The first one is called "A Tower of Giraffes" by Anna Wright. It's basically a list of unusual collective nouns with some facts about the animals thrown in. The text is interesting and kids will like it, but what's really awesome about this book is the pictures. The animals are drawn (it looks like ink drawings to me, but I'm not really an expert) in a very realistic way and the expressions of the animals is terrific. Then, she puts pieces of fabric over the animals' bodies and sometimes it looks hilarious and sometimes it's just plain gorgeous. I think kids are going to love this one for it's balance of art and science. Check out this picture of a group of flamingos.
or this one of mice and hedgehogs. Fabulous!
The second one is called "Will's Words: How William Shakespeare change the way you talk" by Jane Sutcliffe and illustrated by John Shelley. This book is a short history of William Shakespeare's life and it's beautifully illustrated. It has side panels that tell the story. On the left hand side of the page, there is a bit of William Shakespeare's life story and on the right side are some of the words and phrases he coined, along with citations of where they came from and what they mean. It's a really brilliant piece of work and will inspire a lot of people to read more Shakespeare.
The last one is not from Netgalley but I heard about it as a possible Caldecott contender. It's called "Two Mice" by Sergio Ruzzier. It's a very simple story about (not surprisingly) two mice. The two mice appear to be best friends because they pretty much do everything together and for the most part, they get along very well. What's really clever about the book is the very limited number of words for the story and how the story is told primarily with numbers and nouns. So here's an example:
And one more just because I can.
See what I mean? Completely adorable! I think kids are going to love this one. I know I did.