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.


Who’s Behind There? by Giuliano Ferri

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay 

Fans of lift-the-flap guessing games will love the fun surprises in this board book! Don’t be fooled by its small dimensions – you’ll discover that the pictures in this book are far bigger than expected! Young children can develop their fine motor skills as they unfold several flaps to reveal adorable animals which seem to leap off the page in this fun, interactive, and engaging game of peek-a-boo. 

Read-alikes:

  • Kisses, kisses, head to toe! a lift-the-flap and mirror book by Karen Katz 
  • Where Is Little Fish? by Lucy Cousins 
  • Hello, Bee by Isabel Otter 
  • Let’s Find the Tiger by Alex Willmore 

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Reviewed by: Sarah Deay 

One of several lovely collaborations from husband-and-wife author-illustrator team Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek, When Spring Comes beautifully captures all of the anticipation and hope of springtime. This book gently reminds us that change isn’t always easy, but if you wait for winter to change into spring, you will be greeted with delightful blessings like pretty flowers, green grass, and baby kittens! Just when this dreamlike story has readers looking forward to seeing, tasting, hearing, and feeling spring, the final illustration reminds us that we get to wait even more for summer! 

Read-alikes:

  • The Spring Book by Todd Parr 
  • Green On Green by Dianne White 
  • Mouse Seasons by Leo Lionni 
  • And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano 

Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Reviewed by: Laura Hargrove 

It is a hot day in the city, and one little dog has had enough! His doting owner knows the perfect remedy-a trip to the seashore! With limited text and fun, detailed illustrations, children will enjoy this Caldecott winner’s adorable pup and his fun summer day.   

Read-alikes:

  • Tap Tap Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle  
  • Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordel  
  • Fetch by Jorey Hurley  
  • A Ball for Daisy by Christopher Raschka  
  • Mr. Wuffles! By David Wiesner 

This Is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang; Illustrated by Eugenia Yoh 

Reviewed by: Stephanie Tamayo 

 Lily is devastated when she learns her family must move from the US back to her mom’s native Taiwan to take care of Ah Ma, Lily’s grandmother. This is a difficult adjustment for Lily. In Taiwan, the people speak a different language, they don’t eat some of the food Lily misses, and the market is not like the farmer’s market in her old home. It feels like all Lily can do is despair and yell out, “THIS IS NOT MY HOME!” Lily’s mom, on the other hand, feels at home and connected to Taiwan’s people and culture. Can she encourage Lily to give Taiwan a chance? This Is Not My Home is a story of reverse immigration, change, and embracing culture.  

Read-alikes:

  • Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias  
  • Home is in Between by Mitali Perkins  
  • Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez  
  • I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne 

Lou by Breanna Carzoo

Reviewed by: Erik Knapp 

Lou has a lot of untapped potential but he’s stuck in his current job: a toilet. Actually, he’s just being used as a toilet, really, he’s a fire hydrant but being a fire hydrant is all he’s ever known. Lou knows that he’s useful but feels like there is something more about himself that even he doesn’t realize. Finally, the day comes when Lou realizes his potential, and his life is changed. Lou is an uplifting story about finding your place in the world and being ready when your moment comes.  It also touches on accepting yourself along your journey. The story is simple but precise and the art is the same quality. This is a good story for someone who may need a little confidence boost or, because of the subject matter, someone having concerns about potty training. Lou is an adorable fire hydrant. 

Read-alikes:

  • I Like Me by Nancy Carlson 
  • The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett 
  • Dogs at Work: Good Dogs, Real Jobs by Margaret Caudillo 
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister 
  • The Sunflower Sword by Mark Speering 
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