Kellee’s Recently Loved Picture Books from Penguin Young Readers Group: My Cousin Mom by Zachariah O’Hora; Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr, Night Animals by Gianna Marino, & Sea Rex by Molly Idle


Recently, I have read four amazing picture books from Penguin, so I wanted to share them with you all:


My Cousin Momo
Author and Illustrator: Zachariah O’Hora
Published June 2nd, 2015 by Dial Books

Goodreads Summary: Zachariah OHora’s distinctive retro art and kid-friendly humor take the stage in this story about accepting and celebrating differences.

Momo is coming to visit, and his cousins are SO excited! But even though Momo is a flying squirrel, he won’t fly for his cousin’s friends. Plus, his games are weird. He can’t even play hide and seek right! But when Momo’s cousins give his strange ways a chance, they realize that doing things differently can be fun…almost as much fun as making a new friend.

Fans of Peter Brown and Bob Shea will fall in love with Zachariah O’Hora’s bold artwork and hilarious characters.

My Thoughts: Everyone was so excited to see Momo, but Momo doesn’t live up to their expectations. He is just a little bit different. In a world where different is not always acceptable, I love Momo. He shows his cousins that different can be fun. It also shows how to compromise and that you can learn from people who are different than you (and they from you). And then in the end, the people who are different may surprise you and be pretty awesome. BUT this book tells you all that in such a non-preachy way. It is entertaining and funny, and the artwork is just so eye-catching. I think this is a must read for everyone.

bunny roo

Bunny Roo, I Love You
Author: Melissa Marr
Illustrator: Teagan White
Published April 14th, 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books

Goodreads Summary: A warm and tender welcome to the world!

In a gorgeous picture book that’s playfully sweet and visually captivating, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr and talented new illustrator Teagan White celebrate the many ways parents make their new babies feel at home.

The world can seem like a big, bewildering place for new babies—fortunately, their mamas know just how to soothe and comfort them. Through enchanting scenes portraying all kinds of mama animals looking out for their little ones, the mother in this story reassures her baby, and young children everywhere, that their caretakers will always love them and keep them safe. This beautiful picture book has the feel of a classic and its heartwarming premise should make it a family favorite.

My Thoughts: Bunny Roo goes through different incidences of  a baby’s behavior and compares it to an animal that acts similar. The theme is clearly: all babies act a little nuts, but you are my baby who I love so much. On Twitter, Marr shared, “Each of those animals represented a stage of his [her adopted infant son who was suffering form withdrawal symptoms after being born to an addict] withdrawal. It was how I explained things & told him he’d be ok.” This information moves this book to an even deeper emotional level for me. To watch your baby suffer must have been one of the hardest thing Marr had ever encountered. Although the book is based on this specific experience, any mother will connect with Bunny Mom and her baby, and any reader will feel the love radiating from the pages.

Night Animals

Night Animals
Author and Illustrator: Gianna Marino
Published July 14th, 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary: Something’s out there in the dark!

First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running.“What could it possibly be?” asks Bat.
“Night Animals!” the animals declare.
“But you are night animals,” Bat informs this not-so-smart crew.

Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.

My Thoughts: This is such a silly book! Each night animal is so frightened! And they are frightened of…. night animals! As each night animal is introduced, it gets sillier as every bump scares them and possum keeps playing dead. But if all the night animals are together and scared still–what is still out there to be afraid of?!?! I did really like how Marino included “stats” for each of the animals (possum, skunk, wolf, bear, fruit bat, great horned owl) on the opposite side of the book jacket. What a great way to teach students about these animals. What really stands out about this book, though, is the illustrations. The black background with the gray/silver/white/peach illustrations just pop.

Sea Rex

Sea Rex
Author and Illustrator: Molly Idle
Published May 26th, 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary: What could that be down in the sea? Is it a fish? A snail? A mermaid’s tail? No, it’s bigger than that… a LOT bigger…

it’s Sea Rex!

Join Cordelia and her crestacious companions as they spend a memorable day at the beach, as only dinosaurs can do!

My Thoughts: Molly Idle is becoming one of my favorite illustrators. Her characters are so expressive, and her illustrations are so soft yet colorful. But what really pushes her book to extraordinary are the whimsy within her text. Sea Rex follows the antics of Cordelia, her brother, and their prehistoric friends at the beach. Filled with fun times like sunbathing, swimming, castle building, and picnicing, this book is full of fun times with some silly friends.


**Thank you to Rachel at Penguin for providing copies for review!**

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