Here is a wrap up of my 4 and 5 star picture book reads for January, 2011. I haven't differentiated between 4 or 5 (although you can see them all at Goodreads.) I like most books I read--I give out a lot of 3 out of 5's. I am struck by very few, so if I give out 4 stars, then I think the book is great and worthy of note. As for how a book gets 5 stars: if it's not because the book is hands-down-genius, sometimes the difference between 4 or 5 can be as fleeting as a personal preference for the topic or an appreciation of the author's or illustrator's body of work which inclines me to adore everything they do. Not very scientific, but it works for me.
So, without further ado:
Snook Alone (Nelson, Marilyn; ills. Timothy Basil Ering)
The Buffalo are Back (George, Jean Craighead; ills. Wendell Minor)
The Worst Person in the World (Stevenson, James)
The Worst Person in the World at Crab Beach
Bear in the Air (Meyers, Susan; ills. Amy Bates)
Edward Tulane--and not nearly as traumatic--this story of one teddy bear's (mis)adventures is full of charm and cheer.
Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World's Smartest Horse (McCully, Emily Arnold)
A Beach Tail (Williams, Karen Lynn; ills. Cooper, Floyd)
Jack's Path of Courage (Rappaport, Doreen; ills. Matt Tavares)
Saving the Baghdad Zoo: a True Story of Hope and Heroes (Halls, Kelly Milner and Maj. William Sumner)
An uplifting account of the successful cooperation between the United States Army and concerned citizens of Baghdad as they rescue and revive animals abandoned after the invasion of Iraq.
All Pigs are Beautiful (King-Smith, Dick; ills. Anita Jeram)
The Blue House Dog (Blumenthal, Deborah; ills. Adam Gustavson)