In January, I talked about three of the Cybils Fiction Picture Book Finalists with an eye towards which ones might win a Caldecott medal. I was right about two of them. "Bam!" said the lady!
I also reviewed one of the other finalists - Jeremy Draws a Monster - as a book that I was giving to my three year old niece. But with a bit more than a week to go before the ultimate winner is chosen, it's certainly time to share the other three books from the Cybils Fiction Picture Book shortlist.
by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Mike Benny
The lives of the slaves are hard work, little food, and old clothes. But there are also times of pride, worship, and family. Under the cover of darkness, the slave children sneak under the windows of the Big House to hear the news and then take it back to their community. Inside the conversations are elements of harshness, indifference, compassion, and with any luck - hope. Beautifully rendered, this story for older readers will touch your heart and open your eyes.
by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by David Slonim
Here's a goose who "took her baths in apple juice," so we can safely say that she's pretty silly. Her crazy antics get to her barnyard friends, who read her the riot act to stop the silliness. Later though, they miss laughing and the miss the real Tilly, who they learn to accept just the way she is. The value of the book is in the wild lines that will have kids giggling even as they are learning about rhymes. It's a perfect read aloud with wonderful rhythm and expressive illustration that captures this very silly goose.
The Book That Eats People
by John Perry, illustrated by Mark Fearing
Dark and deadly, this is a book to be feared as it eats people. Throughout the pages the reader learns of many of the unsuspecting victims of this most dangerous book. The illustrations are appropriately creepy, and the tone is darkly comedic. While I personally would have put this book as most appropriate for older readers - say first and second grade - I've had personal reports of much younger children who want to hear this book read again and again. So beware, because it might just take over your family as well.