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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: CaroleB on September 13, 2012, 06:54 AM

Title: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: CaroleB on September 13, 2012, 06:54 AM
Am looking for quirky, or weird picture books to read.   :crazy

So what are some of your favorites? (am totally open to your interpretation of "weird")

Thank you if you respond!

Carole
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: olmue on September 13, 2012, 06:58 AM
Company's Coming, by Al Yorinks, ill. by David Small! There's a sequel, too--Company's Going, I think it's called. The first one has a logical point, true (just because someone's different doesn't mean they're sinister)--but it's just told in a very funny way.

Another one I like is Baker Cat, by Posy Simmonds, but it's more...I dunno, scary? than just weird. Sort of graphic novel format, hard to read aloud in a classroom, but perfect for one kid and a parent. The thing about it is that the baker and wife are some seriously scary real-life bad guys--meaner than I'm used to seeing in a pb, and there have been a couple of kids I've read it to where...maybe I shouldn't have.

A long time ago I remember someone bringing up a pb here where the frog eats his one true love (a fly?) or something. Maybe someone here remembers that one?
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Artemesia on September 13, 2012, 08:08 AM
Jon Scieszka's BALONEY (Henry P.) is really cute and quirky. Or really, almost anything by him.

Also ART & MAX by David Weisner.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: MysteryRobin on September 13, 2012, 09:27 AM
I was going to say Jon Scieszka's Squids Will Be Squids, but not sure it's truly a pb... maybe? If not, maybe Cowboy and Octopus - we LOVE that in our house. We love weird books. ;)
I Want My Hat Back is kinda weird, too... ;)
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: LeslieG on September 13, 2012, 10:17 AM
"Quirky" and "weird" do seem to be the PB buzzwords du jour, don't they? Some of my recent faves are Zombie in Love, Jon Agee's books, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, Avalanche, Earth to Clunk, Princess Hyacinth, and perhaps one of the grandfathers of quirky PBs, Rain Makes Applesauce.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: 217mom on September 13, 2012, 10:52 AM
The Miami Giant, by Sendak and Yorkins. It's not new, but it is weird.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Jaina on September 13, 2012, 11:06 AM
Scaredy Squirrel
I Want My Hat Back
You Will Be My Friend!
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Artemesia on September 13, 2012, 11:22 AM
Love Scaredy Squirrel! Love Chester the Cat, too, also by Melanie Watt.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: HDWestlund on September 13, 2012, 04:14 PM
"Have You Ever Seen a Sneep"
"He Came with the Couch"
"Ducks Don't Wear Socks"
"Squid & Octopus: Friends for Always"

And not super weird, but adorably different, my new fav: "Dangerously Ever After".
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: eecoburn on September 13, 2012, 04:37 PM
Spoon
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
The Best Ever Bear Book

Have Fun!
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Llehn on September 13, 2012, 05:28 PM
Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich - Adam Rex, though it might not fit in the category of your conventional PB.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: CarrieF on September 13, 2012, 06:00 PM
Anything by William Steig. I was going to mention an Al Yorinks book, too, forget the title. It's about a fruit vendor who becomes invisible. So maybe anything by Al Yorinks, too.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: DianaM on September 13, 2012, 06:40 PM
I love anything quirky! Here are a few of my quirky faves:

"Arnie, the Doughnut" , "Extra Yarn",  "The Cow That Laid an Egg", "Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey's Cautionary Tale", "Giant Jam Sandwich", "Chicken Dance", "Zombie in Love", "Stop That Pickle!", "Bark, George", "Bubble Trouble", "Interrupting Chicken"...

Oh, and I love "Spoon" too! And "Ducks Don't Wear Socks".

Also, "Duck on a Bike" by David Shannon.

Some of these are "weird" and some are just humorous with a wacky or sassy tone.

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Michael Sussman on September 13, 2012, 08:13 PM
"The Shrinking of Treehorn" by Florence Parry Heide & Edward Gorey.

