I just found out about Lookybook, a new website that allows you to page through hundreds of picture books from cover to cover. You can also register (it's free) to create a bookshelf of favorites and write comments about the books you've read. Lookybook is still in the preview stage; read more about it here and in this article on the PW Children's Bookshelf. Or just look at this book, A Beautiful Girl by Amy Schwartz (Roaring Brook Press, 2006) to see how it works:
[What happened to A Beautiful Girl? Lookybook must be having technical difficulties.]
For a few weeks last spring this was Milly's favorite book; we read it every night before bed. Paging through it on Lookybook reminded me of what I like most about it: Jenna's strong personality ("'Excuse me,' said Jenna. 'I am not a robin. I am a big girl and this is my MOUTH.'"). I also like the way the story comes together in the end, with a special snack for everyone, playtime, and bed. The illustrations, which after all are the point of Lookybook, are just right.
Lookybook works better for some books than for others, of course. The magic of Laura Vaccaro's Seeger's First the Egg (also Roaring Brook Press, 2007) is lost (or at least compromised) if you can't look through the die-cut pages. See what I mean:
I wonder how useful Lookybook will be? Unless or until there are more books on its virtual shelves, I probably won't make it a habit to look for something there first. But in the meantime, if I write about a book here, I'll try to add it to my bookshelf there.
If anyone is reading this post, please leave a comment and let me know what you think of Lookybook (note: I'm not affiliated). Thanks!