Rummanah Aasi
  It's been a while since I reviewed picture books on the blog. Today I'm here to share with you two picture books that are featured on this year's Illinois Monarch Awards: This is not my hat by Jon Klassen and Perfect Square by Michael Hall. You find out more information on the Monarch Award here.

Description: A tiny minnow wearing a pale blue bowler hat has a thing or two up his fins in this underwater light-on-dark chase scene.

Review: This Is Not My Hat was the recipient of last year's Caldecott award. The book is very funny and narrated by a small gray fish who has stolen a tiny bowler hat from a much larger fish. Instead of sticking to our narrator's story, Klassen does a great job in using pictures to give us the real and entire story that our unreliable narrator tends to omit. Readers will hope the best for small thief, but we know danger looms when a big fish comes darting in on the page. It's no surprise that the dominant color of the spreads is black. A thoroughly enjoyable picture book and it reminds me to pick up Klassen's first book titled I Want My Hat Back.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is a subtle darkness of what happens to the small gray fish thief at the end of the book. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Beware of the Frog by William Bee, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems, Oh, No!
by Candice Fleming

Description: A perfect square that is perfectly happy is torn into pieces, punched with holes, crumpled, and otherwise changed but finds in each transformation that it can be something new, and just as happy.

Review: Happiness is a topic that we seem to be consistently trying to discover. We believe it requires specific steps such as those mentioned in several self-help books. Perfect Square is a very simple picture book that doesn't have lots of bells and whistles, but it presents a basic message that we sometimes forget. Contentment is a happy, perfect square with matching corners and equal length sides. It even smiles at us. Even when punched, torn, shredded, shattered, snipped, crumpled, ripped, and wrinkled, it finds a new shape and purpose. I loved how each page contains a rainbow of boldly colored pages that shows what has happened to the square at the particular day and displays it's new transformation. Each day brings it's own challenges, but square always finds a way to make itself feel good. 
    The art is very simple; minimal manipulation of the square into six new incarnations of brightly colored acrylic ink prints presents shape, color, and time in the context of a story, but it makes you stop and think how powerful a positive attitude toward change may lead to success (and even joy). I found this picture book highly enjoyable and think it would be a great book for all younger readers and maybe even for adults who need a friendly reminder now and then.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni, Dot by Patricia Intriago, The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein

2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Oh my gosh Rummanah look at that little fish in his bowler hat! I LOVE HIM! It's my niece's birthday next week and I'm always trying to build her library, so this is definitely going on the library list. Thanks for your thoughts:):)

  2. This looks like an awesome books to read I guess I would grab these books and read it this coming weekends.

    Ann@Blogging E-books

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