"Doctor DeSoto" and "Spinky Sulks" by William Steig.

"The Red Book" by Barbara Lehman

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: LoriA on September 13, 2012, 09:02 PM
CECIL THE PET GLACIER is a bit different. Also, BENNY'S BRIGADE could fit the weird/quirky list. And what about David Wiesner's TUESDAY, FLOTSAM, and SECTOR 7.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Bigfoot on September 14, 2012, 06:19 AM
THE BOOK THAT EATS PEOPLE by John Perry

It's weirdly (and humorously) dark.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Franzilla on September 14, 2012, 06:33 AM
Is SPOON considered weird? I love it but I wouldn't class it as weird. As DianaM said it's maybe more wacky with a humorous tone... anyway, I digress.

BEWARE THE FROG by William Bee is definitely weird, but sheer genius in my opinion.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Bigfoot on September 14, 2012, 07:16 AM
BEWARE THE FROG is a great one. Love that book!

How about Sean Bryan's series that starts with A BOY AND HIS BUNNY about the kid who has a bunny on his head. In the sequel, A GIRL AND HER GATOR, a girl has an alligator in her hair. The third book is a BEAR AND HIS BOY. Weird and very funny.

Also, DAYDREAMS OF A SOLITARY HAMSTER by Astrid Desbordes might qualify. It's kind of surreal and thinky.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: eecoburn on September 14, 2012, 07:53 AM
I guess I call it weird because...well...it's about a spoon. But you're right that the storyline is not particularly weird. Just the set up.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: DianaM on September 14, 2012, 07:56 AM
Quote
Is SPOON considered weird? I love it but I wouldn't class it as weird. As DianaM said it's maybe more wacky with a humorous tone... anyway, I digress.

I think SPOON is weird simply because it's about an inanimate object. That makes it kind of weird to me.

But then a book like SCAREDY SQUIRREL doesn't seem weird at all to me. It IS very, very funny, however.

I guess there are lots of ways to interpret "weird". Especially if you include the adjective "quirky".

Hmmm. There are probably some titles on my list that don't really, truly qualify as "weird".
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Andrea B on September 14, 2012, 08:10 AM
I've been researching YA and MG more than PB lately, but hearkening back to my days as the Storytime coordinator for our local library (Best. First. Job. EVER.) the kids and I couldn't get enough of these ...

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, or The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, by John Scieszka. (Oldies but goodies.)

Oh! by Joss Goffin (the preschoolers LOVED that there were no words and they could "tell" the story with me .. not really "weird" as in strange/gross, but "weird" as in fantastic and unusual)

Also, I completely agree with the suggestion of I Want My Hat Back. Showed it to my 30 year-old husband a month or so ago and he loved it. (His sense of humor is a bit on the "weird" side, lol.)

Hmmm ... when I was a kid I was obsessed with Bill Peet books.

Not sure I'm thinking "weird" enough ... but hope this helps!

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Franzilla on September 14, 2012, 09:39 AM
I think SPOON is weird simply because it's about an inanimate object. That makes it kind of weird to me.

But then a book like SCAREDY SQUIRREL doesn't seem weird at all to me. It IS very, very funny, however.

I guess there are lots of ways to interpret "weird". Especially if you include the adjective "quirky".

Hmmm. There are probably some titles on my list that don't really, truly qualify as "weird".

Yeah, I think 'weird' almost has a negative connotation in my mind. I've been reading a lot of Spanish-language PBs lately (as in originated in a Spanish-speaking country) and those truly are weird, as in totally off-the-wall wacky. The kind of weird that makes you go, "Huh?" when you get to the last page. I'm pretty sure that's not what US editors are after though!

So, er, just ignore me.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Amanda Coppedge on September 14, 2012, 10:04 AM
I love "The Roly Poly Spider" by Jill Sardegna and "The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher" by Mem Fox.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: DianaM on September 14, 2012, 01:04 PM
Quote
    I think SPOON is weird simply because it's about an inanimate object. That makes it kind of weird to me.

