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.

Jeff Goes Wild by Angie Rozelaar

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp

Jefferey Fluffy McSnuggle-Tum gets bored being cooped up all day resorts to mischief. Retreating to his favorite chair for a nap, he ends up dreaming he’s in the jungle.  Before he wakes up Jeff discovers that being wild and fierce like a tiger is great for some things, nothing is better than being who you really are.

Read-alikes:

  • Wiener Wolf by Jeff Crosby
  • Mr. Pusskins by Sam Lloyd
  • The Way Home For Wolf by Rachel Bright
  • I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
  • The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser

The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay

In this hilarious book by Deborah Underwood, our poor narrator is just trying to tell a story about a panda, but Panda is not making things easy. Of course, all good stories need a problem to solve, but the panda doesn’t have any problems to speak of! The weather is perfect, the view in the bamboo grove is beautiful, and Panda is carefree and content. How is the narrator supposed to make a good story if the main character doesn’t even have a problem that needs solving?  Instead of having a problem, Panda decides to create chaos, take over the story, and become the problem. Panda’s goofy and rebellious acts range from mildly annoying to totally preposterous! This clever and engaging introduction to the five parts of a narrative (character, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution) “puts readers PANDA in control of the story.” 

Read-alikes:

  • Chester by Mélanie Watt  
  • This Is a Serious Book by Jodie Parachini 
  • See the Cat by David LaRochelle 
  • The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak 
  • Big Bunny by Rowboat Watkins 
  • Norman Didn’t Do It! (Yes, he did.) by Ryan T. Higgins 

Hornswoggled! A Wacky Words Whodunit by Josh Crute

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp

There is a crime spree in the forest! First, Deer’s antler is stolen and replaced with a tennis racket, then Catfish’s glasses are replaced with donuts.  Soon, they discover everyone has been bamboozled! Who could have perpetuated such an offensively egregious offense? Hornswoggled is a delightfully wacky word mystery that preschool kids will love.  They’ll learn to say great words like codswallop, poppycock and humbug, and all of them are quickly defined by a clever and helpful armadillo.  Be aware though, these words are so much fun, your kids will start to use them!

Read-alikes:

  • Sit on a Potato Pan Otis: More Palindromes by Jon Agee
  • Chicka Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin
  • C D B by William Steig
  • Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer
  • The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z by Steve Martin

Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty; illustrated by David Roberts

Reviewed by: Parisa Nasiripour

Ahead of a visit from Grandma, a family attempts to get through their long list of household chores. However, their mischievous cat has its own agenda and causes chaos in order to avoid an unwanted bath. With colorful illustrations depicting the silly rhymes, this book turns ordinary errands into a hilarious, boisterous story-time.

Read-alikes:

  • The Cat and the Rat and the Hat by Em Lynas; illustrated by Matt Hunt
  • Everyone’s Awake by Colin Meloy; illustrated by Shawn Harris
  • Mr. Watson’s Chickens by Jarrett Dapier; illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi

Don’t Worry, Murray by David Ezra Stein

Reviewed by: Maggie Fox

Murray is scared of a lot of things from loud noises to new experiences. But don’t you worry, Murray, it will all be okay. This book would be a great read for those little ones who worry about new and scary situations.

Read-alikes:

  • Time for a Bath by Phillis Gershator
  • What Does Little Crocodile Say? By Eva Montanari
  • A Year of Everyday Wonders by Cheryl Klein
  • Let’s Go to Playgroup! By Caryl Hart
  • My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young
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