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.


I Love You All Year Through by Stephanie Stansbie, Illustrated by Suzie Mason

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay 

This is a perfect book for a parent, grandparent, dear friend, or caregiver to read to a child to help them feel snuggly, loved, reassured, and safe. It features twelve beautiful landscapes from all four seasons and twelve different adorable baby and grown-up animal pairs. Many familiar favorites make an appearance in the artwork – birds, bunnies, deer, foxes, horses, otters, polar bears, and more!  This book is great to read at the start of a New Year as we reflect on the past year and get excited for the year to come, though it is also very applicable all year round – during a lazy summer, a chilly winter, a cozy autumn, or spring showers. It reminds children that even though things around us may change like the seasons, our love stays the same.  

Read-alikes: 

  • You are Home with Me by Sarah Asper Smith 
  • Together by Charles Fuge 
  • As Babies Dream by Leslea Newman 
  • Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms 

Walter Had a Best Friend  by Deborah Underwood; Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier 

Reviewed by: Stephanie Tamayo

Walter loves spending time with his best friend, Xavier. Together, they get to do all sorts of fun things, like hiking, painting pictures, and taking a boat out onto the lake. But then Xavier starts spending less time with Walter and more time with his new best friend. This book shows readers that sometimes friendships go through changes, and that it’s ok to take time and feel sad about that. The book also shows readers that they can do stuff on their own too and that there will always be possibilities to make new friends. The illustrations by Sergio Ruzzier are fun, colorful pastels in watercolor style.  

Read-alikes:  

  • The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc  
  • Sometimes All I Need Is Me by Juliana Perdomo  
  • Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood  

The Grizzled Grist Does Not Exist! by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp 

Ms. Whiskersniff’s class is on a field trip to the wilderness.  They seem ready for anything but are they ready for the Grizzled Grist? Does the Grizzled Grist even exist? Liam, the Hider, is the only one to take the warnings seriously but can he save his class?  The Grizzled Grist Does Not Exist! is a delightful follow-up to That’s Not a Hippopotamus and features the same adorable and diverse class of characters.  The art is fantastic with each child’s personality coming through and special details helping to propel the story that will have your child wanting to read it over and again. 

Read-alikes: 

  • That’s Not a Hippopotamus by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis 
  • Just Me and My Dad and A Boy, A Dog, And a Frog by Mercer Mayer 
  • The Hike by Alison Farrell 
  • Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt 
  • Who Wet My Pants by Bob Shea 

Leilong the Library Busby Julia Liu & Bei Lynn

Reviewed by: Parisa Nasiripour
Leilong the dinosaur is excited to go to the library with his friends Maggie, Max, and Mo. He is looking forward to reading books about dinosaurs and participating in storytime. But when the library manager says Leilong is too big to come inside the library with the children, they have to come up with a creative way to include the brontosaurus in all the library fun. Bei Lynn’s vibrant illustrations perfectly capture the chaos of taking a dinosaur to a library, with every page full of simplistic yet detailed characters and designs. The story has silly twists and turns, leaving readers excited to find out what will happen next. Children are sure to enjoy Leilong’s misadventures and will cheer when he finally gets a chance to read about dinosaurs with the rest of the city’s young bookworms. 

Read-alikes: 

  • The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli 
  • Froggy Goes to the Library by Jonathan London & Frank Remkiewicz 
  • How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague 
  • Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê & Isabel Roxas 
  • Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney, Reed Duncan, & J.T. Morrow 
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