Ooh, there’s so many new and good picture books to tell you about! If your kids are under 4, The Ultimate Book of Vehicles and What’s In Your Purse are my favorite recommendations. If your kids are 4 – 8, there are many books with great lessons to learn, and for those 8 and up, The Interacive Art Book and The Wreck of the Zephr will prompt lots of thinking!
Good Picture Books
What’s in Your Purse? by Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Nathalie Dion
Your little ones will want to carry this cardboard purse/book all around. Open it to find questions and delightful lift-the-flap treasures in the purses of mom, auntie, grandma, sister, and you. Fantastic book to treasure for years!
Digger Dog by William Bee, illustratd by Cecilia Johansson
I love how Nosy Crow picture books always engage my senses with their bright and quirky illustrations. Digger Dog can’t find that specific bone he smells. He uses all sorts of digging machines to find his bone. Until at last — it’s the biggest bone in the world. Or is it?
Rosie & Rex A Nose for Fun! by Bob Boyle
Do you have a boy and a girl? In this book, the main characters are a girl who wants to play tea party princesses — and thinks robots are not fun, and a boy who is obsessed with and wants to play with robots. Sound familiar at all? You’ll LOVE how the action unfolds because just when there seems to be no hope for a play compromise, a real, huge, and tons of fun robot comes to help. (Bob Boyle is the creator of Wow! Wow! Wubzy!)
The Ultimate Book of Vehicles From Around the World by Annie-Sophie Baumann, Didier Balicevic
Kids love interactive books and this picture book gives them tons to do! Lift-the-flaps, turn the wheel, push and pull, or slide and move. From farm vehicles to fishing to rescue vehicles, your young kids will adore this beautiful book. Everything is well labeled so kids will be learning tons.
Run, Dog! by Cecile Boyer
Get that red ball! Each two-page spread contains an unfolding scene as you lift several flaps in this graphic almost wordless picture book. The yellow dog chases his ball through the park, a backyard, the zoo, a city street, and finally back to his owner. Run, Jump, Catch! Almost a wordless picture book.
Me First by Max Kornell
Another typical sibling argument is who gets to go first. Hal and Marth compete and argue non-stop. It’s driving their parents crazy. But when the duo goes exploring on their own and encounter some harrowing firsts, they begin to treat each other differently.
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
It’s “bad bye” when you’re moving. Then it’s “good bye” when you make new friend and are saying good-night. Underwood perfectly captures the emotional and physical landscape of a move in two word phrases. We really enjoyed this picture book.
Green Is a Chile Pepper A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra
Oh, I adore this picture book so much! The illustrations, the small poems of colors, I love it all. We read about orange marigolds for Day of the Dead, yellow masa for tamales and tortillas, pink adornos, brown churros, and more special unique Mexican cultural elements.
Red is a ribbon.
Red is a bow
and skirts for
My Blue Bunny, Bubbit by Maggie Smith
What do you do to welcome a new baby? This little girl and her Nonni make a pattern, find material, and sew baby a cuddly elephant just like the girls’ blue bunny, Bubbit. Love this idea for a new baby, don’t you?
Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
A fun-filled search for the boy’s lost dragon will keep you counting and exploring downtown and uptown. (Or is he really lost?) I love the fantastic black and white illustrations and a pop of color on each page.
Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine
Jumping Jack (a black horse) and Roger Trotter (a tall man) were show-jumping champions. A perfect pair. Until disaster – Jumping Jack started tripping and missing his jumps. What could possibly be wrong? This is a charming and funny story about needing to wear glasses!
The Wreck of the Zephyr by Chris Van Allsburg
Being the best sailor is the most important thing to the boy. His head is full of pride as he finally masters how to catch the wind just so and sail far above the waves through the air. The boy, like Icarus, flies too high — and falls from the sky. The story sparks so many questions you can discuss after reading because we aren’t told everything. (I love that about Van Allsburg!) Plus, the fantasy quality of the pastel illustrations perfectly pair with the intriguing tale.
The Almost Fearless Hamilton SquidLegger by Timothy Basil Ering
If you like quirky and clever stories with lots of imaginary words then this is the book for you. It’s by the same author/illustrator that wrote Frog Belly Rat Bone. Hamilton Squidlegger is fearless in all things except bedtime. It will take some bravery and new monster friends and soon Hamilton will become totally fearless.
A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by CaTia Chien
I’m impressed with this true-to-life story about Alan’s life. Alan stutters. The only time Alan doesn’t stutter is when he sings, and when he talks to animals. He finds his life’s purpose studying jaguars in Belize. In a dramatic moment where he doesn’t stutter, he speaks up to the government asking for their help protecting jaguars from hunters. Beautiful!
The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
In this mean, hard world where nothing grew and everything was broken, a girl stole a bag and gave a promise. She promised she’d plant what was in the bag. She kept her promise and planted everywhere. Pretty soon green spread and the people changed. The girl spread her seeds of hope until one day, a young thief tried to steal her bag . . . A wonderful story!
At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin
I enjoyed this picture book more than my kids because I think my kids didn’t totally get it. We start at 6 am in Sengal with Keita who wakes up early to help his father count the fish caught during the night. At that same moment in other parts of the world, it’s a different time and kids are doing what they normally do. 12 pm by Mount Everest: Lilu eats lunch with her mother, 6 pm in Russia: Ivan takes his dog for a walk, 7 pm in Samoa: Abby cooks a fish for dinner, and so on. Travel around the world and we see that kids are just like we are.
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raul Colon
I’m in love with the illustrations in this bilingual picture book, and the lyrical story of a boy’s memories of his abuelo. His abuelo teaches him that there are many ways to be strong, fuerte; that it’s good to laugh, es bueno reirse; and to look, mira, at the stars. Even when the boy moves to the big city, his abuelo is always with him in spirit.
The Interactive Art Book by Ron Van Der Meer, Frank Whitford
We found this book absolutely fascinating! Each section (light/color, movement, pattern/composition, stories/puzzles and style/subject offers interactive learning experiences. Lift flaps, see 3D models, wear 3D glasses, make 2D and 3D art such as Alexander Calder’s Performing Seal or an abstract composition of shapes. There’s so much to learn and do – it’s a fantastic book for both kids and adults!
Voices from the Oregon Trail by Kay Winters, illustrated by Larry Day
Rich illustrations depicting western movement scenarios pair with prose from a character’s point of view. Carl Hawks, son of the captain of a wagon train, shares his hopes and fears. Louisa Bailey, age 14, makes breakfast with her mama and sister then pack up the wagon. Sioux scout, Channkoowashtay, watches the wagons and thinks no good will come of all the travelers. Talk about history coming alive – the first person narratives really draw me in. Excellent!