I <3 Picture Books

12 Aug

Oh, how I love them!

This morning I had the pleasure of helping my sister pick out books for a coworker who was about to become a new father. I was delighted that my sister wanted my help (I mean, I know a bit about picture books) and soon piled her up with a bunch of titles to look through. She ended up choosing two board books: Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo (a classic favorite) and Susie Gharemani’s Stack the Cats (a new favorite now in board book format), as well as a book for the baby to grow into: Jeremy Tankard’s Grumpy Bird (close to my heart as I have a Grumpy Bird tattoo that Jeremy drew).

Woman in a chair reading a book. Next to her are piles of picture books and a child's puzzle.

When your sister is a children’s librarian you end up with piles of books to look through. 

Sitting here in one of my favorite book stores, The Tattered Cover, surrounded by books, I’m inspired to share with you some of my newest picture book favorites:

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Lovejulian

Oh, this book is beautiful. Spare text and absolutely gorgeous illustrations tell the story of Julián, a boy who, upon seeing three women dressed as mermaids on the subway, decides he wants to be one too. He uses things he finds around his Abuela’s house to create his own tail and headdress, but when she sees what he’s done, will she approve? Without saying a word, Abuela helps Julián make his dream come true.

sadI’m Sad by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi

I adored I’m Bored by the same team and this one is equally silly, sweet and charming. A girl and her potato friend (yes, I said POTATO) try and help their buddy flamingo cheer up. But what if, sometimes, we’re just sad? For no reason at all? Normalizing feelings is important, and this story does it with wit and kindness.

The Rabbit Listened by Cory Doerrfeldrabbit listened

This is another story that respects the child and their feelings. What do you do when your block tower is knocked over and you feel sad and mad? Lots of animals have suggestions, but the rabbit – the rabbit just listens.

babyBaby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank

Early math! In colorful, vibrant illustrations and repeated text, Atinuke tells the story of baby and momma visiting an outdoor market and getting more than they planned.

Niblet and Ralph by Zacharia O’Horaniblet

It’s a case of mistaken identity! With cats. And new friends. And super-cool illustrations. What else do you need? Also, I want to name a future cat Niblet.

penguinPenguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry and Charles Santoso

Bedtime is one of my fave storytime themes and so I tried this out on a group of kids the other day. BIG HIT. What kid doesn’t want to put off bedtime as long as possible? Right? That’s good, because this is DEFINITELY not a bedtime book. It’s got lions, adventuring, and NO, I REPEAT, ABSOLUTELY NO yawning.

The picture book world is filled with absolutely wonderful stories and if you haven’t spent some time with them recently, you absolutely should. What are your favorites?


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