latest discoveries at my local bookstores:

Pigs Are Big
I lost count of the number of books with pig characters I saw last Saturday. Ok, I get it—pigs are funny!

Most Hilarious Pig Title
Pig Kahuna
By Jennifer Gordon Sattler
© 2011
Bloomsbury, Inc.

I laughed aloud as soon as I saw the title and cover illustration and I read the book from start to finish. I’m happy to say no one stopped to stare as I kept laughing page after page. A surfing pig—need I say more? The story does not follow the typical three-attempts-three-failures approach, but does have rising and falling action and an epic climax. (Okay, as epic as one can be in a picture book about a surfing pig!)

Best Pig Book by a Former Olympian
Dream Big, Little Pig
By Kristi Yamaguchi
Illustrated by Tim Bowers
© 2011
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

And now, ladies and gentlemen, an ice-skating pig! I don’t usually plug celebrity books, but this is a particularly cute one. This is the story of persevering, of supportive friends and family, of finding your niche, and of going with gusto for your dreams. I understand a follow-up book is in the works—always the sign of success.

Interactive Books Are Still Hot
A Robot with a Heart
The Robot Book
By Heather Brown
© 2010
Accord Publishing

Don’t let this board book fool you—it may look simple, but it’s complex on many levels. For instance—the wheels, levers, hinges, doors, and flaps that bring the robot to life are ingenious and fun to play with. The story—which I would estimate is less than 50 words—tells the reader how robots are constructed. The message lets us know that even something made from metal can have the most important characteristic of all . . . a heart.

Short Text is Every Where
A New Book from an Old Master
By Maurice Sendak
© 2011
Michael Di Capua Books/Harper Collins Publishers

Picture book icon, Maurice Sendak, is back! The winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are and the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Award, has written and illustrated his latest book at 80+ years! The brief text tells a heart wrenching/heartwarming story of a pig (yes, another pig) who has never celebrated his birthday—until now. I wholeheartedly recommend that you read this book (already on the NY Times best seller list) and Leonard Marcus’ interview with Sendak in the latest Hornbook.

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