Monday, September 21

12 Brand-Spankin' New Favorite Picture Books for Summer 2015

It's time for a new batch of picture books! Woo! Basically, so many great picture books come out at once that I can't just do a weekly review for each one. So, just like I did back in March, and in November 2014, I have created a list of my favorite favorite recently-published picture books.

The Day the Crayons Came Home
Written by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

ISBN: 978-0399172755
Publisher: Philomel
Date of publication: August 18, 2015

Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. These are the ones that went through the laundry and the dog's digestive system. Or they were left in the couch or at a motel—how can Duncan appease everyone? Good thing Daywalt and Jeffers know what they're doing! Seriously people, another fantastic book and a perfect companion to The Day the Crayons Quit. And bonus! Glow-in-the-dark crayon is included in this one!

Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Ben Mantle

ISBN: 978-1452124582
Publisher: Chronicle
Date of publication: August 4, 2015

The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him...a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? This one is just so great and is sure to appeal to all ages. The storyline is classic, but totally original! Just read it. While a bit on the long side, it is so worth it.

Billy's Booger
Written and illustrated by William Joyce

ISBN: 978-1442473515
Publisher: Atheneum
Date of publication: June 2, 2015

Billy loves to draw. He draws on books and on his homework and even on his math tests—he might not get the answer right, but doesn't it look swell sitting in a boat at sea? His teacher doesn't think so, and neither does the principal. But the librarian has an idea that just might help Billy better direct his illustrative energies: a book-making contest! William Joyce's (sorta) memoir is so much fun. Not only does it actually include Joyce's first book, but goes through the budding process of how he became the amazing author/illustrator he is today. Hilarious and heartwarming, it's great for those kids looking for some fun inspiration.

Little Bird's Bad Word
Written and illustrated by Jacob Grant

ISBN: 978-1250051493
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date of publication: July 21, 2015

Little Bird learned a new word! He loves it so much that he's bursting to share it with all of his friends. BLARK! BLARK! BLARK! The only problem is, this isn't a very nice word. Okay, so I really laughed too much, because yes! It is trying to teach a good lesson! But the dad's facial expressions throughout are so priceless. And it's hilariously accurate on what happens when a youngin' learns a naughty word. Super funny, though perhaps you'll want to read it on your own before sharing with your kids so you can get out some of those extra giggles.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Written by Penny Parker Klostermann, illustrated by Ben Mantle

ISBN: 978-0385390804
Publisher: Random House
Date of publication: August 4, 2015

Forget the old lady: meet the old dragon who swallows pretty much an entire kingdom! Will he ever learn a little moderation? The story, in its perfect rhyming scheme, is hilarious and the ending is going to get every preschooler giggling in .2 seconds. The illustrations are particularly engaging as well, and made several of my coworkers laugh out loud. Seriously—try this one.

ABCs on Wings
Written and illustrated by Ramon Olivera

ISBN: 978-1481432429
Publisher: Little Simon
Date of publication: July 21, 2015

From A is for ace to Z is for zeppelin, this high-flying alphabet book presents the ABCs through the amazing world of aviation. Sure, there are more ABC books then there should be, but the illustrations and clever educational content really make this a great one. Especially if you've got a future pilot or engineer you want to share it with.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!
Written and illustrated by Elise Parsley

ISBN: 978-0316376570
Publisher: Little, Brown
Date of publication: July 7, 2015

Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! It's not worth the trouble! I mean, even the end pages are funny in this book. It's really the illustrations that get me with this one—just wait to see what happens when the alligator gets a little hungry...

I'm Trying to Love Spiders
Written and illustrated by Bethany Barton

ISBN: 978-0670016938
Publisher: Viking Books
Date of publication: July 7, 2015

Not a fan of spiders? Me either. This book, though, will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year! Great news, right? No? Don't worry, this book is, indeed, chock-full of fascinating facts. But for arachnophobes like me, the humor and illustrations keep this book light and fun to read! I laughed quite a few times and I'm sure you will, too.

My Dog Is the Best
Written by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Paul Schmid

ISBN: 978-0374300517
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of publication: June 9, 2015

What do you get when you combine one energetic, enthusiastic little boy with his sleepy but tolerant dog? Unconditional love. Okay, I'm dying here. This book is just. So. Flippin'. CUTE. Oh my goodness, honestly, read this. Even if you don't have a precocious toddler and patient puppy. You will appreciate this. And melt from the cuteness.

Peanut Butter & Brains: A Zombie Culinary Tale
Written by Joe McGee, illustrated by Charles Santoso

ISBN: 978-0374300517
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of publication: June 9, 2015

Reginald isn't like the other zombies who shuffle through Quirkville, scaring the townspeople and moaning for BRAINSSSSS! The only thing Reginald’s stomach rumbles for is sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly. Will he convince his friends to try it? It's cute, it's funny—what more could you want from a zombie book?? Honestly, I'm excited to share this in my Halloween storytime this year. I think it's perfect for kids.

Night Animals
Written and illustrated by Gianna Marino

ISBN: 978-0451469540
Publisher: Viking Books
Date of publication: July 7, 2015

Something's out there in the dark! First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running. They're scared that its...night animals! Okay, this book will take you about two seconds to read. And then you might think, "What the heck?" But if you have the same sense of humor as I do, you'll think it's hilarious. Slightly on the stupid-humor side, kids are sure to like it. Plus it examines different animals that prowl at night—slightly educational is good, right?

First Grade Dropout
Written by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell

ISBN: 978-0544129856
Publisher: Clarion
Date of publication: July 7, 2015

Here's a pretty regular kid, living a pretty normal life...until he makes a mistake so big at school that he's sure he his only option is to drop out. Will he be able to return? Honestly, everyone, all ages, will appreciate the lesson in embarrassment that this book shares. A good amount of humor and a great ending means that this will help all of us get over that one really embarrassing moment in our past...


  1. I found your blog in a roundabout way today, Emily. And what do you know? You featured my book, THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT. Thank you so much ;)

    1. And I used it in a storytime--it's such a great book! Thanks for writing it!