My girls are getting older, and while we love to read our "big kid books," either together or separately, we still have a healthy appreciation for beautiful picture books.  

We have about ten checked out from the library at any given time.  As far as recent releases go, this one is especially wonderful.

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio,
illustrated by Christian Robinson.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014.
First of all, look at that cover.  I think it's perfectly safe to do away with that "Don't judge a book by its cover" cliche.  I would frame a print of this cover and hang it on my wall, wouldn't you?  

(Don't judge the book by my photographs.  I had trouble with lighting yesterday.)

 Mama Poodle has four puppies.  One of the puppies, Gaston, doesn't look or act like the others.  He is sloppy and clumsy and loud.

But Mrs. Poodle loves all of her pups, and being different only makes Gaston work harder at being graceful and quiet.

Then one day, on a trip to the park, the poodles meet a bulldog family.  A bulldog family with a familiar "problem."

Mrs. Poodle and Mrs. Bulldog agree that there seems to have been a mix-up, and decide to try switching their odd pups.  Despite their outward appearances, though:

They continue the switch at home, but things do not go well.  Antoinette may have been a gentle poodle on the outside, but she was much more of a bulldog than Gaston.

And Gaston was raised to be gentle and quiet, and clearly did not fit in with the other bulldogs.

Their mothers missed their own misfit pups, as well.  The next day, they race to the park, agreeing they had made a mistake.

The book has an adorable surprise ending that I won't spoil here.

The text is breezy and fun.  We enjoyed the story very much.

Now let's talk illustrations.

I'm in love with these pictures.  I love the colors, the brushstrokes.  I'm about to check out the most recent picture book about Josephine Baker, also illustrated by Christian Robinson.  I think he is poised to become one of my favorites.  Check out his website, which includes a page full of animations.

Big Sis wants "a Gaston puppy."  Both girls love bulldogs, although really, Little Sis is afraid of dogs.  She did, however, actually pet a bulldog at the KC Renaissance Festival last fall, because it shared her first name! Unfortunately, I've been told that bulldogs may not be the best choice for families.  They tend to be "one person dogs."  Anyone out there care to chime in?  We won't be getting a dog for a while yet, and it will definitely have to be a smaller dog that will spend most of its time indoors.  I'm trying to get the girls to understand that it will probably be a mixed-breed from a shelter, and that they shouldn't become too set on specific breed.

Anyhoo, we're heading back to the library today.  More holds have arrived, I have stuff to return, and I need out of the house!  I have strep throat again.  I've been on antibiotics for 2 days now, so I'm no longer contagious.  My doc wants me to see an ENT specialist.  She thinks I might need to have my tonsils out. Um, yay?

I'll have another cool recently-released picture book to share with you tomorrow!

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  1. WOW this looks so amazing and YES i'd frame the cover!!! Julia still loves picturebooks (yay!) as well and she would looove this. Foo-foo? ha ha ha ha!!! adore. Awesome find!

    SO sorry about the return of the strep. I haz a big sad about this. I'm going to be planning another little get-well care package for you!!!!

    1. Antibiotics are helping. Still burns a bit, but I can breathe and swallow better now.

      I never outgrew picture books. Hope my girls never do, either! xoxo

  2. Oh sorry to hear you've been sick again! Hope you're feeling all better now.
    The book is adorable! I love those illustrations too and I would happily have them framed on my wall.
    My eldest is like Little Sis, afraid of dogs but wants one too. Unfortunately we live in a small appartment and we don't have a yard/garden, so we couldn't really have a dog too (we already have a cat and a lovebird.) I love dogs too though... :)

    1. We have a little house, and we don't have a fence. We always said we'd have to wait until our 2 old lady cats died first, because it would shock them so late in life to have to adjust to a dog. Now our Siamese is gone, so we just have to wait for our Jenny. (No one is rushing Jenny along - she's Big Sis's cat, and we love her too much to wish her away!) But when we're down to the two young cats, we'll consider a small indoor lap dog. :)

  3. So sorry to hear you are sick! I hope the doctor does not have to take your tonsils out!!!

    This book is so adorable! I just love the names of each puppy!!! It's such a cute story and I am dying to know the ending! I have to try to find it at the library (or buy it if possible!). Thanks for sharing!

    1. If taking my tonsils out means no more strep, I might lean toward "bye-bye, tonsils." I cannot keep getting sick like this.

      It's such a darling book! I saw it at both our indie bookstore and our one remaining B&N before my library hold came in, prominently displayed in both, as it should be. :)

  4. Pretty wonderful indeed! The creators of this book are two of my favorites and I can't wait to check it out! (Also, I just noticed you've got my blog in your sidebar so thank you for that!)


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