From New York Times ….
“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” by Philip C. Stead, is a case in point. It delightfully takes its loony scenario for granted. We meet Amos, a stooped-shouldered older gentleman dressed in a moss-green three-piece suit, getting ready for his day as a zookeeper. With a sweet smile, Amos goes about his daily chores. He plays chess with the delicately shaded pink elephant, lets a tortoise win races and sits with one of the penguins, who is very shy.
With his new book, “How Rocket Learned to Read,” Tad Hills (“Duck & Goose”) brings a sweet but not saccharine touch to a common struggle of childhood. Rocket is a fuzzy spotted dog who loves to chase leaves, chew sticks, sniff around the neighborhood and nap. One day a small yellow bird disturbs him. “ ‘Aha! My first student! Wonderful!’ she sang. Rocket was confused. ‘Student? I’m not a —’ ‘But if I am your teacher,’ the bird interrupted, ‘then you must be my student.’ Rocket found it hard to argue with this bird.” She tempts him by reading aloud the story of an unlucky dog named Buster who lost his favorite bone — and thus begins Rocket’s growing desire to read for himself
But the winner of the Most Absurd Picture Book of the Year Award, if there were one, would have to go to “A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea,” written by Michael Ian Black and drawn by Kevin Hawkes. The joke is in the comically drawn-out contrast between the cute marching pigs of our imagination and the realistically sticky, glistening-nosed, frowning hogs.