In an effort to stay sane and make my reviewing more manageable, I’m only sharing my top 10 picture books (of 60ish) that I read this month. These stories will be welcome additions to your classrooms, homes, and libraries. Happy reading!
10 New Picture Books, July 2022
Ice Cream Face by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
If you like ice cream, you’ll enjoy reading this playful and relatable story about the feelings and the faces kids experience before, during, and after eating it! You’ll crack up as the author depicts the biter, the bearded lady, the brain freeze face, and the sad face! The story begins with a long wait for ice cream all the way to dropping your precious ice cream on the sidewalk, and the kindness of strangers who share some of theirs. Darling.
Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Hyewon Yum
I love this sweet story of friendship in an ESL classroom. Luli brings tea to share with her classmates (and cookies!) and sharing tea helps them connect in friendship because despite speaking different languages, they all love tea. It’s fun to see that some of the words for tea are the same or similar in the students’ different languages.
Alice Nizzy Nazzy by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
FOLKTALE / LEGEND
What a fantastic New Mexico version of the Baba Yaga story with gorgeous, southwestern art from Tomie dePaola! Manuela searches for her lost sheep and to find them, goes into Alice Nizzy Nazzy’s adobe home on roadrunner feet. Luckily, clever Manuela tricks the witch and escapes from being eaten. Phew. A delightful, must-read-aloud experience.
Beneath the Trees: A Fine Summer by Dav
PLAY / CHARACTER ARC
In this charming story, a curmudgeonly owl is annoyed with the noisy kids playing ball in the lake. But through an unexpected series of events, Mr. Owl discovers that he also likes playing ball. Maybe he’ll even convince Mr. Toad? Filled with a joyful amount of onomatopoeia and minimal text, the comic panels expertly narrate Owl’s character arc and demonstrate the transformative power of play.
Is This Your Class Pet? by Troy Cummings
HUMOR / LETTER WRITING / SCHOOL
Sequel to CAN I BE YOUR DOG?, our darling narrator named Arfy accidentally “fetches” a turtle that he thought was a rock. Now Arfy searches for the turtle’s home by writing letters and emails to the different people at the elementary school. Does the turtle belong to the librarian or the principal or maybe the lunchroom cooks? Clues hidden throughout will help readers predict where the turtle belongs. You’ll love everything about this story including the warmhearted, perfect ending!
A Grand Day by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
Gorgeous artwork and lyrical words depict a GRAND day of grandkids spending time with their grandparents. It’s a day with tea and toast, paint and plants, dances and dress-up, and so much love! Gift this to the grandparents in your life!
Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, illustrated by Ariel Landy
Jillian is worried that loving her stepdad’s mom, her new Bubbe, will be a betrayal to her other grandparents. Her mom encourages Jillian to give Bubbe a chance and Jillian soon realizes her heart is big enough for all her three grandmas. She invites them all for a soup dinner and it’s a delicious, heart-expanding time. “Like soup, family was made with love. And there was always room for more.”
The Mermaid Girl by Sana Rafi, illustrated by Olivia Aserr
IDENTITY / MUSLIM MAIN CHARACTER
Heba and her mom feel excited about their matching burkinis and swimming but at the pool, the other kids make the girl feel like she doesn’t fit in. Mama encourages her to be filled with courage and remember her heritage. Remembering this gives her strength and Heba has a great time playing with friends and pretending to be mermaid girls.
Patch of Sky by Nic Yulo
Pia is a devoted friend who wants to help her pig Patches see the sky. But how? Pia eventually figures out a way to share the sky with Patches. The unique color palette of bright colors invites you into this sweet story of friendship and problem-solving.
Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) by Mike Boldt
FUNNY / DOG LIFE
HILARIOUS! Narrated by Chip, a dog with a big personality, Chip helpfully gives us the dos and don’ts for life. “Do: Eat Socks…Don’t eat bees.” Kids will crack up through the whole story and will love the clever ending.