25 New Picture Books, October 2022
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It’s almost the end of October, and I have lots of good picture books to share with you!
Which will you want to read first?
25 New Picture Books, October 2022
Blue Bison Needs a Haircut by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Blue Bison needs a haircut but everything is closed! His little sister Bubble Gum Bison offers to cut his hair, but he declines her offer. Desperate, he even offers the barber a bribe. This leads to an explanation of the difference between bison and buffalo. Then, his little sister distracts him, and he realizes he can live without a haircut. Except, surprise! During the night, someone (can you guess who?) gave him a haircut. Filled with humor and feelings, this will be a read aloud favorite.
The Talk by Alicia D. Williams, illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu
GROWING UP BLACK & BROWN
Jay’s life is happy, filled with high-tops that make him run fast, cheek squeezes from Nana, a new wallet for doing chores, height measurements on the wall, best friends for life, and the Talk. Grandpa says not to have gatherings of four or more. Dad says if a police person pulls you over, to keep both hands on the wheel. Mom says Jay needs to keep his hands out of his pockets in the mall. And then the Talk with a capital T. We’re shown illustrations of police violence, accusations, and kids in trouble. After the Talk, his family gives Jay hugs and reassurances that he’s not to blame and is a brave, beautiful child. I am gutted by the awful truth and necessity of this book. It’s important for families of all skin colors.
The Real Dada Mother Goose A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman
I love this book — but it’s not for your preschoolers, it’s for readers who will get the humor of the wordplay. Scieszka changes the familiar nursery rhymes in hilarious, smart ways — fill-in-the-blanks, recipes, anagrams, new verbs, new nouns, scientific approach, pig Latin, and more. A must-see-for-yourself, must-read!
NO! Said Custard the Squirrel by Sergio Ruzzier
Silliness! Kids will love this Duck who thinks he’s a squirrel and says NO to every question! (Or does he?)
Ride, Roll, Run Time for Fun! by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Sabrena Khadija
“School’s done! Ride, roll, run!” Kids will enjoy this action-packed yet simple story about all the things kids can do after school. Teachers and parents will love the (action) verbs, verbs, and more verbs! “Dribble, fake. Fast break! Shoot, wish. Swoop, Swish!” Vivid verb mentor text, anyone?
The Worst Teddy Every by Marcelo Verdad
Why is Noa’s Teddy the worst ever? Because he’s always too tired to do anything–which is boring. What Noa doesn’t know (but the readers learn) is that Teddy is tired because he’s staying up all night protecting his boy from unwanted nighttime visitors like a ghost, the Boogeyman, the Tooth Fairy, and the Tickle Monster.
Calling the Wind by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi
In this powerful story with exquisite art, a grieving family visits a phone booth where they talk to their beloved mom/daughter/wife who has died. Talking about their feelings and sharing about their lives help the family heal and move forward. This beautiful way to stay connected with a deceased loved one is inspired by Itaru Sasaki’s Wind Telephone.
If You Were a City by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Francesca Sanna
Written in the second person, stretch your imagination and consider what kind of city you would be if you were a city. Would you be “shiny, glassy, sleek, and tall?” or “Wooden, Squat, and nicely small?” Lovely with gorgeous illustrations.
Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon, illustrated by Xindi Yan
Betty is exuberant and enthusiastic and busy. She wants to bathe her dog before her friend Mae comes over. But, her efforts make her dog even dirtier. So she adds glitter! Talk about a big mess! Mae loves it — and thinks they should have a dog wash for all the dogs on the block using a blow-up pool and slide. Betty loves being busy. (I can not relate.) Also, I love the VOICE in this story — great word choices to give readers the essence of Betty’s character. (Use it as a mentor text!)
Will It Be Okay? by Crescent Dragonwagon, illustrated by Jessica Love
Normally I don’t like when adults try to give kids all the answers or when adults try to convince children they should be worried or have big feelings…but for some reason, this book feels reassuring and affirming, and I like it. The little girl asks her mom what-if questions — what if there’s lightning, what if someone doesn’t like me, what if I’m mad at everybody. For every question, the mom answers with specific ideas and scenarios. “But what if nobody likes the way I dance? / You go dancing in the words, alone in the crackling leaves. One day you meet someone else, dancing in the leaves.” The mom essentially helps the child reframe things and see situations in a new way.
