Daydreaming by Mark Tatulli. Roaring Brook, 2016. 9781626723542.
Everyone wants Henry to stop daydreaming. (Spoiler: he shouldn’t, and he doesn’t.) He falls into the colorful world inside a box of breakfast cereal and plays with the prize inside, a small brown bear. (In the real world he make a huge mess.) He can’t stop daydreaming at school, either.
The book’s dust jacket (with spot gloss!), its use of word balloons and panels throughout makes this the best kind of oversized comic disguised as a picture book. (The cover underneath shows Henry rowing with a spoon atop a piece of bread on a sea of milk and cereal.) And (second minor spoiler) it features an appearance by the best kind of pink unicorn — one with super cool, almost dragonfly-ish wings.
Rabbit Magic by Meg McLaren. Clarion Books, 2016. 9780544784697.
Magician Monsieur Lapin’s best rabbit assistant, Houdini, loves magic and is great with the other rabbits. But one night, when M. Lapin slips on a banana, Houdini’s attempt to save the show inadvertently makes him the star. Can Houdini help Lapin regain the spotlight?
I love the feel of this book, from the matte finish of the dust jacket to the smooth paper. Under the dust jacket the cover is full of old timey promo posters for M. Lapin’s show featuring many of the rabbits. The end papers are beautiful, too, featuring rabbit- and magic-themed playing cards. And I love the way McLaren draws rabbits as little pieces of roundness full of motion and personality with the requisite long ears.