Tried & True and New: Picture Books
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Tried & True and New: Picture Books

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.

Thank You, Bees by Toni Yuly

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay

This short, simple, and sweet book encourages readers to say, “thank you!” Though it doesn’t have any typical Thanksgiving images like turkeys or pumpkins, it is perfect for reading around the holidays because it inspires us to give thanks for the big and small things that help to make life wonderful.  “Thank you, book!” 


  • Look and Be Grateful by Tommie dePaola 
  • Thank You, Garden by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon 
  • The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray 
  • Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre 

Sometimes All I Need Is Me by Juliana Perdomo 

Reviewed by: Stephanie Tamayo

This picture book encourages readers to keep a healthy balance between independence and reliance on others. As our unnamed protagonist demonstrates, self-care can come in the form of hobbies, such as listening to music, dancing and even playing pretend! All these things are fun to share with others, but they are also fun and comforting to do on one’s own.

Kids can learn self-reliance by finding ways to unwind or even to create their own magical moments! It’s all about balance.  


  • Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller  
  • Thingamabob by Marianna Coppo  
  • When You Need Wings by Lita Judge  
  • I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde  
  • Tad by Benji Davies 

Panda and Polar Bear by Matthew J. Baek

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay

Two different kinds of bear cubs, Panda and Polar Bear, strike up a friendship after Polar Bear tumbles off a snowy cliff and into the mud, gets mud splotches on his legs, arms, and eyes, and is mistaken for a panda. When Polar Bear’s mud splotches wash off, he worries that Panda might not want to be his friend because they don’t look alike anymore. To the contrary, and with a very clever surprise at the end, the reader is assured that the two new pals will get to keep playing together for a long time!

These playful and sweet bear cubs are brought to life with beautiful watercolor illustrations, and the terrific message that friends don’t have to be the same shines through from beginning to end.  


  • Polar Opposites by Erik Brooks  
  • Bear Needs Help by Sarah S. Brannen  
  • What If…? Then We… by Rebecca Kai Dotlich  
  • Little Penguin’s New Friend by Tadgh Bentley  

The Baby-Changing Station by Rhett Miller; Illustrated by Dan Santat

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp 

At a magical pizza-shop changing station, a young boy named James is given a choice – keep his stinky and annoying baby brother (who has usurped his coveted spot in the family) OR trade him in for some pretty cool stuff like night vision goggles or rocking guitars. What will James choose to do? 

Written in limerick form, The Baby-Changing Station is another quality, lyrical picturebook from the frontman of the Dallas band, Old 97’s, Rhett Miller. It tells a story that has probably crossed the mind of every older sibling ever and when James makes his decision it comes with a satisfying result that will make every member of the family smile. 


  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman 
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman 
  • Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats 
  • Mr. Pusskins and Little Whiskers: Another Love Story by Sam Lloyd 
  • No More Poems!: A Book in Verse that Just gets Worse by Rhett Miller 
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