I work at a library as a circulation clerk and it’s my favorite job I’ve ever had. It’s lovely to be surrounded by books and it’s an atmosphere in which, even when there are crummy patrons, I’m pretty f///ing heart-humming content. As a circ clerk, I check-in materials, and you bet your lovely bum every now and then I take five minutes to enjoy one of the best types of books ever in all the land and of all times and peoples: picture books. The five star ones will be featured on this blog because they are. Just. That. Lovely. I encourage anyone, if you’re in a library or a bookstore or your three-year-old niece’s art class wondering why the hell you offered to be a parent volunteer when there’s several unknown stains blossoming on your shirt from their inquisitive and flailing arms (it’s okay, sneak away to the reading corner), to take a few minutes and just meditate. Just immerse yourself in the sweet, wonderful, beautiful, adorable, creative, informative worlds that picture book authors create.
I don’t know if this post will evolve to other five star Friday type deals // I might do some Top Five Fridays sometime. Have any of you seen High Fidelity? Prime John Cusack role. And to color one of the quotes from that film to make it about picture books:
“What came first – the picture book or the goofy smile? Did I read picture books because I was hoping to be hopeful? Or was I hopeful because I read picture books? Do all those five star picture books out there turn you into a hopeful person?”
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe that quote is hella random, and I’m wondering why you haven’t sat down to watch High Fidelity yet, and now I’m realizing that this post is about ~p i c t u r e b o o k s~ ahem, so, without further ado, here it is.
The one that started it all.
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Synopsis: Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he’s their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can’t seem to rid himself of his new companions. What’s a bear to do?
Review: I read this book literally *Josh Peck voice* LITERALLY every time it crosses my path. I kept an eye out for it when I visited a best friend in Portland just so I could read it to her and share the joy that is Mother Bruce. It’s Fly Away Home, but Anna Paquin is a bear. A GRUMPY LOVABLE BEAR. Who just wants to enjoy his brekkie and gets parenthood instead. Five stars forever.
This book is the most cute. I don’t know if you, dear reader, know this about me yet but.
I f///ing love bears. They are perfect creatures with wibbly wobbly snoots and big meaty claws and beady knowing eyes and I used to say I would die from a bear hug one day, but you know what, let’s be hopeful. One day, in this life or the next, I’ll die for a bear, my mostly companion, and it will be glorious.
Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
Synopsis: Millie is unlike most other cows. She chews her cud and grazes in the fields with the others, but she doesn’t enjoy that nearly as much as she loves scaring the mail carrier. It’s too bad the mail carrier doesn’t have as much fun each time Millie comes up with a new way to surprise him. Who knew delivering the mail was going to be such a difficult job?
Review: Cows are pretty darn cute, especially in the art style of Steffensmeier. Millie’s expressions are delightful and her enthusiasm for scaring the poor mail carrier is, well, relatable. I had a prankish roommate like Millie once… Where was I? Oh, yes, what makes this a five star picture book is it’s overall Millie-ness and the sweet ending.
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
Synopsis: When four friends encounter a cranky bear, Moose, Lion and Zebra all think they know how to cheer him up. But it is plain, boring Sheep who has the answer.
Review: Read it since it had a bear on the cover. Fell in love with it because I learned that Moosen, Lionses, Zebruhz, and Sheepies are all the same size, the former three are silly and just want everyone to look like the best parts of them, and Sheep is amahzing and gave a little bit of herself to help a new friend. It was all kind of odd, but it all kind of worked. Noice.
The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers
Synopsis: One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.
Review: Absolutely gorgeous art style. A lil bit of magical realism goes a long way, and this lil book is a perfect read if you’re hoping to be hopeful.
Papillon Goes to the Vet by A.N. Kang
Synopsis: Papillon, the kitty so fluffy he floats, is back! Only this time, he’s grounded. Literally. Weighed down after swallowing a toy and beset with hiccups, Papillon is miserable! Miss Tilly takes him to the vet, but will he ever float again?
Review: Papillon is a cute AF kitty who can FLOAT and who loves to play catch with a bird friend until UHOH he gets the hiccups from swallowing a fish and has to be taken to the vet. This book is terribly sweet in the best way and I’m in love with Papillon’s expressions and fur design – very reminiscent of the two polar bears in Balto, and to me, that’s a fab thing. I also am in love with the wallpaper designs throughout the book, soft, floral, and lovely. I’m eagerly awaiting the first book so I can see even more of Papillon’s cute-AF-ness.
So there you have it. I love bears, I love picture books, and I hope you found something cute to love about this post ❤
TTFN // Cade