Every Monday the Boston Globe** does Picture Book Picks and lists some of the best picture books being published. We, at my new library, order them. Some of the new ones just came in from the PBP a few weeks ago so I thought I’d tell you about them since they were pretty cute.
Orion and the Dark written & illustrated by Emma Tarlett
Orion is afraid of the dark. He’s done everything he can think of to avoid this fear (i.e. eating lots of carrots to improve his night vision, dressing like an owl since they’re awake during darkness & seem to like it, painting his room with glow-in-the-dark paint…) but nothing seems to work. Then one night the Dark comes to him, says hello and invites him on an adventure to investigate whether or not the Dark is scary. They go see what the sounds are that seem scary but aren’t. They go into the sky where there is no light and Orion realizes the Dark can be fun. How he gets to this realization I’m not sure. And I also think that if reading this to a child who is genuinely afraid of the dark you may not alleviate their fear. Unless the Dark comes to visit them also, these are not practical things you could put in to practice to show them the dark is not scary. However, it’s still a cute story and the illustrations are great. Best for a one-on-one reading due to the small vignettes (like what he tries in order to avoid his fear).
Marilyn’s Monster written by Michelle Knudsen illustrated by Matt Phelan
Michelle Knudsen is the author of the ever popular Library Lion. Matt Phelan is the illustrator (and writer in the case of these ->) of many wonderful books including Bluffton and Around the World, both of which I’ve read but apparently never reviewed. Ugh! He makes beautiful pictures so the combination of these two people has made a wonderful book about a girl named Marilyn who lives in a world where every child has their own monster. Oh what a world. Marilyn does not have her monster yet. The monster is meant to arrive when you least expect it, on the playground, in school or anywhere you could imagine. But hers never comes. She’s tired of seeing all her friends with their monsters and decides to take matters into her own hands and go looking for her monster. “That’s not the way it works,” says her brother. “Maybe my monster is different,” she responds. And so her monster is and there’s nothing wrong with being different! Cute cute book. Would definitely work for story time or group readings along with one-on-ones.
**The woman doing these reviews is Nicole Lamy. There is nothing of note in her Boston Globe description that includes Children’s services.