Fiction Picture Book Round Up


As I receive and read picture books, I put aside books that I hope to get to write a post about; however, my pile has gotten so big because of all of the amazing books coming out, that I cannot give them each their own post. So every once in a while I do a picture book round up, and today I am happy to share some of my recent favorite fiction reads (Wednesday I shared nonfiction titles). Please know that putting these in a round-up does not lower their value! They are all ones that I recommend and loved!

I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep
Author: Dev Petty
Illustrator: Mike Boldt
Publication Date: October 16th, 2018 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Summary: Fans of the hit I Don’t Want to Be a Frog will hop with joy for this fourth book in the series–a hilarious and clever twist on the classic childhood issue of not wanting to go to bed.

Frog is excited about autumn and the coming of winter. But when Owl informs him that frogs hibernate till spring, Frog is upset at missing out on all the snowy fun. In this hysterically funny twist on the classic “I don’t want to go to bed” dilemma, Frog comes up with all kinds of reasons why he’s not going to sleep through winter, until he devises a clever way to convince his friends to come along for the ride.

Featuring the beloved young frog character from the hit I Don’t Want to Be a Frog and his cast of zany animal friends, this new story is sure to bring a smile to every kid who’s ever protested at bedtime. And parents will appreciate a bold new twist on a timeless childhood topic. It’s another surefire crowd pleaser and perfect read-aloud.

My Thoughts: This is my first Frog book by Petty, and I can see why everyone loves them! It is a perfect mixture of humor and information, and Frog’s voice is just so whiny and perfect! I’m wondering if the other books in the series also have the same cast of animal friends because they add to Frog’s story so much.

Quiet Please, Owen McPhee!
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Patrice Barton
Published July 3rd, 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary: From the author-illustrator team who brought you The Invisible Boy comes the story of a boy who won’t stop talking–until he gets laryngitis. You don’t have to be a chatterbox to appreciate this tale of listening and learning. 

Owen McPhee doesn’t just like to talk, he LOVES to talk. He spends every waking minute chattering away at his teachers, his classmates, his parents, his dog, and even himself. But all that talking can get in the way of listening. And when Owen wakes up with a bad case of laryngitis, it gives him a much-needed opportunity to hear what others have to say.

From the author-illustrator team behind The Invisible Boy comes a bright and lively picture book that captures the social dynamics of a busy classroom while delivering a gentle message about the importance of listening.

My Thoughts: Like The Invisible Boy, Ludwig’s story of a boy that many will relate to will start so many discussions about listening and other aspects of being a good friend, student, and person in general. I think it will also show readers that Owen wasn’t being malicious in any way because sometimes when other kids are a certain way, kids assume they are doing it on purpose, but really it is just part of their personality and haven’t yet figured out the cause and effect of their behavior. Teachers and kids will all like Owen McPhee and the lesson he learns.

Pet this Book
Play this Book
Author: Jessica Young
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Published May 22nd, 2018 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Summary: For fans of Press Here, this new interactive picture book line invites readers to touch and move and “play” with theese books. Hello, friend! It’s time to play! We’re taking care of pets today. To start our show we need a band–maybe you can lend a hand!

There are lots of ways little hands can care for animals. Each page of this book invites readers to pet the cat, wash the puppy, brush the horse’s mane, and more–no animals required! With a delightful rhyming text and engaging illustrations, this book is full of pets who can’t wait to play. The only thing they need is YOU! Just use your imagination, turn the pages, and Pet This Book!

There are lots of ways little hands can make music. Each page of this interactive book invites readers to strum the guitar, slide the trombone, crash the cymbals, and more–no instruments required! With a delightful rhyming text and engaging illustrations, this book is full of instruments waiting to share their sounds. The only thing this band needs is YOU! Just use your imagination, turn the pages, and Play This Book!

Pair with each other for all kinds of play!

My Thoughts: We love interactive picture books in my house, and I am always excited when I find a new one that is unique, and this time I found TWO! Such a fun way to promote imagination while also promoting love for animals and music.  Oh! And I love the godo use of onomatopoeias. Trent will want to read these over and over; I see lots of PURRs and CRASHs in our future.

The Dinosaur Expert
Author: Margaret McNamara
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Published July 17th, 2018 by Schwartz & Wade

Summary: Dinosaurs, girl power, and science combine in the newest addition to the Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom series.

Mr. Tiffin and his students are back in another picture book, and this time the focus is on dinosaur-loving Kimmy. During a field trip to the natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to share what she knows about the Stegosaurus and the Archaeopteryx and even the ginormous Titanosaurus. That changes when one of her classmates questions whether girls can be paleontologists. Kimmy starts to feel shy. What if they can’t? What if no one wants to hear what she has to say? It will take some help from Mr. Tiffin–and from a famous scientist–for Kimmy to find her voice again.

Join Mr. Tiffin’s class as they learn about dinosaurs big and small, feathered and scaly, winged and ocean-dwelling. And root for Kimmy, the dinosaur expert . . . who might just learn something about herself.

My Thoughts: This book made me so mad at first! It definitely shows why representation is important! Kids like Jake, who says girls can’t be scientists, wouldn’t exist as often if women scientists were more prolific in our discussions or if we made sure to talk about how prejudice stopped women from being many things, not brains. Kimmy’s story also shows how this lack of inclusion could shut down a brilliant kid because they feel inferior. Luckily, Kimmy had Mr. Tiffin and Dr. Brandoni de Gasparini there to show her that she had a voice worth sharing. And thank you to the author for including the back matter with more female paleontologists! What a wonderful book!

