A Perfectly Messed-Up Story, by Patrick McDonnell
Cute story, charming illustrations, not nearly as good as the other picture book of his I'd read.
Dream On, Amber, by Emma Shevah
I really liked the parts of this middle-grade novel that were about interactions between the two sisters, and their relationship more generally. There was not a lot else that was remarkable in the book, other than its ease in reading. As a middle grade reader I read so voraciously that, while I did occasionally find Amazing Memorable Cherishable Books (eg the Green Howe series), when I was hearing about a book, I mostly wanted to know which of three categories it fell into: "Solid and Indvidual," "Weirdly Addictive Series [or Author] of Dubious Quality," or "UGH BORING SKIP IT." This one fits neatly into the first category.
The Potato King, by Christoph Neimann
UGH BORING SKIP IT ;). More specificallly, it's weirdly monarchist and anti-democratic in its implications, and I've seen better potato stamp pictures back when I was a kid making potato stamp pictures with my
friends. Not sure why this was so well-reviewed.
Blown Away, by Rob Biddulph
An elegant, stylized picture book with heart. Made me think of Mad Men aesthetically (and ONLY aesthetically). I was thoroughly won over.
Dreaming in Indian, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale
A thought-provoking and well-designed anthology that showcases Native American writers. Aimed at young teens, enjoyable by everybody. Sometimes rather heart-breaking, but only in the service of more fully communicating some very rough experiences.
The Fun Book of Scary Stuff, by Emily Jenkins
It was fun! And full of monsters! Does what it says on the tin. (Though *I* wasn't scared ;).)
The Song Within My Heart, by David Bouchard, paintings by Allen Sapp
The paintings in this book are exquisite, and grounded. Unfortunately, I really didn't care for the accompanying text.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, by Duncan Tonatiuh
Perfectly balanced nonfiction picture book about the Mexican artist Posada and, well, you already read the subtitle. Anyway, the art is beautiful, the narrative is compelling but has lots of interesting factual stuff, and the whole thing fits together to be more than the sum of its parts. Nifty!
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise, by Sean Taylor
Goofy, zippy picture book about a young owl who thinks very highly of himself. It made me giggle.