    But then a book like SCAREDY SQUIRREL doesn't seem weird at all to me. It IS very, very funny, however.

    I guess there are lots of ways to interpret "weird". Especially if you include the adjective "quirky".

    Hmmm. There are probably some titles on my list that don't really, truly qualify as "weird".


Yeah, I think 'weird' almost has a negative connotation in my mind. I've been reading a lot of Spanish-language PBs lately (as in originated in a Spanish-speaking country) and those truly are weird, as in totally off-the-wall wacky. The kind of weird that makes you go, "Huh?" when you get to the last page. I'm pretty sure that's not what US editors are after though!

So, er, just ignore me.

I agree that "weird" has a more negative connotation than"unique", or "quirky", or "offbeat". I usually shoot for "quirky" and I only get "weird" if I've gone too far. :) It's a fine line.

But I think since the OP asked for "favorites", perhaps that puts a more positive spin on "weird".

ETA: Sorry. I'm afraid my quote formatting came out weird!

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: ShelliC on September 14, 2012, 05:58 PM
I love My Mom Is Trying To Ruin My Life by Kate Feiffer. Hilarious.

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: MysteryRobin on September 14, 2012, 06:46 PM
Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich - Adam Rex, though it might not fit in the category of your conventional PB.
We LOVE this one!
This thread is great - my kids love weird books. I'm buying like half of these...
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: amberturner on September 14, 2012, 06:56 PM
I'd say anything by Oliver Jeffers. Beautiful books.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: macdibble on September 14, 2012, 07:42 PM
ALL Shaun Tan's PBs: http://www.shauntan.net/books.html

And Scary Girl by Nathan Jurivicious... but perhaps that's pushing into graphic novel.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: macdibble on September 14, 2012, 07:46 PM
Oh also Terry Denton's Gasp! books.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: AmyD on September 15, 2012, 09:55 AM
I was going to say William Steig, too! DR. DESOTO in particular is delightfully wacky.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Karen de Foy on September 15, 2012, 01:13 PM
I read one called "Rooftop Rocket Party" by a friend of a friend that might qualify as weird. Not your average picture book, in any case.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: JulieM on September 15, 2012, 04:51 PM
"Down by the Cool of the Pool" by Tony Mitton, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, 2001, Orchard Books.

"Pog and the Birdies" by  Jane Simmons, 2005, Orchard Books.

"Some Dogs Do" by Jez Alborough, 2003, Walker Books.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: literaticat on September 15, 2012, 07:59 PM
i second CECIL THE PET GLACIER - i love it, but it is truly weird. but I LOVE IT.

ARLENE SARDINE by Chris Rashka.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: stuckey8 on September 16, 2012, 06:02 AM
I think The Wretched Stone, The Stranger, The Sweetest fig, well most books by Chris Van Allsburg, would be considered a little weird. 
BJ
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Michael Sussman on October 01, 2012, 11:56 AM
Just read Arthur Yorink's HEY, AL--which is weird and wonderful. Fantastic illustrations by Richard Egielski, who won the Caldecott for this book.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: PiaSurligneur on October 01, 2012, 01:13 PM
Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka
Mr. Once-Upon-A-Time by Remy Simard
Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman

All weird & wonderful in their way.

Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: jennygoebel on October 01, 2012, 03:39 PM
I think Michael Ian Black's books are all a little weird and quirky.

CHICKEN CHEEKS
PIGS ON PARADE
THE PURPLE KANGAROO
I'M BORED
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: TracyH on October 01, 2012, 03:48 PM
FROG BELLY RAT BONE. Love that pb.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Michael Sussman on October 01, 2012, 08:04 PM
FROG BELLY RAT BONE. Love that pb.

