If you need to buy a present for someone with younger children, or just like to share a great picture book with your own kids, these are a few of my recent favourites:
This Book Just Ate my Dog! by Richard Byrne
Following somewhat in the footsteps of the very popular Press Here, this is a picture book with a bit of interactivity, in which a young girl named Bella out for a dogwalk is very surprised when her dog disappears into the margin, followed quickly by her friend, Ben. When that seems to be just the beginning of this voracious book's appetites, it may just be up to the reader to sort things out and help save Bella, Ben, and all of her would-be rescuers, in a book that may just become a family favourite.
The World According to Musk Ox by Erin Cabatingan
Readers are familiar with musk ox, who stood front and center through both the alphabet and a counting odyssey. After all, it is all about him. Now, in their third outing, the two traipse all around the globe, with zebra introducing facts about each continent, while musk ox is, well, musk ox.
The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier
With the 100th Anniversary of Hockey Canada, it seems terribly appropriate to also have a hockey book for Christmas. What could be better than the 30th Anniversary edition of the classic Canadian title about a young boy's horror when his mother ends up replacing his #9 jersey not with another of the great Maurice Richard, but with a jersey belonging to ... the horror, the Toronto Maple Leafs? This isn't done in a town where the boys dress like the Rocket, act like the Rocket, comb their hair like the Rocket. How can he show his face again? This edition also comes with a bonus DVD.
And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst
On the morning of the talent show, after a lot of practicing, a small boy had practiced "a billion times." Judith Viorst presents a cumulative tale about a very realistic fear about performance anxiety with wonderful illustrations and flaps that show how this performer deals with a few detractors in a story that will resonate with anybody that has or will ever sing a song, play an instrument, give a speech, tell a story, or do anything in front of a crowd.
It's a great year for fantastic picture books! If you've found others, or would like other suggestions, drop us a line in the comments. Don't forget that you will find these, and other great titles, in your local Library!