GPPL column: Noteworthy picture books for children

Willow Thiessen, 3, and Logan Drover, 4, tune in as Judy Garlinski of the Grande Prairie Public Library explains the sounds animals make during the Tell Me Why program at the library in a 2018 photo. Joshua Santos / Daily Herald-Tribune

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As we move into a new year, I would like to share some of my favourite picture books from the last one. They are pretty diverse but mostly very funny.

“Red Riding Hood” retold by Beatrix Potter is the classic fairy tale told in a little darker fashion with lovely illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. Don’t expect a happy ending, unless you are pulling for the wolf.

In “Please Don’t Eat Me” by Liz Climo, a carefree bunny meets a very hungry bear in the woods. Bunny has just one request: “Please don’t eat me.”

After several alternate offerings, Bunny realizes that Bear may just need a friend.

“The Sad Little Fact” by Jonah Winter is a bit of a lesson in honesty and truth during a time of lies and fake news. It is illustrated by Pete Oswald and is most suited to elementary age children.

“The Wall in the Middle of the Book” by John Agee tells of a silly knight who thinks he is safe from the wild animals and the ogre on the other side of the wall until the water rises on his side and he needs rescuing.

“Sock Story” by K. C. Smouha follows a pair of socks who love laundry day with all its acrobatic possibilities. They have great fun until they are separated and one encounters a red towel. Can they still be a pair if one of them is now different? The comic book type illustrations are by Eleonora Marton.

“Fear the Bunny,” written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by Priscilla Burris, begins with “Bunnies, bunnies, burning bright, in the forest of the night-“ A tiger takes exception to this version of the poem but soon learns a lesson!

In the hilarious “Who Wet My Pants?” by Bob Shea, Reuben the scout leader tries to blame each member of his troop when he discovers his pants are wet in a very conspicuous spot. They manage to convince him that it was his own accident and it could happen to anyone. Again in comic book format, it is illustrated by Zachariah Ohora.

There are always new picture books to discover along with all the old favourites at your library so come and check them out.

Upcoming Events

Collins Writing Contest: After Dark

For the 32nd annual Collins Writing Contest, entrants are invited to explore what happens after dark in a short story. Full contest rules and entry forms are available at GPPL and online at www.gppl.ca/collins

Entry deadline: Saturday, Feb. 29 at 5 p.m.

Family Movie: “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. Rated PG. Audience: Families of all ages. Maximum: 50 people.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 18
Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Willie Janssen Discovery Room

Family Board Game Night

A fun family night out and an opportunity to try new games or play old favourites. Audience: Families of all ages. Maximum: 25 people

Dates: Mondays, Jan. 6 and 20, Feb. 3, March 2 and 16
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Linda Smith Story Room

Judy Garlinski is a children’s processing co-ordinator with the Grande Prairie Public Library.

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