In My Library Tote: April Picture Book Reviews and Recommendations

This post is a round-up of picture books I read with Jona last month, but in the spirit of entertainment, I had to share the TV show that he's been into lately. It's not a cartoon and it's (surprisingly) not superhero-related; instead, it's a show called Chasing Monsters, about a guy who travels all over to catch giant, often dangerous, fish. I think Aaron watched it once when Jona was around, and since then he's been hooked. (See what I did there?)

I'll let Aaron influence Jona's screen-time experience, as long as I get free-reign over his reading life for now. (Because dear Lord, what would he be reading under Aaron's guidance? Sports Illustrated Golf?) Without further ado, here are our picture book picks for April.

{picture books we read in April}

{No, David! by David Shannon} Jona and I had both read this one before, but he loved reading it again. David is always getting into trouble and his mom is constantly telling him "No, David!" Yet she makes sure he hears a "yes," too, yes, she still loves him. With simple text and pictures that look kid-drawn, No, David! is one that Jona asked for again and again.

{Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett} Around here, the picture book sweet spot is when a book is silly enough for Jona, yet clever enough for me to want to read it more than once. This one was a winner. It is exactly as the title suggests: several reasons, with perfectly suited illustrations, why animals shouldn't wear clothes (a goat would eat them, a snake would lose them, among others). This one was my favorite to read, and it was high on Jona's list as well.

{Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke} We read Nobody Likes a Goblin, also by Hatke, last year and Jona loved it. When I heard Sarah McKenzie mention this one on her podcast, I knew I had to pick it up. It wasn't as much of a hit as Goblin, but Jona enjoyed it as well. Julia and her house settle in a new place, but it's a little too quiet. She quickly invites some creatures to live with her, but they end up making quite a mess. Can she restore order with all these creatures around?

{Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger} I picked up this one with Earth Day in mind; it was one I saw on Everyday Reading. It's very simple: lots of different shades of green with a relevant picture, and fun cutouts that allow the different shades of green to peek through each page. Despite there not being a lot of words, nor really a story, Jona loved this one. Especially the "wacky" green, featuring a green striped zebra.

{I'm Fast! by Kate McMullan} We read I'm Mighty! by the same author a few months ago and Jona liked it, so I picked up I'm Fast! on a recent library run. It's about a train making its way across the country, with a little red sports car by his side, challenging him to a race. The rhythmic, song-like language makes it fun to read aloud, and the subject matter--a race between a car and a train, hello!--is right up my kid's alley.

{All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon} This was another Earth Day pick. It's essentially about the water cycle, but done in a lyrical, poetic way, with added encouragement to take care of the planet. I love picture books that teach a lesson, but in a way that doesn't feel cheesy or like a textbook.

Have you read any good picture books lately? 

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