In the meantime, here are a couple of terrific picture books from North-South (thanks to Ellen Myrick for sending them to me).
BEDTIME IN THE FOREST by Kazuo Iwamura is a translated picture book. It's soft watercolors and careful attention to detail is reminiscent a bit of Bea Potter's work. In this story, a group of squirrel children spot a nest of owl children who are sleeping when they are active. They vow to sneak out at night and play with them, but it is not long before they fall asleep in the tree branches. They know they cannot give up sleep entirely just to make new friends and so they devise a simple yet ingenious plan that readers will find unpredictable and delightful. <302>
OSCAR AND THE VERY HUNGRY DRAGON by Ute Krause (North South 2010) has nods to Hansel and Gretel and The Lottery as well. Oscar is selected by a lottery in his town to be the victim for the hungry dragon. The dragon is disappointed as he was hoping for a plump princess and instead gets Oscar. Oscar gives the dragon a shopping list so he can cook for himself and get fatter and more delectable. In addition to the nods to other texts, there is some interesting stuff going on in the illustrations as well as borders become broken by objects, as size and shape and placement on the page shifts to indicate changes in the story. <303>
And now back to weeding...