New Picture Books! Hurray!

Reading picture books has to be one of my favorite things to do in the whole world! I will read them aloud to anyone who will listen. I get excited when new books come out, and I love revisiting old favorites when planning for a storytime. Because of this I will, from time to time, post about some of my favorite new picture book treasures.

  1. Alan’s Big and Scary Teeth, by Jarvis: I’m currently planning an Alligators and Crocodiles themed storytime, and this book is the reason why. I laughed out loud at Alan and his sharp, frightening chompers! I think it will be a wonderful read for a 3-5 year old crowd.
  2. Bloom, by Doreen Cronin: David Small is my favorite children’s book illustrator, so whenever a book comes out that he illustrates, I get excited about it. Doreen Cronin is also a favorite, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned her latest book was illustrated by Mr. Small. And aside from being wonderfully illustrated, the book tells a wonderful story! It teaches young people that we are all unique, and we all have different talents just waiting to be discovered. But it takes work and perseverance to discover and craft said talents. “Tell them, there’s no such thing as an ordinary girl,” has to be my favorite quote from the book.
  3. Ideas Are ALL Around, by Philip C. Stead: Ever since the release of Philip and Erin Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee, I have been following the both of them closely. Sometimes they work together, sometimes they don’t, but regardless, they always seem to be up to interesting things in the world of picture books. Philip’s latest book is no exception. It is a very stream of consciousness work, in which he tells the story of taking his dog for a walk. Along the way, he notices sights and sounds in the neighborhood that offer up a variety of inspirations. It’s a lovely book. I might not use it for storytime, but I think it would be an excellent one-on-one read between and parent and a child.
  4. The Bear and the Piano, by David Litchfield: This is a lovely story about a bear who stumbles across a piano in the woods. When he learns to play the instrument, he is discovered and set on a new path. It’s a touching story about how life can change suddenly and unexpectedly, but one does not have to forget one’s roots. I very much enjoyed the story and the illustrations in the beautiful book.

That’s all for today. I hope you find these recommendations helpful in planning your storytimes and recommending books to care givers and young readers.


Story Tubes

I’m always looking for fun ways to add a visual element to my storytimes. I recently made these story tubes to use in my baby storytime. I found different variations on Pinterest. You could use story tubes for almost any song that counts down from five, such as Five Little Monkeys, Five Green and Speckled Frogs, etc. I started with frogs and ducks because my I’m using a Spring theme this month with the babies.


“Five green and speckled frogs

sat on a speckled log

eating the most delicious bugs.

One jumped into the pool

where it was nice and cool,

now there are four green speckled frogs.”

-by Raffi, on the album Singable Songs for the Very Young (1976)


“Five little ducks went out to play

over the hills and far away.

But when mama duck said, “Quack, quack, quack,”

four little ducks came running back.”

Quick Tip: If you’re ever running low on storytime inspiration, or you’re just looking for a few new songs to sing, I would suggest visiting the Jbrary YouTube channel: Jbrary – Five Green and Speckled Frogs. Lindsey and Dana have a number of wonderful songs to share, complete with lyrics and motions.