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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Look for These New Picture Books

Peter Pauper Press, White Plains, NY, is a new publisher to watch for standout picture books. The publisher of gift books, humor books, compact references, travel guides, stationery, holiday cards, journals and activity books, began publishing a small number of picture books two years ago.  This year’s list includes two not to miss: “No Yeti Yet” by Mary Ann Fraser and “Mina’s White Canvas” by Hyeon-Ju Lee.


No Yeti Yet
by Mary Ann Fraser
Ages 4-8

Two young brothers venture out on a snowy day in search of a “yeti,” a big, shaggy snow monster in “No Yeti Yet.” The little brother is full of questions for his older brother, but they can’t find the yeti until the end. The blue, snowy pictures that cover every page are wonderful. Readers will be amused to find the yeti before the characters do. He hides on every page. The big brother is at first afraid when the monster shows up in the end, but the yeti turns out to be friendly.

My one complaint is that the story does not take place in the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet, the setting for the legendary yeti or Abominable Snowman. Instead of looking Nepalese or Tibetan, the children in the book appear to be Caucasian. Nevertheless, I recommend the book.

About the author: Mary Ann Fraser graduated from UCLA and then spent a year studying at England’s Exeter College of Art and Design. Since then, she has written and illustrated 60 books for children, winning accolades including School Library Journal’s Best Book of the Year and American Booksellers Association Pick of the List. Visit her website at www.maryannfraser.com.




Mina’s White Canvas
By Hyeon-Ju Lee
Ages 4-8

On a gray, gloomy day, Mina draws a beautiful snowfall on her windowpane with a magic crayon. Then she takes a walk in the forest and uses her crayon to solve problems for many animal friends she meets. The story is similar to the 1955 classic “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson, but this one stars a Korean girl and focuses on making friends. The pictures are lovely, and despite the simplicity of style, the characters’ faces are expressive, adding to the fun of the story. Recommended.
   

About the author: Hyeon-Ju Lee is a talented young author and illustrator from Korea. This is her debut children’s picture book, which was originally published in Korea. In 2012, she won a Special Mention for the Opera Prima section of the Bologna Ragazzi Award, honoring new authors and illustrators of the best designed books worldwide. 

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