Stone Underpants
Author: Rebecca Lisle
Illustrator: Richard Watson
Published August 1st, 2018 by Maverick Arts

Summary: Pod lives in the Stone Age and finds that he often has a cold bottom! So he invents underpants! Unfortunately his choice of material is not always practical. Will he find something that is both warm and flexbile, so he can play with his friends?

A hilarious story by prolific young fiction writer, Rebecca Lisle. Her first picture book explores the humorous side of the Stone Age, with equally funny illustrations by talented illustrator, Richard Watson.

My Thoughts: Trent is currently obsessed with Captain Underpants (the movie and show), so when I told him I had a book called Stone Underpants, he actually laughed out loud and said that he wanted to read it. But this book is more than just a silly joke about underpants, it is about cause and effect as well as problem and solution. His bottom is cold, what will he do? Are stone underpants the best idea? Read to find out.

Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy
Author: Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Scott Campbell
Publication Date: Sepember 11th, 2018 by Disney-Hyperion

Summary: It is impossible not to crack up while reading this all-dialogue bedtime story by Drew Daywalt, the New York Times #1 best-selling author of THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT. Scott Campbell’s expressive illustrations bring home the hilarity.
Roderick hates going to bed, and the young boy has become quite resourceful in coming up with ways to delay the dreaded hour when the lights must go out. Roderick’s loving parents–fed up with the distractions and demands that have become his anti-bedtime ritual–decide to get him a stuffed animal to cuddle with and help him wind down. However, Sleepy quickly proves to be a bit high-maintenance. Just when we fear the night may never end, Sleepy’s antics become too exhausting for Roderick to bear.

My Thoughts: HAHAHA!! Man, I have a Roderick. Every night, I hear, “MOOOOOOM!” and some sort of question or demand or request or something else, so this whole book cracked me up! Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy is going to be a wonderful story addition to our bedtime routine, and maybe, just maybe, Trent will see that Sleepy is him and Roderick is me. And Scott Campbell is one of my favorite graphic novelists, so the illustrations are just perfectly expressive and a bit crazy.

Mermaid School
Author: Joanne Stewart Wetzel
Illustrator: Julianna Swaney
Published July 17th, 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary: Starting school is always exciting… especially when you’re a mermaid! From schools of fish to the A B Seas, this whimsical underwater tale puts a fun twist on what to expect on the first day of school.

It’s Molly’s first day at mermaid school, and there’s so much to learn! Follow the mermaids as they count clamshells, recite the A B Seas, and make new friends. They even enjoy story time about children who walk on land! At the end of the day, it’s time to sing the goodbye song and head home. With sweet, rhyming language and a peek into a fantastical undersea world, Mermaid School touches on all the major moments children will experience on their first day. And don’t miss the mermaid school handbook in the back of this book for more mermaid fun!

My Thoughts: Add this title to your beginning of the school year read aloud list. Mermaid School looks at all of the scary and amazing things that come with starting a new school. The sing-songy rhyming text adds a lovely read aloud aspect, and the illustrations are perfect tones for a book about a school under water. One of my favorite parts though may be the school handbook in the back matter! It was quite funny, and it would be a lot of fun for kids to make their own handbooks for different types of schools.

All Are Welcome
Author: Alexandra Penfold
Illustrator: Suzanne Kaufman
Published July 10th, 2018 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary: A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yamulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. 

All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.

My Thoughts: YES! I love that more and more books about inclusion and kindness are making their way onto the market. I read Each Kindness every year, and this year I added I Walk with Vanessa, but as soon as I read this one, I knew it had to be added as well. Anyone who teaches wants all students to feel welcome in their school and classroom, and reading this book with them will help everyone realize that diversity is what makes our world an amazing place.

One of a Kind
Author and Illustrator: Chris Gorman
Published May 8th, 2018 by Nancy Paulsen

Summary: Bold, graphic art by indie rocker Chris Gorman of Belly captures the thrill and challenges of marching to your own beat. 

Meet a pogo-dancing, punk-rock-loving kid who loves to express himself in his own unique way. His clothes, hairstyle, music, and just the way he hears the world, all set him apart. Not everyone understands him, but he likes being one of a kind–even though it’s lonely sometimes. Fortunately, it’s a wide world out there, and if he looks around a kid is sure to find other one-of-a-kinds with common interests.

My Thoughts: I hope that everyone who reads this book take it the same way as me: Being different is awesome but there are also others out there who will love you for who you are, and may just like some of the same things you like. I know some may take it as we are all not one of a kind and need to find others like us, but I don’t see that. I definitely connect with the little boy, and I loved the message that there are friends out there for everyone and that each unique individual will find a place in our world.

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude
Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Stevie Lewis
Published August 28th, 2018 by Henry Holt/MacMillan

Summary: Holt has bought Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Stevie Lewis, about the two lions who faithfully guard the New York Public Library. When Patience goes missing, Fortitude realizes the secret to Patience’s disappearance may be within the Library itself.

Lost in the Library is the first picture book that Macmillan plans to publish in partnership with the New York Public Library; it’s scheduled for publication in 2018.

My Thoughts: Josh Funk never lets me down! This magical book about the library after hours is so much fun to read, and I loved the theme supported by all that Fortitude did to find Patience. Also, where Patience is found truly is a love note to the amazing things you can find in a book. With Funk’s amazing rhyming verses and Lewis’s colorful illustrations, the New York Public Library comes to life! (And don’t miss out on the NYPL facts in the back matter!)

Recommended For: 

2 thoughts on “Fiction Picture Book Round Up”

  1. I felt the same way with One of a Kind. Sometimes you have to work a little harder to find where you fit in, but it’s a great feeling to find like minded people!


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