Want some new good picture book ideas?
(Believe it or not, I haven’t read all the picture books for June but if they’re good, I’ll share them next month.)
June 2021 Picture Books
Atticus Caticus by Sarah Maizes, illustrated by Kara Kramer
CAT BOOKS / RHYTHMIC / 3 YEAR OLDS
A boy and his adorable cat friend have a fun day together in this rhythmic, darling story with hilarious made-up words and a sweet relationship. “Atticus Caticus jumps…/SPLAT-a-tat-taticus!” From waking up to breakfast all the way to bedtime where the cat sleeps on his head, these two best friends always have fun.
The Power of Yet by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Simplified for young readers, this encouraging book shows a little pig who wants to ride a bike but can’t…yet. With time, patience, practice, and growth, yet eventually arrives for the bike, math, cooking, and baseball.
The Tossy-Turny Princess and the Pesky Pea: A Fairy Tale to Help You Fall Asleep by Susan Verde, illustrated by Jay Fleck
BEDTIME STORY TO HELP KIDS FALL ASLEEP / FAIRY TALE
A helpful story for kids trying to fall asleep! This princess loves sleeping. But one day, a pea slips under her mattress and it ruins her sleep! The gardener suggests she move her body into the shape of a lizard. The chef advises her to breathe in and out slowly through her nose. The librarian tells her that he likes to flip up on his back and put his legs up against the bookshelves. Finally, the astronomer suggests she lie down, let her body relax, and put each of her worries on a star. That night, the princess implements the advice and soon, she falls fast asleep. The author’s note at the back gives readers more information for each going to sleep idea.
The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, illustrated by Lorian Tu
PRESCHOOL SONG / CHINESE CULTURE
Sing along with this cheerful and exuberant story that rewrites the words to the familiar “Wheels on the Bus” song, making it a story about a large, multi-generational Chinese family sharing a meal together. “Nai Nai drinks her tea with a hoo, hoo, hoo…Ye Ye eats noodles going slurp, slurp, slurp. Ge Ge eats tofu with a squish, squish, squish.” Seeing the yummy foods the family eats will make you hungry for some rice, noodles, and dumplings yourself.
Yoga Animals at the Seashore by Christiane Kerr and Jason HOok, illustrated by Julia Green
YOGA BOOKS / EMOTIONS
This is a social-emotional and yoga story about a crab’s day. His fish friends support his many feelings–grumpy, alone, and frustrated, etc.– by sharing yoga poses that can help. His initial emotions move into other emotions as he does the yoga poses. For example, he moves from tired to energized and from shy to brave. Each two-page spread tells the story plus shows the yoga pose with directions.
Oscar’s Tower of Flowers by Lauren Tobia
WORDLESS / KINDNESS
When his mom goes away and Oscar stays with his nana, Oscar plants and grows flowers. Then, he shares the blossoms with all his neighbors. Wordless with charming illustrations.
The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
FAIRY TALE / PROBLEM SOLVING
Echoing the Three Billy Goats Gruff story, Ruby wants to cross the bridge and pick blueberries. But her brothers go without her because she’s too little. When the brothers try to cross, the log-guard Santiago says, “I’m the boss and you can’t cross…unless you give me a snack.” The boys tell Santiago to wait for the next sibling who packs a better snack and Santiago lets the brother cross. Finally, Ruby starts across the bridge She doesn’t have a snack so she builds her own bridge–which Santiago helps her with. Together they cross the bridge to pick a blueberry snack on the other side and now Ruby is the boss of the new bridge. What will she ask her brothers to do in order to cross her bridge? Bake her a pie, of course! Talk about girl-power!
Hugo by Atinuke, illustrated by Birgitta Sif
KINDNESS / FRIENDSHIP
A heartwarming story of kindness about Hugo, a friendly park warden pigeon, who helps a shy girl come out of her shell. She stays inside all the time but Hugo continues to visit her and finally, she opens her window to him and they become friends. One day Hugo gets hurt by a dog, the girl rushes to his side, leaving her apartment, to save him. When she’s nursed Hugo back to health, she joins him outside and the little girl, Aimee, makes more friends.
Llama Glamarama by Simon James Green, illustrated by Garry Parsons
SELF-LOVE / CELEBRATING DIFFERENCES
Larry the llama fears his friends will disapprove of his dancing moves so he sneaks away to dance. But one day, he discovers a carnival where there are other dancing llamas which gives him the courage to tell his farm friends about his secret love of dance. They are accepting and in turn, tell Larry about the ways that they feel different, too.
Goldilocks and the Three Engineers by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis
Don’t miss this fun rhyming STEM twist on the traditional fairy tale of Goldilocks. One day, this Goldilocks gets stuck on an experiment so she leaves for a wall. Three bears discover her lab and explore Goldilock’ss house — adding to her inventions. When she returns home, she’s happy to see the improvements to her inventions and suggests that they make their collaboration a regular occurrence.
