Tried & True and New: Picture Book Reviews

Our storytime experts are bringing you reviews of the latest from our Easy collection (or picture books) as well as some of their favorites used during storytime. We have thousands of picture books at each library, so this is just a small introduction to the collection. See all of our Tried & True and New reviews here on the blog.

If I Were a Dog by Joanna Cotler

Available as: Print

Recommended by: Jaime Eastman, Librarian

If you were a dog, what kind of dog would you be? Would you be silly or playful or sleepy? This charming story explores a little girl’s relationship with her puppy and how similar they are. Simple drawings in shades of blue, white, and black show different breeds and emotions children can easily recognize in themselves. Whether you’re exploring your feelings or the similarities between us, this sweet story has a heartwarming message for all readers.

Read-alikes:
  • Happy by Mies van Hout
  • The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas
  • Still a Gorilla by Kim Norman

Islandborn by Junot Díaz, Illustrated by Leo Espinosa 

Available as: Print | Wonderbook | eBook | Spanish

Recommended by: Stephanie Tamayo, Library Services Representative

When Lola’s teacher asks her students to draw a picture of the homes that their families immigrated from, Lola realizes that she doesn’t remember the Island she moved away from when she was a baby! Luckily, Lola’s family and neighbors have plenty of wonderous and beautiful memories of the Island, and even some not-so-great memories. Lola learns that even though she and her family have physically left the Island, they will forever have a bond with their first home. 

Read-alikes: 
  • Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez, Illustrated by Jamie Kim 
  • Home is in Between by Mitali Perkins, Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu 
  • Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis 
  • I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, Illustrated by Julia Kuo 

A Hungry Lion, or, a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Available as: Print

Recommended by: Maggie Fox, Librarian Supervisor

In a surprising turn of party events, readers will learn the very lesson of survival of the fittest. What exactly is happening to all the party guests? You might be shocked and then shocked again.

Read-alikes:
  • Quit Calling Me a Monster by Jory John
  • Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman
  • Alan’s Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis
  • Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

They’re So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart

Available as: Print

Recommended by: Parisa Nasiripour, Library Services Representative

A flock of extravagant flamingos move into a neighborhood full of other types of birds that aren’t used to being around people who are so pretty, pink, and proud. Though their feathers get ruffled at first, the birds eventually realize that differences should be celebrated and accept their new neighbors with wide-open wings. Full of clever avian puns and adorable illustrations, They’re So Flamboyant is a heartfelt story about the importance of tolerance and being proud of what makes you different.

Read-alikes:
  • Geraldine by Elizabeth Lilly
  • Shine Like a Unicorn by Shelli R. Johannes
  • Ways to Welcomeby Linda Ashman

Doctor Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lamaitre

Available as: Print

Recommended by: Erik Knapp, Librarian

When Ted wakes up and bumps his knee he decides he needs a doctor and since no doctor is around, he becomes one! However when Ted starts giving out diagnoses at home and at school, trouble and hilarity ensue. Doctor Ted is a very funny book with several diverse characters and perfect, simple illustrations by Lamaitre. The best thing about this book, however, is you never know who Ted will become next!

Read-alikes:
  • The other Ted books by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lamaitre
  • Micawber by John Lithgow
  • Sir Ryan’s Quest by Jason Deeble
  • Firefighter PiggyWiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox
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