Yes, and the illustrations are outstanding.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: AliceMustache on October 03, 2012, 08:20 PM
Has anyone read, I Want my Hat Back, - I'm fairly sure it's a candlewick press book but I can't remember the author. The ending is great!
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: DebraG on October 04, 2012, 04:54 PM
Not a favorite, just a bit off in my view:
http://www.amazon.com/Egg-Drop-Mini-Grey/dp/B005GNM9XW

A favorite: 
http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Biddlebox-Linda-Smith/dp/0152063498
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: TMarie on October 09, 2012, 08:31 AM
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Moo Who? by Margie Palatini  :lol2
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: CarrieF on October 20, 2012, 06:20 AM
I just read one called Thing-Thing. Definitely not your usual picture book. Most of the story takes place as a stuffed animal is falling out of a 6th floor window.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Michael Sussman on November 02, 2012, 06:59 PM
I just read one called Thing-Thing. Definitely not your usual picture book. Most of the story takes place as a stuffed animal is falling out of a 6th floor window.

Thanks for the recommendation, Carrie! THING-THING is wonderful. Hilarious text by Cary Fagan and fabulous illustrations by Nicolas Debon. This is the most inspiring pb I've read in ages. And this is the first I've heard of Tundra Books, a Canadian publishing house.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Helen on November 03, 2012, 07:52 PM
My daughters and I loved "The Cow is Mooing Anyhow" by Laura Geringer.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: AJSchumacher on November 04, 2012, 12:24 AM
"Monsters Eat Whiny Children" by Bruce Eric Kaplan
"All My Friends Are Dead" by Avery Monsen and Jory John

and a classic:
"The Doubtful Guest" by Edward Gorey

Actually pretty much anything by Gorey or Shel Silverstein  :grin3
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: elisa on November 04, 2012, 07:54 AM
Both of Alastair Reid's children's books: Ounce, Dice, Trice: http://www.amazon.com/Ounce-Dice-Trice-Alastair-Reid/dp/0810936550

and Supposing (that's weirder): http://www.amazon.com/Supposing-York-Review-Childrens-Collection/dp/1590173694/ref=pd_sim_b_4

One of my favorite picture books because it makes me laugh so much is "Chicken of the Family" by Mary Amato; it's not necessarily "weird," but  can't resist mentioning it.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Betsy on December 07, 2012, 06:21 PM
This isn't a picture book, but definitely weird:  SHOEBAG by Mary James.  (Michael, you'd love it if you haven't already read it.)

"In a nifty twist on Kafka, a la Metamorphosis , this "popular young-adult author" asks readers to imagine the revulsion a cockroach might feel at having been suddenly transmuted into a boy. She introduces Shoebag (named for his birthplace), erstwhile insect-son of Drainboard and Under The Toaster. Adopted by the Biddles (in whose house he has always been a resident, however undesirable), renamed Stuart Bagg, poor Shoebag confronts the unknown worlds of humanity and school.

I also like SPINKY SULKS and almost anything by Steig.

Also, THE ALIENS ARE COMING.
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Michael Sussman on December 08, 2012, 07:59 AM
Thanks, Ellen, I'll definitely check it out.

Another incredible and unusual picture book is THE BLACK BOOK OF COLORS by Menena Cottin & Rosana Faria.
Here's a quote from the Library School Journal:

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 8—With entirely black pages and a bold white text, this is not your typical color book. Meant to be experienced with the fingers instead of the eyes, this extraordinary book allows sighted readers to experience colors the way blind people do: through the other senses. The text, in both print and Braille, presents colors through touch (yellow is "as soft as a baby chick's feathers"), taste (red "as sweet as watermelon"), smell ("green smells like grass that's just been cut"), and sound (brown "crunches…like fall leaves"). Faría's distinctive illustrations present black shapes embossed on a black background for readers to feel instead of see. One page even describes a rainbow. A guide to the Braille alphabet appears at the end of the book. Fascinating, beautifully designed, and possessing broad child appeal, this book belongs on the shelves of every school or public library committed to promoting disability awareness and accessibility. A feast for the fingers.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Title: Re: Favorite weird pbs
Post by: Betsy on December 08, 2012, 12:30 PM
What a great idea!