The Winter Fox

  • The Winter Fox
  • written by Timothy Knapman
  • illustrated by Rebecca Harry
  • published by Nosy Crow / Candlewick Press (2017)

Every year around this time, a bumper crop of winter- and holiday-themed picture books take over the bookstores. Some of them are blatant cash grabs, some are genuinely sweet and worth owning.

The Winter Fox is one that fits into the latter category. Originally published in the UK last year, this edition is distributed in the States by Candlewick Press and only just came out here.

It’s an adorable story of some forest friends preparing for winter, but one of them (the titular fox) is Mr. Procrastination. The Winter Fox is almost a reversal of the classic folk tale The Little Red Hen.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

Dinosaur Pirates!

  • Dinosaur Pirates!
  • written and illustrated by Penny Dale
  • published by Nosy Crow / Candlewick Press (2017)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Look, sometimes you want a picture book to impart a deep meaningful message about life. Sometimes you need a picture book to help your kids get through a difficult time. Sometimes you want one that just makes you feel are warm and fuzzy inside.

Other times? You just want a book about dinosaurs. Or pirates. Or both! And that’s where Penny Dale’s appropriately named Dinosaur Pirates! comes in handy.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

Littleland Around the World

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This is the second in what will presumably be a series of books set in Littleland, “a very busy place indeed.” Both books follow 10 friends and are designed to be first picture books for very young children.

The text simulates conversational speech and is meant to help young kids build their vocabulary with practical new words. The illustrations are filled with small details for little eyes to discover. Each spread even encourages kids to look deeper by including specific “Can you see…?” look-and-find objects.

In short, it’s very reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s Busytown books, which I have incredibly fond memories of from when I was a kid.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

Just Right for Two

justright

  • Just Right for Two
  • written by Tracey Corderoy
  • illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
  • published by Nosy Crow (Candlewick Press) (2014)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

We’re in a weird phase right now in this house regarding picture books. The oldest (5) is into comics and graphic novels in a huge way and likes to listen to chapter books read aloud to her. She still enjoys picture books but doesn’t often request them. The youngest (3) is beyond board books and should be in the middle of the prime picture book years. But he just wants to sit with his sister and listen to her stories.

Therefore, when picture books make it into our bedtime rotation, it’s often because I pull them out and add them to the pile.

Such was the case with Just Right for Two, a relatively recent title from Nosy Crow, a British publisher. (In the U.S., Nosy Crow books are published by Candlewick Press under an imprint of the same name.) And, as per usual, it was enormously well received at bedtime.

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Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.