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Spring Sneak Peeks Part 1: Picture Books

December 17, 2012

I know, you’re just getting your holiday shopping done and here we come with a sneak peek of the new books coming to your favorite bookstore or library next year, but we simply couldn’t wait to share some of our favorites with our readers!

I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder

I Haiku You

I’ve loved Betsy Snyder since we published her book Haiku Baby, so I was excited to see a sweet little hardcover book from her on the spring list called I Haiku You. Full of haikus about love, friendship and fun, this would be a great Valentine’s Day present for your loved ones, adult or child. My favorites are both romantic: “Love is in the air- everytime our hearts meet up, I get butterflies,” and silly: “You be my jelly, I’ll be your peanut butter- let’s stick together!” Betsy’s charming art, full of children riding bikes, learning at school, playing with pets and much more adds color and life to the poems. –Erin

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino

Doug Unplugged Why spend all day “plugged in” when you can get outside and experience the world? Doug the robot does just that in this sweet book that celebrates children’s natural curiosity. –Deanna

Ribbit by Rodrigo Folgueira, illustrated by Poly Bernatene


A group of frogs are having a pleasant morning in their pond when they notice a strange visitor: a large, pink pig that cries Ribbit! Offended that the pig may be making fun of them, the frogs enlist the opinion of the other animals in their community, including the wise old beetle that finally brings light to the situation when he poses that “Maybe he just wanted to make new friends.” In a fun, engaging story-time book (the words carry the interactive feel as the font sizes literally crescendo and decrescendo on the page), Rodrigo Folgueira discusses the importance of not jumping to conclusions and the fun that comes with seeking out a friend who is different. I loved it! –Bobbie

Bluebird  By Bob Staake


With no words at all Bob Staake has created a masterpiece of picture book art. A bluebird soars through a city and many different landscapes all the while delivering a gentle message about loneliness, bullying and the importance of friendship. Bob won a NYTimes Best Illustrated Award for The Red Lemon, and his art can frequently be seen on the cover of The New Yorker too. The perfect book for kids, families and grownups, too. –Kate

A SPLASH OF RED: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant,  Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A Splash of Red

Horace Pippin was a self-taught African-American artist who was born in the late 19th century and did not achieve fame for his work until later in his life. In fact, although he was drawing from the time he could walk, he did not submit his first work, an oil painting, until he was forty. The main reason: Horace suffered a serious injury to his right arm while serving his country during WWI. After he returned home from the war to Philadelphia, his injury hampered his ability to find work and to do what he loved most: create beautiful art. It was only after years of perseverance building up strength in his arm that he was able to create works for which he is best known. Horace’s masterworks, a mix of folk and primitive styles based on everyday objects, family memories, biblical stories etc. now hang in museums throughout America.

Horace’s inspirational life story needs a wider audience and I’m confident that Jen Bryant’s stirring narrative–combined with Melissa Sweet’s brilliant and vibrant re-creation of his artwork—will draw children, parents and teachers to this magnificent biographical picture book.  –Tim

Pirates vs. Cowboys by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by David Barneda

Pirates vs Cowboys

Burnt Beard & his crew swagger into Old Cheyenne, but Black Bob McKraw & his posse aren’t very hospitable. To top it off, the pirates & cowboys can’t understand each other-not until Pegleg Highnoon comes in and saves the day. With phrases like “fair scrub and a swish” and ‘mangy hornswagglers” kids & parents alike will enjoy this book that begs to be read aloud! –Dandy

Snippet the Early Riser by Bethanie Murguia

Snippet the Early Riser

Snippet the snail is an early riser, while the rest of his family loves to sleep in.  Sound familiar?  While his family is snoozing the morning away, he is wide awake and ready to race to the flowers, make leaf sculptures, and get piggyback rides. With the help of his bug friends, he tries and tries to wake up his family-but nothing works. Until Caterpillar gives him an idea… Tons of parents and little ones will relate to this sweet bedtime (or early morning) story and everyone will enjoy looking at the gorgeous watercolor illustrations. –Sarah N. 

Thanks for joining us at RAoReading today, please be sure to return on Wednesday for Part 2 of our Spring Sneak Peeks when we’ll be sharing some of our favorite Middle Grade and YA books!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2012 7:02 pm

    I love Melissa Sweet’s illustrations! I can’t wait to read A Splash of Red and Doug Unplugged.

  2. December 17, 2012 9:42 pm

    I am so excited about “Pirates vs. Cowboys!” It’s such a fun read-aloud.

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