Picture books for fall, gifts for young readers

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3 2013 3:50 p.m. MST

Katie Watkins, a California resident, received a master's degree from Brigham Young University as did illustrator Lester Lee, who now does his painting and sculpting in Clarkston, Utah.

Chloe is one of seven monelie fairy dolls that will be available in 2014.

MADELINE AND THE OLD HOUSE IN PARIS,” by John Bemelman Marciano, Viking, $17.99 (ages 3 and up)

Following the legacy of his grandfather, Ludwig Bemelman, John Marciano continues the popular stories of “twelve little girls in two straight lines” living in “an old house in Paris that was covered in vines.”

But a ghost also lives in the old house and when he loses his prized telescope, Madeline and Pepito, the boy next door, are determined to find it and return it to the rightful owner.

Young fans will enjoy this new adventure of their beloved Madeline.

FRIENDS,” Eric Carle, Penguin, $17.99 (ages 3-5)

More than half of “Friends” is Eric Carle’s signature hand-painted tissue paper abstract images representing water, mountains, meadows and the night sky. The colored spreads and compact storyline dedicated to his wife, Barbara, tell of friends who move away from each other and have a happy reunion.

“A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL!” by Mo Willems, Hyperion, $8.99 (ages 3-6)

In the latest in the Elephant and Piggy series, Piggy is devastated when a big guy takes her ball. When Gerald Elephant promises its return, he finds out the guy is really big. Really BIG! Using Mo Willems' hallmark simple line sketches and subtle body and facial expressions, “A Big Guy Took My Ball!” is a pleasing lesson in conflict resolution.

MR. TIGER GOES WILD,” by Peter Brown, Little Brown & Co. $18 (ages 3-6)

The droll world is perfect for everyone except Mr. Tiger, who is bored, always being proper. He wants to go and be wild, and to the chagrin of his neighbors he does.

Fawn brown and charcoal gray geometric shapes are angled and precisely spaced except for Mr. Tiger’s apricot-colored body and green-dotted eyes, which attract the reader immediately to his aspirations. Peter Brown’s parable of self-acceptance has a timely theme to be enjoyed by many ages.

I’M THE SCARIEST THING IN THE JUNGLE,” by David G. Derrick Jr., Immedium, $15.95 (ages 4-8)

This is a wrangle of bravado between a tiger cub and a little crocodile each claiming to be the scariest thing in the jungle. When Mothers Tiger and Crocodile find them in the verbal contest, the youngsters both agree that “Our moms are the scariest things in the jungle.”

The rivalry between the two jungle juniors is a perfect text for the varied watercolor spreads. Young readers will want to play-act this one out.

David G. Derrick studied fine arts at the University of Utah and is now a professional animator.

WHEN LIONS ROAR,” by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Chris Raschka, Scholastic, $16.99. (ages 3-5)

Sometimes noises are scary, such as thunder booming, lions roaring and dogs barking. “When daddies yell! When mommies holler! The scary is near.”

As a little boy faces his fears, things become safe again.

“When Lions Roar” is a great story for parents and children to read together when scary things need to be addressed.

LION VS. RABBIT,” by Alex Latimer, Peachtree, $15.95 (ages 4-8)

All the jungle animals are being bullied by Lion. Try as they may, no one can get the best of the King of the Beasts. Finally Rabbit wins in a racing contest. Lion admits his defeat and “was never mean to anyone again.”

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