New Picture Books for Your Bookshelf

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What an incredible season for picture books! We’ve been loving every one of these 16 new books. I know you will, too.

Picture Books

picture books
The Hueys in The New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers
Parents, you’ll chuckle the whole way through this book with a wise knowing. The Hueys, egg-like creatures who looked and acted all the same until on Huey, Rupert, knit himself a bright orange sweater. All the others were horrified except Gillespie who decided to be different, too. Soon being different caught on. Everyone soon wore orange sweaters to be different. Which is ironic since now the Hueys are the same again. (Oh, the irony!) What will Rupert do now?

picture books
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
I LOVE the creative thinking behind this book that uses numbers to write the words. It’s s2pendous!

“He pinched my belly bu10!”
“I think you’ll sur5. (They just do this 4 a10tion.)”

“They are in a 4eign country.
Their 2r guide is transl8ting.”

picture books
Silly Doggy! 
by Adam Stower
Lily sees something big, brown, hairy, and four-legged in her garden. She’s soooo excited because she’s always wanted a Doggy! Except we know something Lily doesn’t know — that it’s not doggy. Lily knows he needs someone to look after him. Lily’s mom knows he already has an owner and has Lily make a Found sign. It’s a sweet sign and Lily hopes no one will see it. But, the zoo keeper soon arrives to take doggy home. Lily is sad until the next morning she sees something wonderful in the garden . . . Kitty! (Only we know it’s not a kitty is it?)

picture books
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Poor Zero, he doesn’t fit in, he’s mistaken for other circular objects — donut, letter O, fruit loop, he’s virtually invisible in addition and subtraction, and numbers run away in fear when it comes to multiplication. So he leaves his number friends who are then attacked and captured by Roman Numerals. It is up to Zero the Hero to come to the rescue with –the power of nothing! Yeah for Zero!

picture books
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig 
by Eugene Trivizas, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
We think this new, upside down version of The Three Little Pigs is awesome — dare I say, better? Well, quite different anyway. In this version, the three little wolves go build their houses, together, and must beware of the big bad pig. The wolves build their first house of bricks. When the big bad pig arrives, he can’t blow down the house so he knocks it down with a sledgehammer. And the next house, of concrete, he can’t blow down either so he smashes the house down with a pneumatic drill. And the next house, the strongest house ever, he blows up with dynamite. Obviously the little wolves must change their building materials. They decide to use flowers. And you won’t believe what happens when the pig comes. I think you’ll love the ending!

picture books
Spike the Mixed-up Monster 
by Susan Hood, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Kids will adore the surprises in this book about a monster (an axolotl) named Spike who is no bigger than a lily pad. But, when a very scary Gila moster, el monstruo, arrives, all the other pond animals run away. But not Spike. See what happens when Spike meets el monstruo.

picture books
King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson 
by Kenneth Kraegel
Henry Alfred Grummorson, age six, is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur, the noblest knight ever to wield a sword . . . Henry and his trusty donkey Knuckles searches for fierce monsters to challenge to battle. Only, the monsters don’t exactly react predictably.


The Cyclops stared at Henry, and Henry stared back.
The stared and stared until Henry could stare no longer. //

“ENOUGH, LONE-EYE!” Henry shouted. “YOU

“But the battle has already begun,” the Cyclops explained.
“Whoever blinks first is the loser. I thought you understood.”

Your kids will love this adventure story with a twist.

picture books
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! 
by Winton Marsalis, illustrated by Paul Rogers
I adore Wynton Marsalis so when I saw this book I couldn’t wait to read it. I can tell you this is the perfect book to read aloud because it’s all about onomatopoeia – the sounds of everyday life and of instruments.

Our back door squeeeaks.
A nosy mouse eek-eek-eeeks!
It’s also how my sister’s saxophone sometimes spee . . . . eeaks.

What a musical world we live in — and this book captures it perfectly!

picture books
by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Moran
A new classic for the potty-genre! Who doesn’t crack up when it comes to potty-talk? (Maybe grandmas?) Artie Bennett first impressed us with The Butt Book (LOVE) and he’s delighting us with Poopendous, an everything poop book whose rhymes work perfectly (and I’m picky about rhyming books) to delight and impress young (and old) readers.

Guano is an Incan word
For poop of bat or ocean bird. //
Poop from critters is called dung,
And monkey dung is sometimes flung.

Monkeys fling when under stress.
It helps the monkey decompress.

So if a monkey aims at you.
Duck behind a friend, or two!

picture books
Yoko Learns to Read 
by Rosemary Wells
Not only is this a sweet story of Yoko’s enthusiasm to learn to read, we learn that not all parents read in English, or read from left to right. I loved this but my 7-year old loved it even more than me.

picture books
A World of Food Discover Magical Lands Made of Things You Can Eat! 
by Carl Warner
Illustrated with photographs of colorful food-created landscapes, this is almost like a search and find to discover what is made from what. Is that an orange juice river? What are those leaves? Cereal flakes? A chocolate train, meringue bushes, cucumber trees. Fun!

picture books
Three Little Dinosaurs 
by Charles Fuge
Scratch, Lofty, and Sniff are best friends who want to fly — and keep trying. Then they  meet an enormous winged creature, Terry Dactyl, who gives them a ride on his back. Now they can fly.

picture books
Harry Goes to Dog School 
by Scott Menchin
A hilarious story of a boy who wants to be a dog. His parents let him be a dog and go to dog school. A dog school that teaches him to be a boy. This is a perfect “let this be a lesson to you” fable!

picture books
by Jef Czekaj
Like the game “telephone” this pass it on farm animal sounds gets quite mixed up and silly. Bold, graphic illustrations delight the eye.

Have you read any of these?

Which do you love?

You Might Also Like . . .
Spring 2012: Picture Book, Board Books, & Non-fiction Books

picture books

Dystopian Books 

Magical Realism

Knitting for Beginners

Holocaust Books

Adventure Book

Joke Books for Kids

Princess in Black

Fantasy Books

Historical Fiction

Mystery Books


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  1. We loved King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson so much that we bought it for my son’s kinder teacher.

  2. Thank you for your posts (as always).

    We’ve actually read several of these books. “The Hueys in the New Sweater” was cute but not my favorite Oliver Jeffers book. I prefer “Stuck” or “Incredible Book Eating Boy”. My son, who is nearly four, loved “Three Little Dinosaurs” and “Poopendous”. In fact, when we checked those out from the library, he asked me to read those multiple times. “Zero the Hero” I found clever and I think my son will too once he is older. The subtleties in that book were over his head. The other books in your post we haven’t read and I will look for them in our library!

  3. My son and I are LOVING Zero the Hero. I love that it’s a numbers book with a real story.

    Gem is gorgeous. I love Yoko deeply and I didn’t realize there is a new one.

    The rest are new to me and I’m excited to find them at the library!

  4. We have read Zero the Hero – funny!

    Love Rosemary Well so we will find Yoko Learns to Read.

    The Carl Warner book looks very eye appealing. Will find that one as well. Those remind me of coffee table books for children

    As a mother of 5, I am always on the look out for new titles. Thanks.