Picture Books

This category contains 35 posts

GRUMBLES FROM THE FOREST by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich Illustrated by Matt Mahurin

Grumbles From The Forest: Fairy Tale Voices With a Twist is a collection of poetry.  The Dear Readers letter at the beginning of the book clearly spells out the authors’ intentions:  using some of the most well-known Western fairy tales they are going to re-imagine each one through a poet’s eyes, juggling different–sometimes unexpected–perspectives. The structure … Continue reading


The only thing disappointing about this book is that I didn’t discover it while my kids were younger! We loved Tedd Arnold’s  Fly Guy and Parts series and they remain on my bookshelves today. I happened to see this in the library picture books as I was looking for another title and snatched it up … Continue reading


I Just Want To Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora ranks among my favorite bedtime stories for children.  If I still had little ones–preschool, early elementary–I would DEFINITELY be purchasing this title for our home library. Sweet, gentle, and soothing it exemplifies the perfect bedtime read in that: (1) it is structured around Lala’s stalling … Continue reading


  While both of these picture book biographies about E.B. White are good, they each have a distinctly different focus. A Boy, A Mouse and A Spider by Barbara Herkert is written very much in the pastoral style E.B. White, himself, favored. There is not a huge amount of text on any one page. On … Continue reading

FALLING FOR RAPUNZEL by Leah Wilcox Illustrated by Lydia Monks

Lately I have been completely occupied with directing a couple of fractured fairy tales for the stage with young actors (6th – 9th grade). Fractured fairy tales or interesting fairytale retellings are one of my favorite things so I thought I would share one of my long-time favorites today. Falling For Rapunzel is one of … Continue reading

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? by Troy Cummings… 2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

I confess, I am a dog person all the way! I love stories about dogs and Can I Be Your Dog? is a sweet addition to my picture-books-with-dogs-as-featured-characters list. Arfy the dog wants to belong to someone.  He writes a letter to every house on Butternut Street with all kinds of reasons why he would be … Continue reading

WE DON’T EAT OUR CLASSMATES by Ryan T. Higgins…2020 MN Star of the North nominee

Penelope Rex (a young T-Rex) is starting school.  She is surprised to find her classmates are human children.  Unfortunately for her classmates, T-Rexes love the taste of children so Penelope is continuously eating her classmates.  In the true tradition of broad, cartoon-like humor the other students are unhappy–but otherwise unhurt–when Penelope spits them out, having … Continue reading


Starring:  Action Clam Also Starring: Cow Your Host: Mr. McMonkey Before I start this review I need to acknowledge that I love Bob Shea’s work.  I love his sense of humor–both in its cleverness and its broadness of scope. So I was prepared to love this book before I read it.  I was not disappointed.  … Continue reading

THE HONEYBEE by Kirsten Hall Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

The Honeybee is a picture book that tries to detail the annual cycle for a honeybee. The illustrations have a watercolor feel without the washed-out effect that can sometimes happen with that medium.  Everything is in shades of yellow set off by dark black and occasional pinks, which definitely stresses the topic of the book … Continue reading

ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela Alma thinks her name is too long.  Her father tells her the story behind each part of her name, telling her after she has heard the stories she can decide for herself if her name really is too long. As her father tells her about each of the people … Continue reading