In “Poles Apart,” (Nosy Crow/Candlewick, November, 2016), an adorable family of South Pole penguins embark on a day of picnicking. Their map is of no use as they find themselves in the North Pole, where they meet Mr. White, a lovable polar bear. Tongue in cheek, you will chuckle as the penguins and Mr. White decide to make the journey 12,430 miles back to the South Pole. Delightful and playful illustrations take them on a trip through the US, England, Italy, India, and Australia. They all enjoy their newfound friendship, but Mr. White has to return to the North Pole — his native habitat. There’s an amusing ending. I recommend this charming book about adventure and friendship.
“First Snow,” (Chronicle, September, 2016), is a simple and delicate picture book of few words and gorgeous illustrations. It begins with a little girl waking in the night to a wondrous snowfall. She quietly dresses, takes her dog and they travel, “beneath the moon,” “through the woods,” to create a giant snowball larger than the girl herself. She comes upon numerous children making their own large snowballs. Then they all work together to build snowmen. The illustrations are dreamy and enchanting.
“Samson in the Snow,” (Roaring Brook Press, September, 2016), is also a beautifully illustrated book. A wonderful and tender story about a friendly woolly mammoth, Samson. He encounters a little red bird who needs help pulling yellow flowers for her mouse friend who is having a bad day. Samson contemplates what it must be like having friends. He falls asleep and is awaken by a heavy blizzard. He decides to journey through the storm to find his lost new friends. This is a sweet and comforting tale enhanced by exquisite textured backgrounds and a pallet of colors.