Picture Book Reviews!

Endless Pawsibilities by Sean Charmatz. Penguin Workshop, 2021. 9780593223796.

“A Book for Furever Friends!” Charmatz draws on photos of paws to turn them into characters, and uses bolded letters and words to turn the text about friendship into cat-related wordplay. The result is silly and adorable.

Be Still, Life by Ohara Hale. Enchanted Lion, 2018. 9781592702572.

Hale’s poetic picture book starts in a pond the moves to its edge, up and into the breeze, and then into houses and streets, encouraging you to be still and listen to hear the strangest, tiniest sounds, including your heartbeat and silence. And then it moves on to scents, and asks you to take a whiff and embrace the life all around you. It’s colorful and fun and just a bit silly (but also very serious).

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld. Neal Porter Books, 2021. 9780823446988.

A king and a queen want a child. One asks an inventor for while while the other asks a witch. Then they have the two kids in the title. The log princess has a secret though — every night she turns back into a log until she is awoken by a series of magic words which the little wooden robot uses to wake her up. But one day the robot is distracted, the log is discarded from his sister’s bed, and then he has to go out and find her (which is hard because she’s been thrown in with hundreds of other logs). This is a beautiful, fable-like picture book adventure that makes perfect use of Gauld’s deadpan style. My favorite pages are the one-page summaries of adventures there isn’t room to recount in the book — I hope we all get to see them in detail at some point soon.


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