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.

Bear Has a Belly by Jane Whittingham 

Recommended by: Sarah Deay 

This simple yet adorable book with full-page photographs of kids and different animal friends like duck, moose, rabbit, and owl, will help your young child build their vocabulary while encouraging body awareness and positivity. Caregivers and children can have lots of fun using this book as a launchpad to other discussions and enrichment activities such as making animal sounds, identifying body parts, moving like animals, and more! This newly published book also made it onto the 2023 Texas 2×2 Reading List. 

Read-alikes: 

  • From Head to Toe by Eric Carle 
  • Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin 
  • Whose Nose and Toes by John Butler 
  • Baby Animals Take a Nap by Marsha Diane Arnold 
  • Baby Animal Friends by Dawn Sirett 

Whose Baby Am I? By John Butler 

Recommended by: Sarah Deay 

The main attraction of this book is the instantly lovable and endearing acrylic and colored pencil illustrations from wildlife artist and prolific children’s book author John Butler. The adorable baby animals featured are native to the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. 

At the end of the book, a two-page spread invites children to try to match animal babies with their grown-up animals, and the final page gives the term for each baby animal. Repetitive questions and answers also provide many opportunities for guessing games and conversations between child and caregiver, which is great for very young children who are building their vocabulary and gaining background knowledge about the world. 

Read-alikes: 

  • Whose Nose and Toes? By John Butler 
  • Hello, Baby Animals by Lorinda Bryan Cauley 
  • Baby Animals by Dawn Sirett 
  • Baby Animals Take a Nap by Marsha Diane Arnold 
  • Baby Animals by Jill McDonald 

My Baba’s Garden by Jordan Scott 

Recommended by: Laura Hargrove 

A little boy visits his grandmother every day. She is an immigrant and tant and together they find comfort in their routine. Hints of Baba’s life in the old country are sprinkled throughout the story. This is a heartwarming intergenerational story about the bond between a grandmother and her grandson. 

Read-alikes: 

  • Our Favorite Day by Joowon Oh 
  • Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers 
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi 
  • Grandpa Green by Lane Smith 
  • The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena 

Wonder Dogs! By Linda Ashman 

Recommended by: Laura Hargrove 

Narrated by a dog, this story explores all the ways dogs are wonderful: there are rescue dogs, guard dogs, show dogs and even companions. With rhyming text and engaging illustrations, children will love seeing how these wonder dogs compare with the dogs they know and love.  

Read-alikes: 

  • Shaddy Dogs, Waggy Dogs by Patricia Hubbell 
  • Dog Says, Cat Says by Marilyn Singer 
  • My Dog Laughs by Rachel Isadora 
  • This Little Kitty by Karen Obuhanych 
  • I Got a New Friend by Karl Edwards
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