I'm'a gonna get in on the whole listy frenzy that's been going on at 7 Impossible Things, A Year of Reading, MotherReader, etc. I am of course hampered by my limited and late access to alla tha new books (my system hasn't even ordered Pssst! and That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown yet, among many others), but in any case, herewith, my Best Pitcher Books of 2007 So Far.
Walk on! A guide for babies of all ages by Marla Frazee. Marla Frazee could draw a book about folding laundry and I would read it. She reminds me of Jan Ormerod, whose 101 things to do with a baby is out of print, but which I find used copies of for all my friends who get babied-up. Anyway, Walk on! is So Much Fun. From the typography to the expressions on the baby's face, it is clean and funny and sly. The fact that it would also work for anyone embarking on a life change, like a college graduate or a person just getting divorced, is a mind-blowing bonus.
A seed is sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long.
The end by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Richard Egielski. There is something new under the sun! A book that reads backward and forward! An exercise in cause and effect! Really really swanky illustrations!
Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong, energetically illustrated by David Roberts.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. God, I love grumpy for children. Kids do too. Otherwise, I'm not sure Cartoon Network would be in business. When grumpy bird is asked for the 5th time what he's doing, and he says, "I'm walking. What does it look like?" it's payback for all those stupid stupid kids books that repeat and repeat and repeat. The little engine that could. Mike Mulligan's goddamn steam shovel. Plus, something about the hunched shoulders on the animals makes me think of indie comic books featuring mean stupid little kids - I love that stuff.
Penguin by Polly Dunbar. Makes me want to dance.
17 things I'm not allowed to do anymore by Jenny Offill, illustrations by Nancy Carpenter. I think Mo Willems should write a pigeon book on this premise: "17 things the pigeon isn't allowed to do anymore". He could put together all the kid suggestions he gets in his fan mail.
I'm the biggest thing in the ocean by Kevin Sherry. Are you tired of me pimping this book yet? Will you just read it for godsake?