Red Sled is one of my very very favorites of the 2012 2x2 list.
It's basically wordless (only the gleeful noises the animals make) and follows a little child coming home to their secluded house after sledding, leaving the red sled tipped against the side of the house. A curious bear discovers the sled and takes it for a little joy ride, picking up other animal friends along the way.
The illustrations are both sweet and full of hilarity - the expressions the animals make as they crest hills and hit bumps are hilariously funny.
This would be a great Christmas/winter book, but it was just as delightful on a 105 degree day in Texas.
Blackout received a Newbery Honor wayyyyyy back in January and it wasn't until the middle of the summer that I finally picked it up. And people, the Newbery committee wasn't wrong on this one. It's a fantastic, amazing picture book.
On a hot summer night in New York City, a little girl tries to find someone in her family to play a game with her, but everyone is too busy. But then, when the power goes out, the family spends the evening together, first inside, and then up on the roof where they discover their whole neighborhood having a party in the dark. And that party spills out onto the streets below as well. Even when the power does come back on, the family enjoys the rest of the evening together, rather than in their separate pursuits.
The images are arranged in more of a graphic novel/comic book fashion, rather than a typical picture book, which
I loved. It made it feel older, even though the text was sparse and the storyline very simple.
This is one of those "appeal-to-all-ages" kinds of books. Ella loved it, but I liked it just as much, and I could see much older elementary school kids poring over it too.
Also, it makes me want to go live in New York. Because, clearly, this would be what my life would be like all the time, right? Free ice cream cones on a summer night while the neighborhood dances around me and my small children?
And Ella probably thinks this book indicates that we'll buy a cat if we move to NYC. (She is dead wrong).