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Picture Book Month: Recent Releases

November is picture book month, and even though I have older kids now, we still read picture books. My 7 year old is particularly fond of them. What I've learned as they've gotten older is that there are picture books for kids of all ages, from simple stories meant to entertain toddlers to more complex and educational books for older kids.

We've recently read four picture books that were released this Fall, and I just had to share them.

First up is a picture book that doesn't actually have any pictures! The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak is a fabulous book that is quickly becoming popular. It is meant to be read aloud by an adult to a child, but my daughter has been reading it aloud to everyone who will listen. The premise is that the reader has to read whatever is written on the page, even if it's gibberish. It's quite funny and holds everyone's interest, despite the lack of pictures.

Another one that would make a great read-aloud is My Grandfather's Coat retold by Jim Aylesworth based on the Yiddish folksong "I Had a Little Overcoat." It's a simple story that flows like a folksong with rhyme and repetition. It tells the story of a man who made a coat for himself for his wedding, and as the years passed by and it frayed, "he snipped, and he clipped, and he stitched, and he sewed" to turn it into something else. Over and over he transforms this cloth into something new, with nothing going to waste.

The next two are examples of new picture books that would appeal to older children.

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis is about the invention of the Ferris wheel during the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Readers learn what the World's Fair was and how George Ferris came up with a design that was meant to outshine the Eiffel Tower from the previous World's Fair. It shares how the wheel was created and the excitement of the first ride. I particularly enjoyed this one because I got a taste of this story in The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix a much deeper story about World War I. This is definitely for older kids. It's about a young English soldier in the trenches during the first Christmas of the war, in 1914. That year, the German and British soldiers stopped fighting and celebrated Christmas together. The book has a lot of detail at the beginning and the end about the war as a whole, too. But the story itself is focused on that one special day.

In 2011, we participated in a daily picture book challenge in which we read and reviewed picture books for every day of the month. Here are links to our reviews from that year. The books are older, but there are many good ones in these lists.

2011 Picture Book Month, Week 1
2011 Picture Book Month, Week 2
2011 Picture Book Month, Week 3
2011 Picture Book Month, Week 4
2011 Picture Book Month, Week 5


  1. I had no idea this was Picture Book Month! Good to know!
    I'll plan better for next year.:)
    Here is a link to a review I recently wrote on a wordless picture book that just came out.


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