This is a fantastic challenge! It is so much fun to peruse the shelves in the children's section of my local library. Not only are there lots of cool picture books - there are also lots of really sweet kids. Two covers stood out for me this time and you'll find out why in a minute.
Let's start with Papa and Me written by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. I love the colour and surreal feel of the illustration on the cover. Unfortunately, as the reader starts turning pages it becomes obvious that this style of artwork can get a little out of hand. It was kind of like looking at the pictures in a fun house mirror. The colours were amazing, though. The story itself was hard to follow. I think the point of the book was to teach some Spanish words but my 18 year old daughter and I had trouble figuring out what many of them meant so the meaning would definitely be out of reach for a 3 - 5 year old.
Next up is Otter Moon written and illustrated by Tudor Humphries. This cover spoke to me because I have a 22 year old daughter who is absolutely terrified of otters. There is no way she could read this book and, as a family, we tease her a lot about this phobia. I just can't pass up anything 'otter' because of her.
The illustrations in this book have a serene, watercolour feel about them. They are truly lovely: not terribly colourful but very pleasing. I also love the name of the main otter in the story: Flibbertigibbet. The tale of Flibberty's search for the fish and a silver dish to serve it on, takes the reader on a long and tiring journey. I could imagine reading this to my children when they were small and then putting them to bed with Flibberty and the king at the end of the journey. This is a great bedtime book: soothing and peaceful despite the adventure angle.