Recently Read: Great Picture Books! (16)

A look at some wonderful picture books that I have had the pleasure of reading lately! All are titles I have read and enjoyed and would recommend. Let’s start off with two funny books featuring bears: first up is Don’t Feed the Bear by Kathleen Doherty, illustrated by Chip Wass, a riotous story about an escalating battle of wit and words between a determined-to-get-food bear and an equally stubborn ranger (a bit of a loving nod to Yogi Bear and Disney’s Humphrey the Bear!); second up is Bear and Chicken by Jannie Ho, an adorably illustrated title that gently builds up tension between an anxious chicken and the hungry bear who rescues her from the cold (…this book would pair nicely with That Is Not A Good Idea! or The Doghouse!). Next is Red Sky at Night, from paper artist Elly MacKay, which looks at various weather sayings ( sky in the morning, sailors take warning) with beautiful, dreamlike accompanying pictorial representations. If you’d like to take a wonderfully sweet trip across Canada, may I recommend Linda Bailey and Kass Reich‘s terrifically told and illustrated Carson Crosses Canada, about a sparkling, funny dog and his equally sparkling and awesomely adventurous owner. Readers who love stories about invention and treehouses, be sure to check out Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes‘s glorious Everything You Need for a Treehouse, a book to inspire and to be pored over and read again and again. If you’re looking for a cat-centred jewel of a picture book with minimal text, try Isabelle Simler‘s marvelously illustrated Plume. Sophie Blackall’s latest title is Hello Lighthouse, a fascinating- and gloriously illustrated- detailed look inside a lighthouse and the life of its current keeper. Last but definitely not least we have I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët, a remarkable, necessary wordless picture book.



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


Must Read Monday (61): New from Laurel Snyder, Ben Clanton, Jonathan Fenske & 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, we’re talking picture books and a few early reader books! Some of my all-time favourite authors and illustrators are on the roster this week, including the following: Laurel Snyder, who has the first of a new readers series coming out called Charlie & Mouse (with illustrations by Emily Hughes!); Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown, which looks awesomely strange and touching; and Triangle by the terrific duo of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Plus a new Narwhal and Jelly, Jonathan Fenske’s latest- a follow-up to Barnacle is Bored!- and what looks to be a gorgeous and funny picture book called I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat.

I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip, illus. Ella Bailey
Publication: January 12, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
Book Description:

Every cat needs a name. One name, one word, just a sound… It should be easy to choose one, right? WRONG!!! I just don’t know what to call my cat!

Choosing the right name for a new pet is very important! Find out just what this cat’s name turns out to be in this clever and witty story from an exciting debut author and talented young illustrator.

Triangle by Mac Barnett, illus. Jon Klassen
Expected publication: March 14, 2017 by Candlewick Press
Book Description:

Multi-award-winning, “New York Times “best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen conspire again on a slyly funny tale about some very sneaky shapes.

Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen upend the traditional concept book and approach it from a new angle. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today s most irreverent and talented picture book creators.

Charlie & Mouse (Charlie & Mouse #1) by Laurel Snyder, illus. Emily Hughes
Expected publication: April 11, 2017 by Chronicle Books
Book Description:

Four hilarious stories, two inventive brothers, one irresistible book! Join Charlie and Mouse as they talk to lumps, take the neighborhood to a party, sell some rocks, and invent the bedtime banana. With imagination and humor, Laurel Snyder and Emily Hughes paint a lively picture of brotherhood that children will relish in a format perfect for children not quite ready for chapter books.

Plankton is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske
Expected publication: April 25, 2017 by Scholastic Press
Book Description:

In this funny, underwater picture book, Plankton says hello to Mussel, but Mussel doesn’t say anything back. Plankton tries everything to get quiet Mussel to talk. In fact, Plankton gets VERY pushy about it! Will Mussel ever open his mouth? Kids will relate to Plankton’s frustration with Mussel, and they will be anxious to see what happens when Mussel finally does open his mouth… Geisel Award Honoree Jonathan Fenske delivers a laugh-out-loud ocean story, and this is the perfect follow-up to Barnacle is Bored.

Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket, illus. Lisa Brown
Expected publication: May 2, 2017 by Roaring Brook Press
Book Description:

Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend. He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts.

Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend and then he hears a voice…

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (Narwhal and Jelly) by Ben Clanton
Expected publication: May 2, 2017 by Tundra Books
Book Description:

Happy-go-lucky Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly find their inner superheroes in three new under-the-sea adventures. In the first story, Narwhal reveals his superhero alter-ego and enlists Jelly to help him figure out what his superpower is. Next, Narwhal uses his superpower to help a friend find his way back home. In the third story, Jelly is feeling blue and Narwhal comes to …more

From Cover to Covet (2): Let’s look at picture books and expressions

Welcome to the second ‘From Cover to Covet’! I had so much fun with the first one, I wanted to do a second one right away!

There are so many gloriously designed, stunning, moving, unique, eye-catching covers I see in my library work and in my personal reading, and I want to give them (and their creators!) a little bookish love here.

These posts will show a mixture of newer and older titles, titles I’ve read, titles I haven’t, and everything from picture books to young adult lit, adult fiction to comics.

Let’s take a look at some utterly perfect, (facially) expressive covers:


Mr. Pusskins: A Love Story by Sam Lloyd
Wild by Emily Hughes
Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien
Goodnight Already! by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Night Animals by Gianna Marino
Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison

Picture Book Reviews: Mother Bruce, Dear Yeti, Lost. Found., Wild & Little Elliot, Big Family

I have had the great fortune of reading another great batch of picture books in the last while! The following five are all ones I would definitely recommend:


Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Publication: November 24, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

Author and illustrator Higgins has knocked it out of the stratosphere with Mother Bruce. Inventive, hysterical, subversive and all-around beautiful, this is a standout story of Bruce the egg-eating bear who accidentally becomes the mother (a really, really reluctant mother) to four goslings. It’s early in the year yet, but it’s highly likely this well-reviewed title will end up as a favourite of 2016.



Dear Yeti by James Kwan
Publication: November 3, 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Author and illustrator James Kwan tells a sweet story of young hikers on the search for the elusive yeti. It seems as though yeti books have been on the rise as of late (Are We There, Yeti?, Yeti and the Bird, Yeti Turn Out the Light!, and more), and Kwan’s entry here is much welcome. Told through short missives the hikers write to Yeti, this condensed tale is funny, highly appealing, and full of kindness.



Lost. Found. by Marsha Diane Arnold, illus. Matthew Cordell*
Publication: November 3, 2015 by Roaring Books Press

Truth: I will read all picture books either written and/or illustrated by Matthew Cordell– that’s how much I love his work! With Lost. Found., and the cleverness of Arnold’s limited text, Cordell’s artwork shines here. With just two words- ‘lost’ and ‘found’- readers are taken on a trek with some animals and a bear’s missing long red scarf. Frenetic but never over-the-top, this is a feast of just-the-right art and just-the-right text coming together to tell a fantastic story.



Wild by Emily Hughes
Publication: September 10, 2013 by Flying Eye Books
Hughes, the author and illustrated of the beautiful The Little Gardener, brings readers another gloriously illustrated picture book with much to think about. In Wild, we learn the story of a young girl, brought up, loved, and raised by her animal family. When she gets captured by humans, and is forced to become more like them, what will happen? From beginning to end, this book is riotous, cautionary, and dynamic- a terrific tale.



Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato*
Publication: October 6, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Elliot- from Little Elliot, Big City– is back! The gorgeous and sweet little elephant is in a new story; this time all about family. Elliot’s friend Mouse goes off to meet is multiple relatives, and while wandering around the city all alone, Elliot becomes forlorn seeing everyone around him with their loved ones. A lovely exploration of different kinds of families, this latest Elliot story is not without some sadness, but ends with a believable and utterly heartwarming finale. Beautifully done!


*Lost. Found. and Little Elliot, Big Family copies courtesy of Raincoast Books in exchange for honest reviews. Thank you! All opinions and comments are my own.

Recently Read: Great Picture Books

What a run of terrific picture books as of late! I have not done a picture book round-up post in a little while, but the sheer number of absolutely wonderful titles I have read calls for some attention.

From the sublime and boundary-pushing to the heart-warming and perfect for reading aloud, here are the recently discovered picture books that I would absolutely recommend:







Mr. Squirrel & the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett






Some Things I’ve Lost by Cybèle Young
Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young
Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin






Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen
Tell Me What to Dream About by Giselle Potter
The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes






Ask Me by Bernard Waber, illus. Suzy Lee
A Perfect Place for Ted by Leila Rudge
Migrant by Maxine Trottier, illus. Isabelle Arsenault


All titles listed have been released!