We’ve been getting some delightful new picture books in the library lately. Alot of picture books just pass you by, but every now and again there are some that stand out, whether that’s because it’s the latest book by a great author and illustrator or from a stand-out publisher. Here’s just a couple of the latest and greatest.
Your Mother Didn’t Do That is a delightful New Zealand collaboration between author Sharon Holt and Brian Lovelock, the illustrator of the New Zealand Post Book Awards finalist book, Roadworks. Holly’s dad decides to tell her a bedtime story about the night that she was born so Holly asks if she hatched out of an egg like a chicken. Dad tells her if she were a new chick, her mum would have fluffed up her feathers and sat on her to keep her warm. He tells her ‘Your mother wouldn’t do that.’ They go through all the animals they can think of until Holly’s dad finally tells her what her mother did do when she was born. It’s a perfect bedtime story about the bond between mothers and their babies, and Brian Lovelock’s soft illustrations perfectly match the story.
My first impression of Ulf Nilsson’s When We Were Alone in the World was ‘What the?’ It starts with a boy who is waiting at the front gate of his school for his parents to pick him up. He has just learnt to tell the time and he knows that he gets picked up at 3 o’clock. When his Dad doesn’t arrive he walks home. He gets home to find that the door to his house is locked and his parents are nowhere to be seen. He comes to the conclusion that they are dead, probably run over by a truck, and so he sits on the steps and cries. ‘I wasn’t even six years old and I was alone in the world,’ he says. I thought this was a little strange considering it’s a children’s picture book, and so I had to keep reading to find out how the story ended. I won’t give the ending away (you’ll just have to read it to find out) but needless to say, it’s positive. It is actually quite a clever story that is warm and funny, especially at the end when you realise what has happened. When We Were Alone in the World is another fantastic Gecko Press publication. If you haven’t already discovered some of their translations of ‘curiously good books from around the world,’ we have a great selection of them in the library. Also, if you loved Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop’s Snake and Lizard, look out for Friends: Snake and Lizard, coming in October.