(previously in this series: Ella)
Well, three books in and I’ve already screwed up the chronology. I think I’ve got it all sorted now. This week, we return to 1959–the same year that Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure came out. Hubert was the true beginning of Peet’s career as a children’s book creator, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Goliath II.
Browsing the Backlist
- Scaredy Squirrel
- written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
- published by Kids Can Press (2006)
- Roar Score: 4/5
Scaredy Squirrel is now the star of a multibook series, but this is where he started. If you’re not already familiar with the character or the books, get thee to the library or bookstore (or Amazon) and pick these up, pronto!
In short, Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of everything. He never leaves his tree, and he imagines the world–the Unknown–to be full of dangers that are out to get him. Dangers such as sharks, green Martians, killer bees, and germs!
(previously in this series: Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure)
Continuing our journey through the career of Bill Peet, we pick up Ella (1964) this week. I had originally wanted to do the books in chronological order, but (1) I don’t own all of them, especially since a few are long out of print and very difficult/pricey to obtain; and (2) I can’t seem to find a definitive bibliography of his books in order of publication. If anyone has one, please send it my way. In the meantime, I’ll do the best I can.
Ella is the story of a circus elephant who is bit of a prima donna.
If I had to pick a single favorite children’s author/illustrator, it would undoubtedly be Bill Peet. Since I was a kid, I’ve been in love with his style and his stories. Every character is given life and loving detail, even if just in the background. Even the scenery is given its own personality. A barn, windmill, or gnarly old tree all come to life in a Bill Peet book. When I was in elementary school, the school librarian would re-create pages from Peet’s books on large sheets of drawing paper and use them during storytime. They hooked me.
Browsing the Backlist
- written by Wu Kee Smith
- illustrated by JAKe
- published by Chronicle Books (2011)
What we have here is cute novelty. It’s part language guide to the Wookiee dialect and part guide to Wookiee culture. It also comes complete with an audio player set to play 10 distinct Wookiee grunts and howls (which is its primary selling point, as far as kids are concerned).
Outside the Box: A Book of Poems
- by Karma Wilson
- illustrated by Diane Goode
- published by Simon and Schuster
This is a new one—just released at the beginning of this month (March 2014). Which means I’m actually timely with a review!
The cover grabbed us. It’s fairly simple, as far as covers go—especially for children’s books. It’s black and white. Mostly white, with some simple line drawings. But it’s SO evocative of Shel Silverstein’s books that it practically jumped into my hands.
The Magic Kingdom Storybook
- written and illustrated by Jason Grandt
- published by Disney Press
When I first heard about this book, I knew we had to have it. Written and illustrated by Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt, who had a hand in the design of the stunning Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom, this book is absolutely stunning.