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.

It Took Two Wishes by Edwina Wyatt

Reviewed by: Jaime Eastman

Sometimes it takes a really long time for wishes to come true. This sweet and relatable story counts down all the moments leading up to a magical birthday party with an extra surprise. Children can relate to the passage of time, which includes both traditional measures, like hours and more creative measures, like jumps. But when rain threatens to ruin the birthday plans, we learn that sometimes wishes come true in unexpected ways.

Read-alikes
  • Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt
  • And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes

The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp

Gertie is the littlest yak in her pack but she has big dreams of being big. But growing up can be tough and sometimes it takes more time. The Littlest Yak is a great story about finding your own place in your pack and even if you’re not the biggest, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the biggest heart, just by being yourself. Kate Hindley’s art is always great but especially suited to this adorable rhyming story. Little ones (yak or not) are going to love Gertie’s can-do spirit.

Read-alikes
  • I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
  • A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
  • The Way Home for Wolf by Rachel Bright
  • Still a Gorilla by Kim Norman

Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! by Art Coulson; illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight

Reviewed by: Parisa Nasirapour

When Bo finally becomes old enough to work at his uncle’s booth for the Cherokee National Holiday, he struggles to find the perfect container to hold all of his traditional marbles. Part of the Storytelling Math Series, Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! follows Bo as he explores the concepts of volume, capacity, and area.

Read-alikes
  • Bracelets For Bina’s Brothers by Rajani LaRocca; illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
  • The Forever Sky by Thomas D. Peacock; illustrated by Annette S. Lee
  • Isobel Adds It Up by Kristy Everington; illustrated by Ag Ford
  • Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Firebird by Misty Copeland, Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay

Firebird by Misty Copeland is an inspirational story from the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater. Her message to young dancers like her is that after dreaming big dreams, putting in the work, trying and falling and trying again, and having faith in yourself, you dance like the Firebird, too.  This is a perfect story for ballet lovers, but it is also great encouragement for anyone with big dreams.

Read-alikes
  • Bunheads by Misty Copeland
  • A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey
  • Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
  • This Is It by Daria Peoples-Riley

Home is in Between by Mitali Perkins; Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu 

Reviewed by: Stephanie Tamayo

Shanti’s life is turned upside-down when she and her parents move from India to the United States. In her family’s new home, Shanti can do all the things she used to do back in India. Shanti dances Kathak with Ma, she learns Bangla letters with her Baba, and she watches Bollywood movies in her free time. But outside of Shanti’s new house, everything is different. People speak a different language, the music doesn’t sound the same, and the other children celebrate totally different holidays! Even the rain feels different, cold instead of the warm monsoon showers she is used to. This is all very overwhelming for Shanti, until she takes a breath and realizes that her home is in between India and this new land. 

Read-alikes
  • Between Us and Abuela by Mitali Perkins 
  • My Two Border Towns by David Bowles 
  • Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani LaRocca 
  • Islandborn by Junot Díaz 

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

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