The One and Only Sparkella by Channing Tatum, illustrated by Kim Barnes
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
At her new school, sparkly Ella feels diminished when her classmates don’t appreciate her glittery, shimmering self so she goes without her sparkle but that doesn’t feel good either. That night, she and dad have a dance party and he encourages her to remember that she has everything she needs inside of her. She decides to be her sparkly self and makes a new friend at school. Her dad arrives to pick her up in a bedazzled jacket and matching crown — and they reflect on how good it feels to be yourself. Their father-daughter bond is sweet and inspiring!
No Pants! by Jacob Grant
FUNNY / FATHER-SON
Kids will love the familiar conversation between the dad and the son about getting ready to go to a party– and crack up when the son argues that he doesn’t need to wear pants. The dad uses plenty of examples of all the other people in the world and their family who wear pants in all their different activities. The hilarity continues when the dad forgets his own pants —and they arrive at the party only to find it’s a pool party and no one is wearing pants — they’re wearing bathing suits!
Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder
BODIES / LGBTQ+
Celebrate the body with a positive, inclusive representation of bodies of many different color skins, shapes, noses, hair, and so forth with LGTBQ+ couples, mixed-race families, differently-abled people, and different ages, just to name a few kinds of representation. As you read, repeat the book’s refrain, “Bodies are cool.” “Hairy fingers, wrinkly fingers, dimpled elbows, chubby fingers, wobbly arms and stubby fingers. Bodies are cool!”
If I Were a Tree by Andrea Zimmerman, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
NATURE / SENSES
As the family travels by car to the camping area and then hiking, the children muse about what it would be like to be a tree — feeling the warmth of the sun, tasting the soil and sand, smelling the honey and bees, heaving the hoot of an owl and snakes in a hole, and seeing blossoms and deer. Lyrical and sensory text, evocative illustrations, and a genuine appreciation for nature, this is a beautiful book to inspire your own curious wondering with all your senses! “If I were a tree, I know what I’d smell. Sweet honey and bees, and skunk on the breeze. I’d smell smoke in the air, the breath of a bear, Old fungus decay, and rain on the way.”
All Kinds of Animal Families by Sophy Henn
FAMILIES / LGBTQ+
Learn about different animal families like the orangutan where the mama cares for the babies or the emus whose the daddy raises the chicks. Read about birds whose siblings are the caregivers for the babies and orca families where the grandparents look after the young. Some families have two mommies like the albatross families or the two daddies like cheetahs. Bright, colorful illustrations of each animalfamily, age-appropriate text, plus back matter with more information about each kind of animal…
Roar! by Katerina Kerouli
LIFT THE FLAPS (GOOD BOOKS FOR AGE 2)
Playful descriptions and lift the flaps show kids the mouthes of different safari animals like a snake, lion, crocodile, monkey, and tiger. “Snap Snap,” it says inside the crocodile. “Such colorful scales, such a flicky tongue, such pointy fangs…Look out, everyone! Hiss Hiss.” Perfect for the preschool age group.
Mucky Truck by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Elisa Ferro
TRUCKS / PRESCHOOL
When the small truck gets stuck in the sticky, tacky mud, his truck friends arrive to help…but they all get stuck, too. Finally, the fire truck arrives with the fire hose, “spitter-spatter-gush! See that dry and sticky mud go soft as mush.” The trucks get unstuck one by one until the small truck decides it’s FUN to play in the mud…and they all return to join him. Lots of onomatopoeia and rhythm make this an entertaining read-aloud choice for growing readers.
Princesses Can Fit It! by Tracy Marchini, illustrated by Julia Christians
GENDER ROLES / STEM
A darling girl empowerment story where the princesses show their dad that they are capable and don’t need to be stuck in limiting gender roles. When the king has issues with alligators, the princesses know they can fix it. And, even though the king dismisses them, their brother the prince encourages them, and the princesses try and try until they find a solution!
Goodnight, Little Panda by Amanda Wood, illustrated by Vikki Chu
FRIENDS / ANIMALS
Little Panda searches all around only to find that the perfect food was just what she started with at the beginning of the story — bamboo. It’s a charming tour of animals, plants, and sounds. She sees the birds pecking seeds and Little Panda tries the seeds. “Nibble, nibble. Yuck!” She sees a frog eating worms. “Wriggle, wriggle. Double yuck!” Finally, she realizes that bamboo is the best food for her.
100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count by Michael Whaite
DOGS / RHYMING / PRESCHOOL READ ALOUD
“Small dog, tall dog, playing with a ball dog, big dog dig dog, burying a bone.” You’ll love seeing all the different kinds of dogs in this colorful, inviting book that is sure to be a favorite read-aloud!
Race Cars by Jenny Devenny, edited by Charnaie Gordon
RACISM AND WHITE PRIVILEGE
Two best friends enter a race and discover that the white car is treated differently than the black car who has different rules and even a different track. When the white car realizes what’s happening, he goes back for his best friend and apologizes for not noticing. The back contains discussion points for adults to work through with children. This book will be a helpful teaching tool for bias and racism.
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