Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picture Books

Archie the Daredevil Penguin by Andy Rash

Cover image for Archie the daredevil penguinArchie is a so-called “daredevil” because he has invented all kinds of crazy ways to get from one iceberg to another, including a slingshot, a rocket, and even Flap-o-matic wings. Little do his friends know that he’s just terrified of the water and the strange creatures who lurk in the briny deep! This is one of those gems of a picture book that will have adults laughing out loud just as much as their kids, and there’s still a great story arc with a positive message.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Always Remember by Cece Meng

Cover image for Always rememberOld turtle swims into his final wave as the sea creatures he has met throughout his life recall how he touched their lives. For instance, the sea otters remember how he loved to have fun and the dolphins remember his curiosity and bravery. So, even though the old turtle has died, he lives on in the heartfelt memories of his many friends. Beautiful illustrations add to this wonderful, touching story perfect; for a child or even an adult dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Book reviewed by Jamie L., Youth Services Assistant

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Cover image for Big red lollipopThis wonderful picture book tells the story of Pakistani sisters and their first experience with a birthday party invitation. When oldest sister Rabina receives her first invitation to a birthday party, her younger sister begs to go along and the girls’ mother insists that Rabina take her sister to the party.  This, of course, has the disastrous results that Rabina believes it will. This book so perfectly illustrates the universal challenges of sibling relationships right to the sweet and surprising end.  Big Red Lollipop is a delight.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

Cover image for If you plant a seedKadir Nelson’s art is just brilliant. In his latest picture book, If You Plant a Seed, the pictures are so vibrant and colorful that they jump off of the page. Nelson has written a tale about planting seeds with a double meaning. The pictures show the literal planting and harvesting of vegetables, while the text talks about planting seeds of kindness rather than selfishness. There’s no question about the message here, and there is much to enjoy in the faces and gestures of these charming animals.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly

Cover image for Prudence wants a petEvery child wants a pet and Prudence is no different.  Her parents keep telling her she cannot have one so she tries to make do with a twig, shoe, tire and other various items to substitute as a pet.  Read to find out if she finally gets a real pet!


That Is Not a Good Idea! By Mo Willems

Cover image for That is not a good idea!The style of this book reminds me of an old silent movie.  A hungry fox meets a lovely duck and convinces her to take a walk with her.  Each invitation takes them farther into the woods and closer to her being eaten. Little chicks in the pictures cry out at each invitation that it is “Not a Good Idea!”  You will be surprised by the ending.


Kate & Pippin by Martin Springett

Cover image for Kate & Pippin : an unlikely love storyWho doesn’t love a good unlikely animal friends story? Kate & Pippin by Martin Springett is a true story, complete with adorable photographs! Kate is a Great Dane. When a fawn who has been abandoned by her mother wanders onto Kate’s farm, she cares for her. Though Pippin can’t stay with Kate forever, they will always have a bond. This early reader nonfiction is perfect for 1st graders.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Cover image for Me-- JaneThis author/illustrator also writes the MUTTS comic strip.  The book is about a little girl named Jane who loves nature.  She has a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee. Every day, she enjoys finding out about the animals around her and dreams of one day going to Africa to study and help animals.  At the end of the book we find out it is a book about Jane Goodall. There is some biographical information on her life at the end of the book and a message from Jane to the readers as well. I love the illustrations!


Creepy Carrots! By Aaron Reynolds

Cover image for Creepy carrots!Jasper Rabbit took the best carrots from Crackenhopper Field every time he passed by. That is until he thought he was being followed by the CREEPY CARROTS! Or so he thought. Will he be able to stop them?


Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul

Cover image for Water is water : a book about the water cycleIn Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle, the illustrator, Jason Chin, emphasizes the importance of water and its ever changing and evolving forms using expressive full page illustrations. In these illustrations, we follow children as they experience water in all its forms including snow, rain, fog, running in a stream, and more. These vibrant illustrations include some fun surprises and also are exceptional in their depiction of human emotions. The accompanied text, written by Miranda Paul, adds even more to the book in its lyrical and simplistic poetic form. However, don’t let the simplistic text fool you; this book still contains information on the water cycle. Check out this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book!

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian