One of the best things about the book industry is that there are generally three to four "seasons" each year when new releases come out. As we are in February, we are smack dab in the middle of the Winter book season and there are amazing new books arriving in our store each week. We thought we'd take a moment to tell you about a few of the best picture books that have come out in the past couple of weeks.\"\"

First up is "When I Grow Up" (Harper Collins Children) which is getting some pretty big media attention because it's written by the one and only "Weird" Al Yankovic! Now, in full disclosure, Drew is a longtime "Weird" Al fan. He received the 1988 record (as in vinyl record) "Even Worse" for his tenth birthday party and still counts Al's 1989 feature film "UHF" as one of his favourite comedies. So, this book not only speaks to him as a bookseller, but as a 32 year-old kid as well...

It's Thursday in eight-year-old Billy's class which means that it's time for show-and-tell. This week's topic is "When I grow up, what am I gonna be?" and Billy is going to make the most of this opportunity to tell everyone about all the jobs he plans to hold when he gets older. From the ordinary (Chef, Movie Director) to the ridiculous (Pickle Inspector, Gorilla Masseuse), the list of jobs is imaginative and silly. Just like Al's songs, the rhyming text is hilarious and flows really well making this the perfect read-aloud book for kids. Complimenting the text are the colourful illustrations of Wes Hargis who really brings the outrageous jobs to life. We guarantee this book will make you and your little ones laugh.

Next up is "A Pet for Petunia" by Paul Schmid (Harper Collins Children). Petunia has a stuffed-animal skunk, but REALLY wants a real live skunk for a pet. After pleading and begging her parents, they inform her that she cannot have a real skunk because they stink. Offended by their accusation, Petunia storms out of their house on her own only to encounter a real skunk in the woods. At first she is very excited, but then reality hits her. Paul Schmid's artwork is off the charts on the cuteness scale and is also extremely funny as well. He perfectly captures Petunia's sweetness as well as her obsessive devotion to her "ideal pet". "A Pet for Petunia" also has one of the best punchlines we've seen in a while.

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We have a bit of a soft-spot for this final one we want to mention. A little boy helps his stuffed animal duck in this extremely cute picture book for toddlers called "Have You Seen Duck?" by Janet A. Holmes & Jonathan Bentley (Cartwheel Books/Scholastic). Our daughter's favourite stuffed animal up until recently was a yellow duck just like the one in this story.

"This is Duck.
Duck lives at my house.
Duck thinks I'm the greatest.
I'm Duck's hero."

Duck needs help from the little boy to eat his dinner, have a bath, and go to bed. When duck goes missing however, the little boy realizes that he needs duck's help just as much as duck needs his. Guaranteed to make you say "Awww" at the end.

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These are just a few of the many, many amazing new books hitting the shelves right now, so hit your local bookstore and check them out!

Now go share a book with your kids...

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