Picture Books – Nanette’s Baguette; Real Cowboys

Willems, Mo. Nanette’s Baguette. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2016. 978-148472286-2. Unpaged. $17.99. Gr. K-2.

A young frog, Nanette, is given the highly desired responsibility of getting the family’s daily loaf of bread from the bakery. The warm and delicious baguette proves too tempting; our heroine devours it and spends several pages regretting her actions. Mother is not angry. She walks Nanette back to the bakery, where she surprises Nanette by taking a bite out of the bread herself!  THOUGHTS: I was disappointed by this book. The illustrations are mediocre and the rhyming seems unnatural and forced. If the author was anyone but Mo Willems it would have been a cute lyrical story. But given his creativity and the lovability of the characters in his other books, I’m afraid I hold him to a higher standard.

Picture Book        Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School


Hoefler, Kate. Real Cowboys. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. 978-0-544-14892-5. Unpaged. $16.99. Gr. K-3.

This book dispels the stereotype of a rough-and-tough range rider. Written for the younger grades, it has large images and a sentence or two per page about what actual cattle ranchers do and how they feel. Cowboys are quiet and caring, lonely and careful. They include people from different races and some “cowboys” are actually women. The illustrations will appeal to those who enjoy abstraction.  THOUGHTS: I think this could be a great companion book to a tall-tale about Pecos Bill or another cowboy. It shows the humanity and vulnerability of this profession. A perfect fit for little ones who want to know everything there is to know about the Wild West.

Picture Book     Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School