Among these recently released picture books, some by authors with local ties, are stories that use autumn themes to share lessons on letting go and growing up along with deepening relationships through questions.
“LITTLE TREE,” by Loren Long, Philomel, $17.99, 40 pages (ages 5-8)
This picture book by the creator of the Otis series shares a story about a little tree that’s excited to grow up. But when fall comes, it doesn’t want to let go of its leaves.
The animals and birds ask the little tree why it doesn’t let go of its brown leaves, especially as the forest grows around it.
When the tree finally lets go, it finds that it feels winter’s cold but also can grow. This story has a simple yet important message of letting go in order to grow.
“ASK ME,” by Bernard Waber, illustrated by Suzy Lee, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, 40 pages (ages 4-8)
A father and daughter take a walk on a fall day and ask and answer questions along the way in this book written by the late Bernard Waber. Different colors for the text designate who is speaking as the father and daughter learn about each other as they walk through the woods, visit a small carnival and say goodnight at the end of the day.
This picture book shares previously unpublished poetry and songs from the late Margaret Wise Brown, author of “Goodnight Moon” and other books. Each of the dozen lullabies focuses on a different aspect of nature, from “The Song of the Tiny Cat” to “Winter Adventure.” Each is accompanied by art from a different illustrator, including Peter Brown, Floyd Cooper, Leo Espinosa, Dadu Shin, David Small, Bob Staake, Blanca Gomez, Molly Idle, Elly MacKay, Satoe Tone, Frank Viva and Mick Wiggins.
“THANKSGIVING ACTIVITY BOOK,” by Karl Jones, illustrated by Joey Chou, Price Stern Sloan, $9.99, 16 pages (ages 8-12)
This activity book shares the history of Thanksgiving and some modern traditions, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Activities include games, recipes and space to record one’s own family traditions.
Other recent releases
“THE NONSENSE SHOW,” by Eric Carle, Philomel Books, $18.99, 40 pages (ages 3-7)
From Eric Carle, the creator of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “The Nonsense Show” shares playful situations that go against the norm, such as a bird in an aquarium and a fish in a bird cage on one spread or a mouse chasing a cat on another. It’s an amusing and creative approach that features Carle’s disctinctive art.
“LADYBUG GIRL: The Super Edition,” by David Soman and Jacky Davis, Dial Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 40 pages (ages 3-5)
Lulu puts on her wings and becomes Ladybug Girl, but her brothers say she’s too small to play with them. She finds she’s not too little to explore the outdoors, and with her imagination, she finds ways to have fun in this gift edition of the first Ladybug Girl story, which includes paper dolls and stickers.
“LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST,” by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, Sterling Books, $14.95, 32 pages (ages 4 and up)
When Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast hear there is only one drop of maple syrup left, the two breakfast foods race through the refrigerator in this amusing and fun rhyming adventure.
“THE PLAN,” by Alison Paul, illustrated by Barbara Lehman, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (ages 4-7)
A daughter who is coping with her mother’s death finds a scrapbook showing how her parents were barnstormers, stunt pilots in the 1920s. The girl and her father devise a plan to fix up an old plane and take to the skies again. This picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honor recipient Barbara Lehman, uses only 20 words, and Alison Paul adds and takes away a few letters at a time in her interesting play on words.
“SIMON’S NEW BED,” by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages (ages 4-7)
A dog named Simon has a brand-new bed and is excited to try it out until he sees it’s been claimed by a cat named Miss Adora Belle. Simon tries politely asking her to move, but when that doesn’t work, he uses other tactics to persuade her in this lighthearted story about sharing.
“A DOG WEARING SHOES,” by Sangmi Ko, Schwartz and Ward Books, $16.99, 40 pages (ages 4-8)
A little girl finds a lost dog wearing yellow boots, and when she takes it home, she figures the dog belongs to someone. Mini makes posters to find the dog's owner in this adorable story about pet ownership.
The black-and-white images have pops of color in this story based on author and illustrator Sangmi Ko’s niece’s experience of finding a dog wearing shoes.
“THE ONLY CHILD,” by Guojing, Schwartz and Ward Books, $19.99, 112 pages (ages 5-9)
This wordless picture book, due out Dec. 1, is told in striking black-and-white drawings and shares the story of a young girl, an only child, who gets lost when taking the bus. She encounters a stag in an unexpected wood and finds a mysterious world with adventures and many fantastical elements, but she misses home in this emotional book.
“FLIM FLAM AND OTHER SUCH GOBBLEDYGOOK,” by Melica Hudgens, illustrated by Jay Fontano, Sweetwater Books, $14.99, 32 pages
Edwin Rooster and Clara Hen are finished with their chores around the barnyard and decide to invite the rest of the animals to a party by the swimming hole. However, each animal they invite has a reason for not liking the others, and a frustrated Edwin tries to bring them together in this story about friendship and judging on appearances. The book includes rhythmic rhyming from author Melica Hudgens, including a glossary at the back, and expressive and amusing illustrations from Utah illustrator Jay Fontano.
“MEH,” by Deborah Malcolm, Thunderstone Books, $9.99, 24 pages
This wordless picture book from a local publisher shares one boy’s experience with happiness and then depression. With questions at the end about emotions, sadness and depression, it can be a tool for parents to talk about these topics with their children.
“GOLD,” by Abi Ayres, illustrated by Clarissa Anderson, Aspen Rose Publishing, $14.95, 24 pages
The first book in the A Collection of Colors series, “Gold” explores all that is golden, from jewelry and Goldilocks to the Golden Gate Bridge. Author Abi Ayres, who lives in Park City, also includes figures of speech, such as “silence is golden” and a “heart of gold,” along with historical stories about gold. Explanations of several of the terms are listed in the back of this informative and fun book.
“THE DANCING FLAMINGOS OF LAKE CHIMICHANGA,” by Karl Beckstrand and Ashley Sanborn, Premio Publishing, 24 pages
A day in the life of the flamingos of Lake Chimichanga includes lots of pink and “primping and preening, patting perfume, posing, reposing (and pressing for room!)” in this book of alliteration, rhymes and tongue twisters by local author Karl Beckstrand. The text is accompanied by bright illustrations of nearly 70 flamingos.
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