Picturebooks on the Potty: Vol. 2, No. 1

If you are still looking for holiday gifts, one of these books might be just what you need. All are filled with fantastic illustrations and imaginative writing, all set in wintery weather, all were recently released, and all are Cora-approved.

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Please Bring Balloons (Ward, 2013) is a magical adventure that begins and ends with a polar bear on a carousel. I’m a sucker for upcycled materials, and Ward reuses various papers to add both visual and conceptual depth to her illustrations. This story invites one to suspend reality for a moment, something we can all use from time to time.

Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise (Balckaby & Segovia, 2013) is a great winter solstice story. The illustrations are rich and lusciously painted, the characters friendly and amusing. I like the way this book presents winter traditions typically associated with Christmas like twinkly lights and baking without doing so. In that way it seems to pay homage to the pagan roots of those traditions, responses to our human need for warmth and light in the coldest, darkest part of the year.

The Bear’s Song (Chaud, 2013) is also wonderful to look at and tells a sweet story. The imagery is dense and will keep readers of all ages engaged for awhile. The story will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water and found solace with a loved one and a sweet treat.

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