The Newest 20

It’s over the mid-way mark for Summer Reading, and we’re all a little busy…and tired. But…stop the press…we just got a stack of new picture books. Here they are, the newest 20.

There are some real gems here, so keep a weather eye and pick them up for a read when they slide across your desk / shelf / library display / book-store display, etc.

Here we go!


Big Little Hippo by Valeri Gorbachev

Image result for big little hippo

This is a sweet book about growing up. Little Hippo thinks he’s small and feels a little defeated by his size, especially in comparison to Giraffe and Elephant. His mom and dad assure him that he’ll be big in no time, but unconvinced he takes a walk, during which he find a golden opportunity to help someone smaller than him, and in doing so, feels bigger. This is a sweet story about size, and what it means to feel great on the inside as well as outside.

Recommended for ages 3-8 years.



7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald

Image result for 7 ate 9 book

This book is a great read on two fronts:

  1. If you wish to introduce the concept of puns to your children
  2. I you have young children who may enjoy a detective tale

The story is simple enough, ‘6’ goes to ‘Private I’ for help. He thinks that ‘7’ is after him because it seems that ‘7’ just ate ‘9.’ ‘Private I’ is on the case with some hilariously creative character investigations. When ‘Private I’ finds ‘8’ and starts to question her, she gets so scared that she whips off her belt and disguises herself as a ‘0.’

Lazar and MacDonald have created very funny characters, a clever play on words, and great illustrations for this book. It may not work if you are looking for a story-time book, but…never say never right?

The age recommendation on this one is ages 3-6. However, older children may better able to get the play on words a little better.



Little Pig Saves the Ship by David Hyde Costello

Image result for little pig saves the ship

Little Pig has older brothers and sisters who can go away sailing, but Little Pig is just too…little. His older brother shows him a book on knots and grandpa comes through with helping Little Pig to build and sail his own little ship. When trouble brews, has Little Pig become a savvy enough sailor to save the day?

This is sweet because of the family relationships that Little Pig has. His grandparents are very supporting and his siblings are just plain nice. Which is good to see.

Recommended for 3-7 years.



Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley, illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Image result for shawn loves sharks

This is another sweet tale about Shawn who… you guessed it…loves sharks. He reads about them all day, he dresses up, he watches shark shows on TV. He’s a regular shark expert. He even likes chasing everyone around, especially Stacy,  just like sharks do.

But when Shawn’s class start a project about sea creatures and Shawn does NOT get picked to do sharks, he learns a lesson or two; about other sea creatures, as well as what it is to be a friend.

This is a great read recommended for ages 4-8. 



That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares 


This book is all about pictures with little wording, but the story is one of making new relationships. When the neighbor kids get together to build a tree house, they are building not only a physical structure but the structures of new-found friendship.

Age recommendation is 4-8 years.



Glitter by Stella J. Jones and illustrated by Judi Abbot

In this story, Gloria’s favorite color is GLITTER (and she doesn’t care that it’s not a color, she’s sharing it with everyone anyway). Her entire town gets to share the joy and even though her friends tell her to STOP, Gloria just keeps on sharing her particular form of happiness. You’d think that everyone would get mad, but in the end, happiness is contagious.

Recommended for ages 3-6 years.



You Can Read by Helaine Becker and Mark Hoffman


Did you know that you can read just about anywhere? Librarians do, and Becker and Hoffman will explain it all to you in this lovely book.

Recommended for ages 8-12 years but I’d happily read it to my Preschool story-timers. 



Because of an Acorn by Lola Schaefer and Adam Schaefer, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon


This is just adorable. It’s all about life, and connection with the earth and about how everyone and everything makes an impact on everyone and everything. It encourages children to think about the world around them. Simple wording, beautiful illustrations. Please get this and take a read. It was my favorite out of this stash.

Recommended for ages 3-6 years.



Did you take the ‘B’ from my _ook?

by Beck and Matt Stanton

In true read-a-like style, if you loved B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures, you’ll like this. Beck and Matt Stanton have another gem called This is a Ball (equally funny). This book is a tongue twisting romper of a tale about what happens when ‘B’ goes missing.

