Tried & True and New: Picture Book Reviews
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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.

Dear Librarian by Lydia M. Sigwarth, Illustrated by Romina Galotta 

Reviewed by: Stephanie Tamayo

In the beautifully illustrated picture book Dear Librarian, five-year-old Lydia and her large family of nine must move out of their family home. They bounce around between the houses of friends and relatives, but Lydia does not feel like she has a true home for herself. At least, she doesn’t until she discovers the public library. With the help of some books and her new librarian friend, Lydia finds comfort during a confusing time in her childhood.

Dear Librarian reads as an emotional love letter to librarians and public libraries for the sense of security they can provide to children experiencing tumultuous and scary life changes. 

  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce 
  • Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown 
  • Digging For Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel 

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman

Reviewed by: Brittnee Emerine

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem is a stirring picture book that presses readers to be the change they wish to see in the world. Follow along as a young girl meets and leads a diverse group of kids on a musical journey to find the courage to make a stand.

Featuring lyrical text and atmospheric illustrations, Change Sings is hauntingly poignant, timely, and will stick with you long after you read the last verse.

  • We Are Water Protectors by Carol Lindstrom
  • I Am One: A Book of Action by Susan Verde
  • Antiracist Baby by Ibram X Kendi
  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

The Perfect Pet for You! by Estelle Laure

Reviewed by: Parisa Nasiripour

Estelle Laure understands that finding the right pet for a child is a very important task, but there is no need to stress – the perfect pet will appear when the time is right! The Perfect Pet for You! explores the merits of many animal companions, from snuggly bunnies to chatty parrots. Amy Hevron’s adorable illustrations will make the reader want to adopt every animal featured in this sweet picture book.

  • Can I Sit with You? by Sarah Jacoby
  • I Got a New Friend by Karl Edwards
  • Me and My Cat by Ekaterina Trukhan
  • We Want a Dogby Cole Lo

The Perfect Sword by Scott Goto

Reviewed by: Peter Jackson

Set in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate (late 1500s) a young boy named Michio is apprenticed to master swordsmith Sensei Masa. When the two of them forge a perfectly balanced blade, many samurai from various backgrounds petition to buy it. Each of the candidates boasts reasons of why he should own the weapon, flaunting his fearsome reputation, fighting prowess, or noble rank. However, the sensei offers the sword to the one samurai who embodies the true essence of Bushido: honor, compassion, serving others, and wisdom. 

Vivid and contrasting oil illustrations evoke the setting, mood, and action. A brief section about sword making in ancient Japan along with a short glossary of terms is featured at the end. Overall, this is a warm and inspiring narrative to young readers.

  • Bicycle Man by Allen Say
  • The Magic Fan by Keith Baker
  • The Warrior and the Wise Man by David Wisniewski

The Little Things by Emma Dodd

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay

The Little Things is a charming and heartwarming tale about an adorable baby panda learning from its mother about what is truly important in life. The baby panda discovers alongside other cute friends that life is not all about being the biggest, best, or richest. At its heart, life is about things that can seem small at times, like everyday gestures of kindness, love, and friendship.

This sweet book invites readers to remember that we can love others just for who they are, we can feel grateful for what we have, and we can find joy in ordinary acts of kindness.

  • I Heart You by Meg Fleming
  • I Love You, Baby! By Claire Freedman & Judi Abbot
  • The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs by Mark Sperring
  • I Love You All Year Through by Stephanie Stansbie

See all of our Tried & True and New reviews here on the blog.

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