Tag Archives: picture books

Moon, moon, moon

moonShining bright.  (Sing along if you know the Lauria Berkner tune.  If not, just hum.)

Moon is a girl looking for adventure and some connection to the outside.  A shooting star sends her outside, where she meets a wolf.  Wolf shows her the forest.  Eventually Mom howls, Moon returns home, taking with her a little of the wild of the forest.


Moon by Alison Oliver

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Don’t be a surd

fish catWe have a running joke in our family.  When our now teenager was very, very little, his dad taught him the phrase, “Don’t be absurd!” because he thought it would be hilarious.  Being just a little guy, he usually said this, “Don’t be a surd, Daddy!”   Also funny.  Now I find that I am a surd pretty much all the time, since a large part of what comes out of my mouth is greeted with a lot of skepticism in this whole world of the absurd.

It fits so many situations.  This book is sure a little absurd, but entirely in a way that kids will enjoy.  Cat and Fish are kind of doing what you’d expect a cat and a fish to do, until Fish flies off.  Cat chases, across the room, through tunnels, up to the moon.  Ridiculous, yes, but somehow charming to see a cat ride a falling star back to Earth.

It’s also wordless, so it could be used in a lot of situations – for a writing prompt, with adult language learners, as something for a little one to read in the car by themselves.

The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc

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Striped pants not required

almaAlma has one of those names that goes on and on.  Or maybe some of the names are not her favorites.  In any case, she is bopping around in awesome striped pants, not feeling like her name fits her.

Daddy can bring to life all the people whose names she shares, though, including a woman in really awesome striped pants.  (Nice touch.  Where can I get these pants?) There is more to us than our names, but it’s sure interesting to know how they came about, isn’t it?

The illustrations are light and sweet, and it’s perfect for any kid questioning their Edith or Jaquarian or Huong in a Jennifer and Sophie world.  Perfect for a quiet moment with a special little one who likes their name, too.  Maybe even the perfect way to talk about naming and how it works in different cultures.  Keep looking!  There might be more.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

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Connections made by my awesome brain

igotitHow do you illustrate the moment before you know how yelling “I GOT IT!” is going to turn out?

Depending on how you look at it, David Wiesner’s new mostly wordless book is the answer.

If you don’t know David Wiesner’s work, you have some joyful moments in front of you.  He’s the author of Caldecott-winning Tuesday (personal favorite) as well as Mr. Wuffles and June 29, 1999.  He also illustrated Fish Girl, a super graphic novel.

And here’s the thing.  After reading this book, I was thinking about the way we reimagine and replay moments in our lives, and I remembered Kate Atkinson’s great novel, Life After Life.  It’s 439 pages and might not appeal to most picture book readers, but my brain made the leap and connected it to I Got It!  I just find that amazing.  Brains.  They’re always up to something.

Thank you, brain.

I Got It! by David Wiesner

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Future Batgirl wins the day

library on wheelsMary Lemist Titcomb – Miss Titcomb – was a fierce advocate of libraries, pushing aside those people who said working people and children weren’t interested in reading, charging forward to provide more varied library services to people who didn’t live close to physical libraries.  AND she thought up a plan which she put into action to get the first bookmobiles out into parts of the community that did not have access.  What a gem!

The pictures and documents are fascinating, and though Miss Titcomb is not a well-known figure today, learning about her is sure a treat.

Library on Wheels:  Mary Lemist Titcomb and America’s First Bookmobile by Sharlee Glenn


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Where’s my cowboy bus?

bus stop

Who knew that catching a bus was this complicated?  You miss your bus, but then the buses that follow include options for cowboys riding horses, bouncing clowns, sailors, and balloon fans?  Man, what neighborhood does this guy live in?

A seriously silly flight of fancy and a lot of fantastic fun.

Bus!  Stop! by James Yang

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If A=B and B=C, then A=C…or not

this book is redPut your thinking caps on for this one and prepare for an argument.

It’s silly, but this play on words is a funny first step in teaching kids logic and information literacy.  It sorta, kinda, makes sense that if apples are red and roses are red, then apples are roses, right?

In a world of fake news, it’s sure a good reminder to check your information and your sources carefully.  Beck and Matt Stanton should make the list of something.  Truthtellers? Smartypants?  Math geniuses?  Goofballs?

This book is RED (Books that drive kids crazy!) by Beck and Matt Stanton

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This book is all over the place

theysayblue.jpgAnd that’s ok.

It all hangs together, the thoughts about colors and where you see them and how you see them and what you might do if you could float on a color or become a tree.  It doesn’t really even make sense if you’re looking for traditional story progression, but it’s beautiful, anyway — full of movement, full of imagination.  It stretches your brain a little and makes you wonder, “What else could I see or hear or touch or feel if I were looking closely?”

Roll with it.  You’ll be glad you did.

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki

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For the graduate in your life–or anyone else who needs a boost

sometimes you flyThis is a rhyming book I can love.

This is a book about growing up, making mistakes, and succeeding which I am oh-so-happy to share.

This is a book that will make adults smile and kids smile.

Also there is cake.

And Katherine Applegate.  (And illustrations by Jennifer Black Reinhardt.)

So, you know, it’s great.

It’s a new favorite as a graduation gift, but also take a look at The Bear and the Piano  by David Litchfield if you are looking for something fun to give someone wearing a funny hat.

Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Black Reinhardt.

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Hello, it’s hot dog I’m waiting for

hello hot dogAgain with the dated song lyrics?  I imagine that’s what all of my five or six readers are thinking right about now, since I’ve lately been wandering deep into my sketchy pop music past.   Are you tired of it?  Well, join the club, people.  I’m blaming it on this ridiculous weather.

I’m telling you, if this freakish spring doesn’t give us at least a few days of decent weather and soon, you’re probably going to find me in the garden singing A Flock of Seagulls and Haircut One Hundred tunes while I’m planting the carrots and cucumbers.

However, while I’m scaring the rabbits away with I Ran or Love Plus One, you will have done your work and found this book and maybe paired it with The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog to read to some fun little one you like.  I can’t wait to get it in front of some kindergartners, but that’s just how I roll.  Like a hot dog.  (You’ll get that joke after you read the book.)

Hello, Hot Dog by Lily Murray and Jarvis

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