Recently Read: Great Picture Books (14)!

A look at some wonderful picture books that I have had the pleasure of reading lately! All are titles I have read and would recommend (and I have noticed that three titles appeared on a recent Must Read Monday!!):


Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’Hara
The illustrations in this one are truly splendid; Hortense and the Shadow really should be pored over in person, the illustrations are that beautiful and intricate! A fairy tale of a story, with a long ago feel, about a young girl who, after ridding herself of her shadow, finds that her shadow’s constant companionship might not actually be such a bad thing.

Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
This one had me cackling, folks! So simple, so perfectly executed and so perfectly illustrated…This is a story about a child who gets utterly stuck in their shirt and wonders (and worries) about what’s going to happen if they stay forever stuck in said shirt. This a gem with a solid (and also very funny) curve at the end!

Buster and the Baby by Amy Hester, illus. Polly Dunbar
‘He waits. And watches. And waits some more. THUMP, goes his heart. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP! Then…CHAAA!’
I do enjoy a picture with good repetition and solid read aloud potential, and Buster and the Baby fits the bill on both those points. An absolutely adorably illustrated tale about a playful doggy and an excited baby that play a bustling game of chase until nighttime comes. A sweet turn comes at the end, bringing everything nicely together.

The Forever Garden by Laurel Snyder, illus. Samantha Cotterill
Laurel Snyder (Penny Dreadful, Swan) teams up with artist Samantha Cotterill (Charlotte and the Rock) for a heartfelt and genuine story about the breadth of knowledge a woman named Honey passes along to her keen young neighbor. As the young girl, Laurel, copes with the sudden news of Honey’s moving, we see the beautiful effects of their relationship live out in various ways. An Author’s Note from Snyder indicates that The Forever Garden is loosely based on a Talmudic story of passing “from generation to generation”, of planting multiple kinds of seeds.

Florette by Anna Walker
Author and illustrator of the beautiful and clever picture book Peggy, Walker returns with another lovely story, so lush and richly illustrated. Perhaps a storyline done before, but worth it for Walker’s take and presentation: Florette is the tale of a young girl named Mae who moves with her family to a grey city and goes on a quest to find some flora to brighten her surroundings.

Sleep Tight, Charlie by Michaël Escoffier, illus. Kris Di Giacomo
The duo behind the very funny Brief Thief and Me First! is back with a tale of going to sleep gone awry. Charlie is a very tired rabbit who just wants a good sleep; unfortunately, noisy and annoying interruptions keep happening! There is great wordplay in this one, so lest you think the repetitions of Charlie’s bedtime rituals are unnecessary- they are definitely not! Readers who enjoyed Greg Pizzoli’s Good Night Owl might especially like this one.

Rot, the Cutest in the World! by Ben Clanton
I think we might need more picture books about potatoes, right?! Rot, our spudly protagonist, loves contests, so he enters the “Cutest Contest in the World” to the befuddlement of some rather snooty (and more traditionally “cute”) contestants. Poor Rot starts to feel more than a little down as he sees his “cute” competition but do not fear! The entire story is a treat, as is how the contest and results unfold.


Must Read Monday (80): Picture Books from Anna Walker, Shinsuke Yoshitake, Jessie Sima & more!

Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!

This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!

This week: all about picture books! These are titles from authors and illustrators that are favourites or automatic must-reads, as well as new and wonderful-sounding and looking titles that I have been fortunate to hear about. Here we go!


Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
Publication: September 26, 2017 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2015)

Rot, the Cutest in the World! by Ben Clanton
Publication: December 19, 2017 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. Jen Hill
Publication: February 6, 2018 by Roaring Brook Press

Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime! by Lisa Mantchev, illus. Samantha Cotterill
Publication: February 13, 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Florette by Anna Walker
Publication: February 20, 2018 by Clarion Books

Once Upon a Zzzz by Maddie Frost
Publication: March 1, 2018 by Albert Whitman Company

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima
Publication: March 6, 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Everything You Need For a Treehouse by Carter Higgins, illus. Emily Hughes
Publication: March 13, 2018 by Chronicle Books

Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins
Expected publication: March 20, 2018 by Chronicle Books

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
Expected publication: April 10, 2018 by Candlewick Press


Recently Read: Great Picture Books

bigbadbubble18118585Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin, illus. Daniel Salmieri
Just look at that cover! Are you smiling yet?! Rubin & Salmieri- the team behind Secret Pizza Party and Dragons Love Tacos– have given us another totally winning and funny story. You wouldn’t think it, but monsters in La La Land are actually petrified of bubbles. There’s no way to fight the fear and fight the bubble….is there?? With help from the narrator and lots of reader encouragement, these La La Land monsters might actually stand a chance. This slightly longer read might be terrific for a preschool (and up) storytime: i’s full of awesome silliness; opportunity for audience participation and opportunity for the story-teller to do some kooky monster voices.

peggy17660671Peggy by Anna Walker
This is a beautifully illustrated and charming picture book about a ridiculously cute and bold chicken named Peggy who literally gets swept up in an adventure. One day a big blustery wind sweeps Peggy away from her quiet home and routine and into the busy city. With a lot of cleverness and a little bit of help from some familiar looking birds, Peggy is able to find her way back home- but not before going to the cinema and checking out some bargains! This is just such a sweet and sparkling story; I think it’s perfect for a curl-up-and-read, or even for a gently fun read aloud at storytime.

farmerandtheclown18475599The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
I have said it before and I will say it again: I am in awe of authors/illustrators who can convey story and range of emotion in wordless picture books. Frazee is a marvelous story-teller and here, in her brand new book, we’re treated to the story of a lonely farmer and what happens when he meets a little lost clown. This picture book is gorgeous, the colour palette appropriately subdued; it is a story full of warmth and a touch of melancholy. I so immediately loved this title that I added it to my book list for Picture Book Picks: Friendship, Love and Kindness.

flashlight18851166Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
Oh yes! Another fantastic wordless picture book! What happens when we turn a flashlight on outside in the dark? What can we see? And what sort of magic is happening out there in the dark? Boyd has taken a brilliant (and deceptively simple) concept for a picture book and turned it into something that is, at turns, dreamy, funny, and captivating. As with the other three title listed above, I came to the end of this picture book with a happy sigh and thought, yes, that was a little bit of joy, wasn’t it?!