Welcome to another round-up of recently read and recommended picture books- with one early reader in the mix! In no particular order, here are the titles: let’s start with the unbearably gorgeous and mesmerizing The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, a poetic, vital and incredible story that follows time before the Big Bang all the way through history to a child’s present; Cyril and Pat, written and illustrated by the popular and award-winning Emily Gravett (Again!, Wolves), is a sweetly funny and tender story about a lonely squirrel, mistaken identity, and true friendship; Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann is a stunningly illustrated story featuring a lost polar bear, suspicious and unfriendly inhabitants, and a turn towards generosity; Little Mouse’s Big Breakfast by Christine Pym arguably follows a somewhat familiar storyline (a tiny, hungry animal comes up against a larger, very hungry creature), however, Pym’s darling, vibrant art, catchy story and the sly surprise at the book’s end (my daughter said OH NO!), make it a pretty terrific read aloud; I Lost My Tooth! (Unlimited Squirrels) by Mo Willems (an early reader with snippets of facts and fun info) follows in the splendid silliness of Willems’ Gerald and Piggie with a new group of characters- squirrels!- who quite sincerely (and hysterically) misunderstand what it means to lose a tooth; Grow Up, David! by David Shannon follows the titular David from Shannon’s popular series as he and his older brother dig into some sibling rivalry (and some sibling love!); I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated Keturah A. Bobo, is a potent, positive and much-welcome read that will definitely strike a chord with readers who enjoyed Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal and Holly Hatam’s Dear Girl,; Giraffe Problems by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith is a follow-up to Penguin Problems featuring a rambling giraffe terribly unhappy with his neck; and last but not at all least, Nicola O’Byrne’s What’s Next Door? is an interactive, entertaining story featuring Carter the crocodile from Open Very Carefully, sure to delight as a playful read aloud (my four year old absolutely adores this one!). Happy reading!