February 2018 Picture Book Round Up

It’s that time again! Time for me to share my thoughts on a batch of picture books received from publishers for review. One of these books released in January 2018, and all of the rest of them release in either March or April 2018. All of these titles are now being passed on to Kid Lit Exchange for further reviews.

Please note that I am reviewing from the standpoint of a school librarian, where the majority of my picture books are purchased with the intent of being large group read alouds. However, I am also a mother and definitely recognize the value of books that are meant for one-on-one sharing, so I try to make that differentiation in my reviews.

Ready? Let’s go!

Who Was That by Olivier Tallec
(Chronicle Books ~ March 6, 2018)


What an absolutely fascinating book! I had not encountered this series before receiving this review copy, but I will be buying all 3 for my elementary library for my in-library-reading coffee table collection. This is much more than a picture/board book ~ it’s a brain teaser and memory tester and a very complex book in such a simple package. However, for very young readers, it’s a cute book with few words and simple pictures that they will enjoy paging through. I recommend for ages 2 – 99 …… this one definitely tested my recall! In addition, I realized after reading that the illustrator, Olivier Tallec, is the illustrator of the Big Wolf & Little Wolf series that is one of my favorites for reading aloud in my library!

Little Truck by Taro Gomi
(Chronicle Books ~ April 3, 2018)


This vividly colored chunky board book is simplistic and perfect for the little truck lovers in your life. Highly recommended as a baby and toddler gift. While I do have many board books in my library, this one seems better suited for public library collections and daycare/preschool settings in addition to home libraries.

Tapping for Sap by Carolyn J Morris
(Railfence Books ~ January 24, 2018)


What an adorable addition to Railfence Bunch series! I have already purchased the rest of the series after first receiving review copies for @kidlitexchange and I will be buying this one for my library as well. The sweet Chick and Duckling are back, this time learning about the maple syrup process of tapping for sap, and the book again includes the repetitive lines at the end of each page. This time the reader gets to chant tap, tap, sap, sap ~ drip, drip, sip, sip ~ mmmmmmmmm! The whole series is perfect for the toddler – kindergarten crowd.

Aquarium by Cynthia Alonso
(Chronicle Books ~ April 3, 2018)


Alonso has created a stunning wordless picture book featuring a small girl and her quest to replicate the ocean (along with a captured fish) in her own home and backyard. I was enchanted, as was my tween daughter, with the artwork and the poignant storyline. I will be purchasing this title for my elementary library for my wordless picture book collection.

Cycle City by Alison Ferrell
(Chronicle Books ~ March 20, 2018)


This incredibly detailed book instantly made me think of the Richard Scary Busy Town and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go – books I looked at for countless hours as a child. This title would serve much the same purpose and has the same appeal as a book to enjoy one-on-one or as a “busy” book for a child, rather than as a read aloud to a group. The illustrations are cute and very detailed, and I love the bicycle focus. If I purchase this for my library, it will most likely be for my in-library-reading coffee table collection.

A Bear Sat on My Porch Today by Jane Yolen
(Chronicle Books ~ March 6, 2018)


Jane Yolen has done it again! This is her 365th book (!!!) and it is a perfect read aloud story for grades PK-2. There are cute animals (silly, too!), rhyming, charming antics and of course, a MESS. This is sure to be a hit and I will be purchasing it for my elementary library collection and adding as a read aloud immediately.

I Really Want to See You Grandma by Toro Gomi
(Chronicle Books ~ April 3, 2018)


Okay, so this one is just plain CUTE! Yumi and her grandmother both decide to visit each other at the exact same time and keep missing the other upon arrival ~ they eventually do meet up, don’t worry! This is a sweet story of the love between and grandmother and granddaughter and with the single line of text on each page will make a great read aloud for 4K and kindergarten. I will be purchasing this title for my elementary library.

The Backup Bunny by Abigail Rayner
(NorthSouth Books ~ March 6, 2018)


Any child with a special stuffed animal has a parent who is petrified of EVER losing said stuffed animal. This sweet story is a perfect ode to that stage of parenthood/childhood, told from the point of view of that “backup” ~ you know, the one we all have to have! I recommend this title for parents and caregivers of children up through kindergarten and for public library collections. It would be an amazing companion title to Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems for a storytime!

I Am Famous by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie
(Albert Whitman ~ March 1, 2018)


Seriously, what small child WOULDN’T think they are constantly the star of the show with the way all of us adults dote on them and act as their constant paparazzi? Luebbe and Cattie have created a perfect ode to the diva in all children. Highly recommended for library purchase ~ I will be reading this to 4K and kindergarten classes.

I Got IT! by David Wiesner
(Clarion ~ April 3, 2018)


David Wiesner is an absolute pro at wordless stories and his newest title is no exception. This book expertly and emotionally captures the experience of a boy who is almost……almost…….almost catching that ball…..until finally I GOT IT! I will be purchasing a copy of this title for my elementary library wordless picture book collection. Oh, and it has already received 4 STARRED trade reviews, NBD.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
(Candlewick ~ April 10, 2018)


This is the sweet story of how Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela got her name, told to her by her father, and it is absolutely fabulous. It will be available in both English and Spanish editions, although the English version does also include some Spanish words on signs in the book. The author’s note about her own LONG name and how she despaired over it while growing up in Lima, Peru before growing to love it later on in the US is a wonderful addition to the story. I will be purchasing this for my elementary library collection and reading to grades 1 and 2.

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2 thoughts on “February 2018 Picture Book Round Up

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