Loud Mouse: How a Little Mouse Found Her Big Voice by Cara Mentzel and Idina Menzel, illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett
Dee loves singing — so she shares her loud song during sharing time. Her loud voice filled the room, and she grew and grew and grew — until she was enormous. Being big and loud feels lonely and too much and sad; she wants to stop singing. At home, her sister and mom support Dee with loving compassion to be her loud, singing best self. And Dee sings again- loud and big and wonderful. How sweet is this story!?
A Blue Kind of Day by Rachel Tomlinson, illustrated by Tori-Jay Mordey
Coen feels sad in his body — a murky kind of blue that made him feel gloomy and trapped. His body feels prickly and tense, and he doesn’t want to do anything with his family. So, his family gives up trying to cheer him up and stays nearby until Coen’s ready to emerge from his cocoon of blankets.
Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown, illustrated by Sharee Miller
PHYSICAL DISABILITIES, BACK TO SCHOOL
Sam is a girl whose mom takes her back to school shopping with two other friends. Because Sam has CP, she has to sit and rest when her legs get tired. Sam names the seats that help her rest like the bench at the mall, the car backseat, and her couch at home. Sam likes that resting seats make her feel safe and secure and that with a bit of rest, she’s able to do things with her friends, too.
Don’t Hug the Quokka! by Daniel Errico, illustrated by Mia Powell
A simple story with an important point! Quokka wants his personal space and NO HUGS. So, ask first, and usually, the answer will be no, but maybe it will be yes sometimes…
Shoshi’s Shabbat by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
When her first owner retires, he sells his ox Shoshi. But Shoshi’s new owner doesn’t observe Shabbat, the day of rest, and can’t understand why his stubborn ox won’t work. Until he sees his neighbor and grandchildren and realizes that his ox might be smarter than him. That instead of working seven days a week, his ox teaches him that they both can take a day of rest.
The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition by Shirin Shamsi, illustrated by Tarun Lar
INDIAN / PAKISTANI HISTORY
A little girl named Azra flees with her family without her special doll or packing a suitcase. Her family travels by train to safety, and when they arrive in the safer location, they’re helped by friendly people and find a new home…which has a doll left by the previous family.
This Book is Not a Present by Max Greenfield, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Sarcastic, humorous writing assures the reader that this book isn’t a present — and then waxes eloquent on gratitude, dog presents, slime in the toilet, occasions that would be okay to give someone a book as a present (maybe April Fool’s Day?), and reasons to give books as presents instead of something cool like an electric guitar.
Walter Had a Best Friend by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Walter had a best friend named Xavier. Until he didn’t. Which made Walter’s world change, and he stops doing the things he used to do with his friend. Later, he decides to do something he likes again, to take a hike by himself. He tries a new trail where he meets a badger named Ollie. The book ends with hopeful possibilities. Losing a friend is very relatable, and it’s reassuring to see what can happen by doing something you enjoy. Perfectly, beautifully written.
My Name is Saajin Singh by Kuljibder Kaur Brar, illustrated by Samrath Kaur
When Saajin goes to school, his teacher says his name incorrectly, and then so do his classmates. At home, Saajin’s parents tell him that even grown-ups make mistakes. The next day, he tells the teacher the correct pronunciation of his name, and the teacher apologizes to him.
Well Done, Mommy Penguin by Chris Haughton
Daddy and Baby Penguin watch as Mommy Penguin swims to find them fish to eat. Brave Mommy Penguin even sneaks by a big polar bear on her way back to her family.
It’s Not The Three Little Pigs by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
This is NOT the Three Little Pigs story you’re thinking of! This version has a fourth pig and a pumpkin house and a wolf selling vacuums –– and it’s hilarious.
Finding My Dance by Ria Thundercloud, illustrated by Kalila J. Fuller
Ria loves dancing — and starts dancing as a child in a powwow. As her love of dancing grows, she learns different styles and becomes a professional dancer, and travels all over the world.
Measuring a Year A Rosh Hashana Story by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Zara Gonzalez Hoang
Reflective questions ponder how to measure a year of time — is it what you learned or how much you grew– and so forth.
Buster’s Trip to Victory Lane by Dale Earnhartdt Jr., illustrated by Ela Smietanka
RACECAR / FEELINGS
In this race car story, Buster learns to help his worries by helping others. Kids who understand car racing and like books with action will enjoy this story.
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran, illustrated by Michelle Pereira
This is a good story about a boy with a long name. He learns to skateboard step by step and then teaches a new friend how to say his long name in the same way, syllable by syllable.
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