Picture Books February 2020 Recent Releases Agent Lionby David Soman and Jacky Davis Starring: Agent Lion, a dim-witted, donut-loving, fedora-wearing detective who’s dispatched to look into the mysterious disappearance of Ms. Flamingo’s cat, Fluffy. Why kids might like it: Expect giggles galore at Agent Lion’s absurd investigation tactics (“Does Fluffy have a trunk?” he inquires), as well as the mischievous juxtaposition of words and art (Agent Lion’s “direct route” to Ms. Flamingo’s is shown to involve several detours for snacks). Bedtime for Sweet Creaturesby Nikki Grimes; illustrated by Elizabeth ZunonWhat it’s about: A toddler’s bedtime routine gets wild when every ploy to stay awake -- from clinging like a koala to hopping like an antelope -- conjures up a colorful imaginary animal.Art alert: Bold hues and lively patterns in the collage illustrations infuse energy into this cozy read.Try this next: Mary Logue’s Sleep Like a Tiger, another lyrical bedtime story featuring imagined animals. In a Jarby Deborah MarceroWhat it’s about: Can you collect the sunset in a jar? Llewellyn the rabbit can, and together with his best friend Evelyn, he collects rainbows and snowball fights and the sound of the ocean. What happens: After Evelyn’s family moves away, lonely Llewellyn realizes that his collecting allows him to share experiences with his friend, even when they’re apart.Read it for: the caring friendship, reassuring conclusion, and gently fantastical art. The Old Truckby Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome PumphreyWhat it is: the quietly moving story of a small family farm, and the trusty red truck that lasts through three generations.Why kids might like it: short, easy-to-read sentences will appeal to listeners and beginning readers alike.About the authors: Creators (and brothers) Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey used over 250 handmade stamps to create the endearing artwork in The Old Truck. Almost Timeby Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney; illustrated by G. Brian KarasWhat it’s about: When Ethan and his dad run out of maple syrup one chilly winter, Ethan begins the long wait for spring, when the saps runs, the trees are tapped, and sugaring time rolls around again. Why kids might like it: Ethan’s impatience for the season to change will be relatable to all kinds of kids, and those who aren’t familiar with sugaring may be fascinated by the process. How About No? No!by Tracey Corderoy; illustrated by Tim WarnesWhat it’s about: Like many toddlers, Otto the rhino loves saying “No!” -- in fact, he can’t seem to stop saying it, even when he’s missing out on something he wants.Don’t worry: With a hug and a bit of understanding, Otto learns that saying “Yes” has its benefits too.Who it’s for: While it may or may not inspire defiant kids to adjust their attitudes, adult caregivers will find humor and hope in this cartoon-illustrated story. No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worseby Rhett Miller; illustrated by Dan SantatWhat it is: zany, rambunctious rhymes from singer-songwriter Rhett Miller, accompanied by attention-grabbing art from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat.What’s inside: silly gross-out jokes, an extreme case of sibling rivalry, a milder case of Purple Pox, a rallying cry for weirdos of the world, and a highly detailed slideshow created by a kid determined to get a dog. No Fits, Nilson!by Zachariah OHoraWhat it’s about: It’s tough to stay cool when life gets frustrating, but whenever a toppled block tower or a too-small shoe starts to trigger a tantrum for hot-tempered gorilla Nilson, his best friend Amelia is there to remind him: "No fits, Nilson." Art alert: Chunky illustrations pop with bright colors and playful details (like Nilson's multiple wristwatches) in this refreshingly un-preachy fable for kids who know that good behavior can be hard work. There's No Such Thing As Littleby LeUyen PhamWhat it is: An encouraging, interactive picture book which reminds readers that size is no indicator of importance.What’s inside: Die-cut holes offer a new perspective with every page turn, such as when the “little light” of a candle is revealed to be the “welcoming light” of a lighthouse, or the “little line” of a doodle becomes an “inspiring line” in a work of art.Try this next: Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat, another inventive book about perception. There Are No Bears in This Bakeryby Julia Sarcone-RoachWhat it’s about: Muffin the cat keeps a careful watch over his home, the Little Bear Bakery. That’s why he’s the first to investigate the strange noises in the bakery -- could there be an uninvited ursine visitor?Is it for you? Adults will be amused by Muffin’s faux-noir narration, while kids will relish the messy mayhem of bears in a bakery.Kids might also like: For further comical mystery from author/illustrator Julia Sarcone-Roach, try The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 0-8!