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.

City Beet by Tziporah Cohen (Udayana Lugo) 

Recommended by: Emma Swinehart 

Mrs. Kosta and Victoria decide to make beet salad for a community potluck, but when they start growing their beet, it turns out to be bigger than expected. Will they be able to get it out of the ground in time for the community potluck? This story focuses on the city’s loving community and how we can all lend one another a helping hand, no matter how big or small we are. Suitable for ages 5-8. 


  • Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins 
  • City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo 
  • The Blue Umbrella by Emily Ann Davison 
  • Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root 
  • Green by DyAnne DiSalvo 

Bear Island by Matthew Cordell  

Recommended by: Krisha Blunt 

Bear Island discusses emotions in a sensitive and enduring way. When young Louise’s family pet dies, Louise goes to the island they loved to explore together outside of their family home. When at the island, Louise notices a bear- who also looks sad. Some days the bear is having a good day, and sometimes she is having a good day, and they are able to change the island for the better. One day the bear must hibernate for winter, and Louise does not see it as fair, but she learns that everything must happen and she learns to continue living and seeing the possibilities of new feelings when a new puppy joins her family.  


  • I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm 
  • Yes and No by Elisha Cooper 
  • The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey 
  • Mel Fell by Corey Tabor 
  • Is Was by Deborah Freedman 

Mr. S by Monica Arnaldo  

Recommended by: Emma Swinehart 

It’s the first day of school, but the class’s teacher is nowhere to be found. The only clues the kids find is a sandwich on their teacher’s desk and the name Mr. S written on the board. Could their teacher be the sandwich? This book is perfect for giggles and great for students, new and old.  


  • Move it, Miss Macintosh! by Peggy Robbins Janousky  
  • Ready, Set, Kindergarten! by Paula Ayer  
  • Mission: Back to School: Top-Secret Information by Susan Hood  
  • The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary by Robb Pearlman  
  • Parks and Recreation: Leslie for Class President! by Robb Pearlman  

The Duck Never Blinks by Alex Latimer  

Recommended by: Laura Hargrove 

The duck in this story never blinks-and the narrator needs the reader’s help to make it blink! Readers will enjoy this silly, interactive story. Children will get to tell jokes, shout funny phrases; all in an attempt to win a staring contest with a wide-eyed duck.  


  • Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 
  • Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap 
  • There’s a Monster in Your Book! By Tom Fletcher 
  • I say Ohh You Say Ahh by John Kane 
  • Cat Secrets by Jef Czakaj 

Bitsy Bat, School Star by Kaz Windness  

Recommended by: Emma Swinehart 

It’s Bitsy Bat’s first day of school, but despite all her practice, things don’t go the way she thought they would. But Bitsy has a great idea to make everyone in her class celebrate what makes them special. This book is a great read for those nervous about school, fitting in, and needing the courage to be themselves.  


  • Swim, Jim! by Kaz Windness  
  • Some Monsters are Different by David Milgrim  
  • Neither by Airlie Anderson  
  • Bird Boy by Matthew Burgess  
  • I Am Enough by Grace Byers  
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