Picture Book Gems

I love picture books and I’ve been reading a LOT of them lately. I’m finally following the advice I always give to others, that if you want to write a certain kind of book you need to read a lot of that kind of book. Not to copy them, but to discover what works for you and what doesn’t and WHY it works or doesn’t work for you.

The Martensville Library loves me because I’m good for their circulation numbers. I always have 50 requests in (that’s the max), and pick up 20 – 30 books a week as they come in.

There are a lot of good books out there. And there are some that, in my opinion, are exceptional. So I thought I’d share those ones here.

Mr. Zinger's HatMr. Zinger’s Hat (by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Dusan Petricic)

For anyone, young or old, who wonders where authors get the ideas for their stories.










An Apple Pie for DinnerAn Apple Pie for Dinner (retold by Susan VanHecke, illustrated by Carol Baicker-McKee

If you like Barbara Reid’s plasticine pictures, you’ll love the baked clay and mixed media illustrations in this book.







Carmine: A Little More Red

Carmine: A Little More Red (by Melissa Sweet)

An alphabetical retelling of Red Riding Hood with a little twist at the end.











National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry (edited by J. Patrick Lewis)

Gorgeous photographs accompany a wonderful variety of poetic styles.









A Birthday for BearA Birthday for Bear (by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton)

Another hilarious Bear and Mouse story. (If you haven’t read the others – A Visitor for Bear, A Bedtime for Bear, and The Sniffles for Bear – they are great, too.)






Happy reading!



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  1. These all sound like great reads for a Nanna with young grandchildren!

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