The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.
Where the Wild Things Are.
What do all of these books have in common?
These are the classics—the books everyone knows and loves. And they’re classics for a reason. But sometimes, when it feels like you’re reading the same picture books over and over again, you just want something new and different. We’ve all been there; it feels like time for a fresh story with new characters that you and your little readers haven’t met before.
While we’ll never stop loving the classics, we also know that there’s no shortage of great, new picture books out there. Some of them are sweet, many of them are funny, and all are waiting for you to read them, and potentially discover a modern classic (if there ever was such a thing). Here are some of our favorite, brand-new picture books!
Big Friends by Linda Sarah & Benji Davies
It’s an age-old question: what can you do with a cardboard box? Answer: Everything! Best friends Birt and Etho take their boxes to the top of the hill each day and have wonderful adventures. But one day, their “two-by-two rhythm” is interrupted by a third boy named Shu. Birt misses the days when it was just him and Etho. Will the three ever find a new rhythm? We love this book for two reasons: it navigates the sometimes tricky waters of friendship in a relatable way, and it celebrates the endless possibilities to be found in simple cardboard boxes.
A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson & David Roberts
Both informative and hilarious, this book is a guide to bears. Which is silly, because you probably won’t ever see one… but what if you do? Follow along as the narrator guides our plucky protagonist through the who-what-when-where of bears—a great book for little animal lovers or readers who prefer a story with a bit of humor. (The illustrations are pretty great, too.)
Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!) by Julie Falatko & Tim Miller
This book is about Snappsy the Alligator—although, as Snappsy continually reiterates, he DID NOT ask to be in this book. What’s a reader to do when the narrator of a book and the main character don’t get along? The relentless quips between Snappsy and the narrator (“You’re an awful narrator. You’re just describing what you see in the illustrations.”) are solidly entertaining from beginning to end, and the book comes to a satisfying conclusion. Snappsy may not have asked to be in this book, but we’re sure glad he was!
Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup
Explore one year and all four seasons through the eyes of Owl in his tree, and watch how the scene changes from day to day. Clever cutouts showcase different forest creatures as they come and go, but Owl remains ever in his tree, through sun, snow, and falling leaves. Beautifully illustrated and told in gentle rhymes, this book is the perfect quiet-time read.
Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl & Joyce Wan
Peep can’t wait for Egg to hatch. She excitedly lists all of the fun things they can do together, but each time Egg’s answer is the same: “I’m not hatching.” Is there anything Peep can do that will change Egg’s mind? Anyone who has ever dealt with a stubborn friend will sympathize with Peep’s predicament—and perhaps be inspired by her clever solution—in this brand-new book.
Hop by Jorey Hurley
This nearly wordless picture book showcases a day in the life of a family of rabbits as they hop across fields, play in the grass, and hide from predators. The sweet illustrations are full of life, and at the back of the book is an author’s note with additional information about cottontail rabbits. Perfect for little ones just learning to talk and a lovely way to welcome spring.
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall
“This picture book has been canceled,” proclaims a bright red stamp on the opening pages of this book. But since that is unlikely to discourage interested readers, the crayons tell us what happened: they had planned a story, but then the lights went out, and someone scribbled right through the middle of the book! The ensuing chaos and the crayons’ efforts to repair the mistake create an entertaining story in their own right, and the dialogue that the narrator creates with the reader presents an interesting opportunity for discussion of the story.
Have you read any new books lately? Tell us in the comments below!