Great new picture books to read in front of the fire

Cuddle up and enjoy these stories with your children this week!

Syndetics book coverThe dark / by Lemony Snicket ; illustrated by Jon Klassen.
“Snicket and Klassen present a picture book that tackles a basic childhood worry with suspense, a dash of humor, and a satisfying resolution. Laszlo, clad in pajamas, is afraid of the dark, which spends most of the day in the basement but spreads itself throughout the boy’s rambling home at night. Every morning, he opens the basement door, peeks down, and calls out, “Hi, dark,” hoping that if he visits the dark in its room, it will not return the favor. However, when Laszlo’s night-light burns out one evening, the dark does come to call, declaring in a voice as creaky as the house’s roof, “I want to show you something.” The youngster, who bravely shines his flashlight into the inky night, is slowly coaxed down to the basement and a forgotten-about chest of drawers (“Come closer. Even closer”). Here, Snicket keeps readers teetering on the edges of their seats, taunting them with a lengthy and convoluted aside. Finally, the boy is instructed to open the bottom drawer, where he finds…. a supply of light bulbs. There’s a sense of closure, as Laszlo comes to terms with the dark, which still lives in his home but never bothers him again” (adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe treasure box / Margaret Wild & Freya Blackwood.
“When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned. As war rages, Peter and his father flee their home, taking with them a treasure box that holds something more precious than jewels. They journey through mud and rain and long cold nights, and soon their survival becomes more important than any possessions they carry. But as the years go by, Peter never forgets the treasure box, and one day he returns to find it…” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverRed hat / by Lita Judge.
“In this almost wordless companion to Red Sled (S & S, 2011), forest animals notice a knit cap hung on a clothesline to dry as a child goes inside his home. A bear finds this object too intriguing to resist and pulls it down, to the delight of the other critters. The cap is tossed around by its tassel until a long line of red yarn creates a foreshadowed moment. As it unravels, children will follow the yarn as it moves the action to the subsequent pages” (adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverTallulah’s toe shoes / by Marilyn Singer ; illustrations by Alexandra Boiger.
“In Tallulah’s first outing, she was desperate for a tutu; now, like all young ballerinas, she dreams of getting her first pair of toe shoes and dancing en pointe. Trying to speed the process along, she snags a discarded pair that belonged to an older dancer, but she learns that while her determination is unwavering, her body isn’t quite ready for the challenge. As with the previous two books, Singer and Boiger deliver the story’s message with a lightness and grace befitting the subject matter, and Tallulah remains a highly empathetic heroine.” (Publisher Weekly)