Beard Boy by John Flannery and Steven Weinberg.
This is completely adorable and super-diverse. Ben wants a beard. His dad has one, his friend's dads have them--dude, everyone who's boss has a beard! Different shapes and colors and textures all. So Ben is crushed when his dad tells him he'll have to wait until he's 25 or 26 in order to grow one.
Nooooooo! That's so old! (Note: at my current age, I feel like 25/26 was pretty awesome) So Ben takes matters into his own hands ... with some permanent marker. This reminds me of the time that I drew a beard on my little brother using my mom's waterproof mascara ... but we didn't have any makeup remover. I had to scrub his face until it was bright red to get it off. Yeah. Don't do that.
My very favorite part of this book is the huge diversity of people featured. Ben's mom has a fauxhawk and tattoos. Ben is brown with curly brown hair, and the people in his neighborhood are all different shades. The funky, lively art made me smile.
Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty and Julia Sarcone-Roach
In general, I love dog books. I am a dog person in a profession stereotypically obsessed with cats. And something about Ed on the cover of the book reminded me of Idiot Dog or Helper Dog from Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half.
Alas, the story here didn't live up to the illustrations. It's about a family where everyone's name starts with "E" and they are all super-special. Only Ed, the family dog, doesn't feel special. At the end he realizes he's good at being a dog, et cetera. The illustrations are delightful, but the text is far too small and blocky. It's also too long for a storytime unless you have exceedingly patient preschoolers.
Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
THIS BOOK. First of all, I knew I had to have it because of the title. Secondly, it is about a penguin. Thirdly ... I mean, do you need more reasons than that?
Grumpy Pants is exceedingly delightful. Penguin has a grumpy day. He doesn't know why--he's just grumpy. He has grumpy boots, socks, and even GRUMPY UNDERWEAR. But after a nice cold bath, he chills out and realizes that tomorrow is another day.
Is it awful that I desperately want someone to be unable to do storytime so I can fill in and use this book? Sharing is caring!
Double bonus if you are a Pittsburgh Penguins fan!