Sunday, January 13, 2008

New York Times Bestselling Picture Books of the Week

Of the 10 books on the list this week, 7 are interactive or pop-up books, and only 3 are traditional picture books. I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, these types of books may be more appealing to kids who aren’t fans of reading. It could be a way to get books into the hands of more kids, and from the looks of it, more and more people are buying these types of books. Don't get me wrong...there's nothing WRONG with these books. I've seen all of them at our local bookstore, and they're great, but I guess I’m a "book traditionalist." I love reading a story from cover to cover.

I just wonder what this is telling us...are kids seeking more variety, excitement, and something a little different? Is it indicative of the interactivity of the internet that kids are used to these days? Do they want to become participants and users instead of viewers? Am I reading too much into this?

In any case, here’s this week’s list courtesy of the New York Times. We bid farewell to On the Night You Were Born,Santa Clausand Angela and the Baby Jesus.

1. High School Musical: All Accessby N. B. Grace

In its seventh week in the top then, this book is at the top of our list week. It is really neat and would be a great gift for a High School Musical fan in your life. It looks like a scrapbook made by someone who goes to the school with ticket stubs, pictures, notes in lockers, etc. It would be especially good for a reluctant pre-teen reader.

2. Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Bookwritten and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder

In its eighth week on the list, Gallop! moved into the second spot. This book is amazing! By flipping through you book you can see a horse galloping, an eagle soaring, and many other animals in movement. The content rhymes and has funny replies that will leave your child laughing.

3. Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxyby Matthew Reinhart

In its 12th week, this book is holding steady at #3. If you have a Star Wars fan in your life (or you are one), this is a great collectible. Sabrina at Breeni Books says, "...It's pretty darn cool. I'd say it's well worth the money and has earned its rank. "

4. The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up: Based on the Books by C. S. Lewis (Narnia)by C. S. Lewis. Pop-ups by Robert Sabuda

In its sixth week on the list, this booked moved up 6 spots. I'm a huge Narnia fan, so this book is right up my ally. It features a stunning pop-up spread of each of the seven books in the series.

5. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

In its 15th week on the list, this book moved from the top of the list to the number 5 spot. The New York Times doesn't list a specific publisher or illustrator as various copies were all over bookstores over the holiday season. I picked up Ted Rand's version for my daughter because I didn't have a copy of this classic poem for her library.

6. Winter in White: A Mini Pop-up Treat by Robert Sabuda

One of three pop-ups on the list, this book makes an appearance in the number six spot after being off for a couple of weeks. Robert Sabuda brings us gorgeous imagery of winter in a pop-up book format. As I looked through it, I sighed wishing that we would get at least one good snow this year. Please Mother Nature? Just one????

7. Santa's Reindeer by Rod Green

Debuting at number 6 last week, this book dropped a spot this week. It's full of beautiful illustrations and tons of information about reindeer. Designed with lots of cool flaps and envelopes, this interactive book is entertaining for kids of all ages.

8. How to Find Flower Fairieswritten and illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker

Back on the list this week after a brief hiatus, the author of Fairyopolis brings us this pop-up book that features the many different hiding places of fairies. I think any young child who likes the magic of fairies would love this enchanting book, but make sure you give it to a child who is old enough to take care of the book. My daughter would rip off fairy heads and wings if I gave it to her.

9. The Three Snow Bears written and illustrated by Jan Brett

The Three Snow Bears dropped five spots in its 16th week. This is a spin on Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Al-ooki, an Inuit girl in the Artic visits the home of a polar bear family. If you haven't seen this book that was just published in September, I highly recommend it. As always, Jan Brett's illustrations are gorgeous, and I always love a retell of an old classic, especially one that features different cultures.

10. Great Joy

Rounding out the list is Kate DiCamillo's first picture book where she brings us a touching Christmas-themed story of an organ grinder and Frances, a compassionate little girl. Bagram Ibatoulline’s striking illustrations bring the story to life.

My prediction? The Night Before Christmas is going to continue moving down as is Santa's Reindeer.

This week's rankings reflect book sales for the week ending January 5, 2008. Check out the New York Times' Children's Book Page for this week's bestselling chapter, paperback, and series books.

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