A must-read for ages 4-8 years.



Way Past Bedtime

by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Rich Wake

Joseph is convinced that his parents are having amazing parties when he goes to bed. In fact he’s going to catch them in the act. He formulates a plan and executes…but mom and dad are not the party-goers Joseph believes them to be. They put him back to bed so that he can go to sleep…..or not.

Recommended for ages 4-7.



My Kicks by Susan Verde, illustrated by Katie Kath

There’s nothing like a well worn in pair of kicks. Our young protagonist has great memories of all the great things he’s done in his. But mom insists on new shoes much to the dismay of our youngster. Will he be able to adapt?

Fabulous pictures and a great story about childhood memories!

Recommended for ages 5-7.



The Forever Garden

by Laurel Snyder and Samantha Cotterill


The Forever Garden is a wonderful story about creating a sense of community with our neighbours, saying goodbye to friends, planting a garden and passing on knowledge. It is a story about how to remember someone once they’ve gone out of our lives and about how special moments spent together have a way of lasting forever.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and colourful and the message is a friendly, positive one.

Recommended for ages 4-8 years.



Norton and Alpha by Kristyna Litten

Kristyna Litten brings us yet another wonderful picture book. This one is about Norton and his friend Alpha. Norton is a great inventor, he even built Alpha out of parts. Norton’s inventions are rarely beautiful but very useful. One day though Norton and Alpha find something that has no use. They examine the thing high and low and find nothing useful about it at all. They almost completely ignore the thing until….. (you’ll have to read the book).

This is a great story about what ‘useful’ means. Great illustrations and a unique tale.

Recommended for ages 4-7 (but I’d happily read this to younger children…or older).



May I Have A Word?

by Caron Levis, illustrations by Andy Rash

In the cut-throat world of the refrigerator door, will ‘c’ and ‘k’ ever come to an understanding? It seems that jealously and feelings of inadequacy threaten to take over an otherwise symbiotic relationship. Can the other letters help to bring the pair together?

What a great way to help children understand that we all have greatness and that greatness can be shared.

Recommended ages are 4-8 years.



Love Is by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane

There are some books that just completely capture everything that needs to be said on a particular topic and Love Is not only does this but knocks it out of the ball park. It’s simple but beautiful, the illustrations are divine. It says everything that we as parents want to say to our children. It’s a beautiful read and a definite must, if I were giving stars, I’d give it a 10.

Recommended for 2-5 years. 



If My Love Were A Fire Truck

by Luke Reynolds, illustrated by Jeff Mack

I am sure that the author and illustrator would hate for me to call this book ‘cute’ but it is. It’s a great dad’s love song to his child and a really great way to tell a child how much they mean to you. Lot’s of fun, very effective message.

Recommended for ages 3-7 years.




Dream by Matthew Cordell

This is a book that I will be sure to read to my daughter. It’s all about the journey of bring a child into the world and watching that child grow. The expectations and the wonderment of it all, from who will this small person be, to what will they become, and right back to wishing they’d stay small forever.

Recommended for ages 2-5.




Plankton Is Pushy by Jonathan Fenske

Fenske brings us an addendum to the hilarious Barnacle is Bored. Plankton just wants to say hello to a new friend, but the new friend isn’t obliging at all, in fact the new friend is hungry. Nevertheless, plankton is not put off by the unfriendly newcomer.

Loved the illustrations of Mussel, his expressions are priceless.

Recommended for ages 3-5 years.



Daddy Long Legs

by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Aurelie Guillerey

This is a nice story about Matthew and his dad. When the car looks unreliable, Matthew is worried that dad won’t be able to pick him up from school. No worries though, dad has a solution for all kinds of scenarios.

I love that this is a father – son story with great family role models. Good illustrations too, very colourful.

Recommended for ages 4-8.



Life by Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel


Absolutely gorgeous. A fantastic book, very simple wording, which eloquently delivers. The story is about us and about our world and about finding the connection between us and our world. The illustrations are divine.


Recommended for ages 4-8.





Now that I’ve spoken about these twenty newbies, I see another stack has just come in. So, stay tuned for more to come. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these ones and find some interesting and fun things to do with them.









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