Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews: Picture Book

Check out these "" reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


'Sam and Dave Dig a Hole'  by  Mac Barnett

"Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" by Mac Barnett

★★★★★ Sam and Dave are determined to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. What unfolds in this story is a wonderful mix of what is happening in the story and what is happening in the illustrations. This book is a 2015 Caldecott Honor Book for a good reason. The book as a whole, the writing and the illustrations, play off of each other so well that...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Award-Winning

'Monsters Love Colors'  by  Mike Austin

"Monsters Love Colors" by Mike Austin

★★★★★ Such a fun book to read with your kids if they are interested in learning about colors! The monsters in this book love colors and love to mix colors. Not only that but they love to scribble, mix, dance, and wiggle. Kids will have such a fun time learning about primary colors and how they mix to make other colors. My three-year-old wanted to read this book...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Easy Reader, Picture Book

'Wolfie the Bunny'  by  Ame Dyckman, Zachariah O'Hora

"Wolfie the Bunny" by Ame Dyckman, Zachariah O'Hora

★★★★★ Wolfie is a baby wolf, not a baby bunny, but Mama and Papa bunny don’t seem to care when they adopt him after finding him in a basket on their doorstep. Their daughter Dot tries to warn them, “he’s going to eat us all up.” Her parents are already smitten but Dot is cautious and maintains her distance. When Wolfie grows bigger and a big bear tries to grab...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Blue on Blue'  by  Dianne White, Beth Krommes

"Blue on Blue" by Dianne White, Beth Krommes

★★★★★ This beautifully illustrated picture book portrays an ordinary stormy, rainy day in the country that looks wonderfully extraordinary. The scratchboard illustrations with added watercolor paint by 2009 Caldecott Medal winner, Beth Krommes, are the real stars here. With repetitive, spare, dreamy words and illustrations we see a day unfolding--wash being hung...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'Hug Machine'  by  Scott Campbell

"Hug Machine" by Scott Campbell

★★★★★ "Whoa! Here I come! I am the Hug Machine!" starts this wonderful book about a little boy who hugs everything. He hugs people, animals, and even a fire hydrant and mailbox! He hugs hard things, soft things, square things and long things. But, can he hug a spiky porcupine or a humongous whale? The Hug Machine will do anything to give a hug. With simple and...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress'  by  Christine Baldacchino, Isabelle Malenfant

"Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress" by Christine Baldacchino, Isabelle Malenfant

★★★★★ Morris Micklewhite loves painting, dreaming of great adventures and wearing the tangerine dress in the dress-up center at school. He loves the way it crinkles and swishes when he walks and the color reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother's hair. But the other boys and some of the girls tell him "boys don't wear dresses" and exclude him from their...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend'  by  Dan Santat

"The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend" by Dan Santat

★★★★★ On an island far away, imaginary friends are born. Beekle is one of them, waiting to be chosen by a child and transported to the real world. Rather than waiting, Beekle does the unimaginable and sets sail to the real world. He finds that the real world is strange and uncomfortable, until he meets his perfect friend. Then the world is colorful , fun, and not...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Award-Winning, Caldecott Award Winner, Picture Book

'Little Humans'  by  Brandon Stanton

"Little Humans" by Brandon Stanton

★★★★ From the author and photographer of the well-known blog "Humans of New York" comes a great picture book that celebrates the uniqueness, abilities, and diversity of the littlest humans--children. Brandon Stanton's photographs capture children doing everyday things like walking down the street, riding a bicycle, playing in the street, and making music. This...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book

'Snowman's Story'  by  Will Hillenbrand

"Snowman's Story" by Will Hillenbrand

★★★★ Your preschool child can tell the story to you with this wordless picture book featuring a sweet snowman, cute bunny and a wandering top hat.  Bunny finds a hat and crawls inside but when bear finds it and uses it to top the snowman that he is building, he is unaware that a bunny is inside. Apparently bunny likes stories too so after the snowman reads...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'City Cat'  by  Kate Banks

"City Cat" by Kate Banks

★★★★★ This is an adorable picture book that features a family cat that secretly follows his family as they travel around Europe. It features landmarks in some of the greatest cities, such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Venice, and information at end of the book on each. As someone who's been to many of the cities featured, I thought the pictures were authentic...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'Lots of Dots'  by  Craig Frazier

"Lots of Dots" by Craig Frazier

★★★★ Author and illustrator Craig Frazier creates dots of all colors and dimensions that young readers can discover around them. There are brightly-colored floating balloon dots, big drum stick dots, oranges (dots) falling from a tree, traffic light dots, ice cream dots, pea dots, heavy dumbbell dots, light bubble dots and more. This fun “I Spy” read-alike with...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Naked!'  by  Michael Ian Black

"Naked!" by Michael Ian Black

★★★★★ This wonderful, enjoyable read-aloud celebrates the joys of being naked—naked, naked, naked. The wide-mouthed boy in this picture book eats (several) cookies-naked, slides down the stairs-naked, and dreams of going to school, doing the hokey pokey, and playing on the playground-naked. Children will easily identify with this sometimes-caped crusader and his...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'How To Train A Train'  by  Jason Carter Eaton

"How To Train A Train" by Jason Carter Eaton

★★★★★ How do you train your train? Need help? Check this book out to learn how to catch a live train, train your pet train, name your train, play with your train, and care for your new friend. All of your friends will be impressed with your knowledge of pet train behavior! There are also incredible pictures included to help illustrate different train...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'Goodnight Darth Vader'  by  Jeffrey Brown

"Goodnight Darth Vader" by Jeffrey Brown

★★★ Darth Vader is trying to put his twins Luke and Leia to sleep but they have the usual questions and demands of most kids at bedtime. He tells them rhyming stories about droids, wookies, Han Solo, Boba Fett and other familiar Star Wars characters. While this is not great literature, this cute book will be devoured by Star Wars fans, old and young alike, who...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Science Fiction

'Ferry Tail'  by  Katharine Kenah

"Ferry Tail" by Katharine Kenah

★★★★ Walter, the ferry dog loves his perfect job. He greets ferry-goers, fetches the captain’s morning newspaper, tastes the cook’s food, watches babies and barks at seagulls. The captain’s cat is the only one aboard he does not like. One day he doesn’t feel needed and decides to leave and try life on the island. This sweet, simple picture book will appeal to...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Millie Fierce Sleeps Out'  by  Jane Manning

"Millie Fierce Sleeps Out" by Jane Manning

★★★★ Millie has been fierce-free all summer so her mother agrees to let her have a sleep-out in a tent in the backyard with her friends. Of course all does not go smoothly during her sleep-out, and Millie needs to often force herself to control her fierceness until it is absolutely necessary to frighten off a scary dog.  Colorfully and humorously...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'The Lion and the Bird'  by  Marianne Dubuc

"The Lion and the Bird" by Marianne Dubuc

★★★★ Lion kindly helps a bird who is cold and wounded and provides a warm place for the winter. They have a lovely time together, but when spring comes and bird's flock returns, he has to join them. This heart-touching universal tale about friendship, love and the ties that bind us is wonderfully told, and simply, but beautifully, illustrated. Preschoolers,...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'Nest'  by  Jorey Hurley

"Nest" by Jorey Hurley

★★★★★ Robins arrive in the spring, prepare a nest, raise their young throughout the seasons in this beautifully illustrated picture book that is perfect for sharing. With only one word on each page it reads like a poem. The pictures lend themselves to adult-child conversation beyond the words.    

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'Journey'  by  Aaron Becker

"Journey" by Aaron Becker

★★★★★ In this wordless story a lonely girl with a red piece of chalk draws herself into another world. On her journey she finds adventure, peril and ultimately friendship. Although readers will think of "Harold and the Purple Crayon," this is a much more engaging story.  The illustrations are rich and full of color and detail. People of all ages will be...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Caldecott Award Winner

'Building Our House'  by  Jonathan Bean

"Building Our House" by Jonathan Bean

★★★★★ This cozy picture book shows the year-and-a-half long construction process involved in building a house, from moving into a trailer to live until the house is done, picking out the site, consulting the blueprints, digging the basement, raising the frame, and working in all types of weather.  Mom and Dad both work on the house while the children play...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'What’s Your Favorite Animal'  by  Eric Carle

"What’s Your Favorite Animal" by Eric Carle

★★★★★ This book is a wonderful compilation of artwork depicting the favorite animals of famous children’s authors and illustrators.   Of course it’s no surprise that Nick Bruel’s favorite is the infamous Bad Kitty;  but wait a minute, oh no, I think it really is octopuses;  sorry Bad Kitty.  Beautiful artwork by well-known children’s...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book

'Superworm'  by  Julia Donaldson

"Superworm" by Julia Donaldson

★★★★★ “Hip, hip hooray for SUPERWORM”, repeatedly chant the animals and insects in the forest as their hero Superworm saves them from many disasters.   But in the midst of their happiness the evil wizard lizard captures Superworm with his servant crow and puts an evil spell on him, forcing him to find treasure in the soil.  Will his friends rescue him,...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Patti Cake and Her New Doll'  by  Patricia Reilly Giff

"Patti Cake and Her New Doll" by Patricia Reilly Giff

★★★★ Patti Cake is facing two new life challenges:  a new room and a new big bed.  When she goes to bed the first night, it seems “greatly dark” and lonely with one else in bed, not even her dog Tootsie. The next morning her babysitter takes her to a store where she decides to get an “on-sale “ doll that she names On-Sale.  During the day she and...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!'  by  Kim Norman

"If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!" by Kim Norman

★★★★ Go on an adventure and find out all the fun things you can do in the snow! The book follows the rhythm of the children's song "If You're Happy and You Know It," so the book can be sung to the classic tune. Go skiing, sledding, and drink cocoa with a walrus, caribou, polar bear and other arctic creatures. Recommended for preschool children and families....

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'What Does the Fox Say?'  by  Ylvis

"What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis

★★★★★ Dog goes woof and cat goes meow, but what does the fox say? If you loved the YouTube sensation "What Does the Fox Say?" you will love the children's picture book version! The book is filled with the zany lyrics to the popular song and kooky illustrations of the animals mentioned. Recommended for children and adults who are fans of the song, or anyone...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

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