Picture Book Picks for July 2016
Best Picture Book Picks for July 2016

Intro

It’s July!  And officially summer by my calculations.  For our family, those first couple weeks of the season usually streak by in a blur, and this year was no exception.  There was the flurry of end of the year school celebrations, a vacation, and now, here we are, ready to barbeque on the 4th of July. 

So, how are we doing on our summer reading goals?  Uh-hem.  Well, I haven’t touched base with my teen-aged daughter about her progress in over a week.  I know that it all began with a lot of enthusiasm.  For days, she traveled around the house, clinging to her copy of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone (Amazon link), snatching every possible moment to read, but I haven’t seen the sequel in her clutches.

I just located my preschooler son’s summer reading bingo sheet (provided by our library).  It was barely sticking out of underneath the couch.  Phew!  Close one.  If it had gone under entirely, it would have remained there until the end of time, or at least until we bought a new couch.  (Oh, I’m exaggerating.  Kind of.)  The bingo sheet contains a colorful list of early literacy activities – singing songs, a street sign scavenger hunt, and, of course, reading.  The activities are enriching, simple, and quick, and have we crossed any of them off on our way to earning a free book from our library’s summer reading program?  Uh, no.

Okay, so if your family is anything like ours – ever full of good intentions and ever likely to utterly discard them in favor of a lazy afternoon picking huckleberries, maybe some of these July picture books will inspire you to start fresh on those goals!  Or… maybe it could be that inevitable summer moment when the cries of summer turn from “Wheee!!” to “I’m bored.” laugh

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Best Frints in The Whole Universe Book Cover
Best Frints in the Whole Universe
by Antoinette Portis
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest...READ MORE

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled Book Cover
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled
by Lynne Rae Perkins
published June 14, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal  Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly Star ImageHorn Book Star Image The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Lynne Rae Perkins introduces a boy (Frank) and a dog (Lucky) in this celebratory, wry, and happily unconventional introduction to the subjects children encounter in school. This beautifully illustrated, humorous, and insightful picture book offers a new twist on the classic boy-and-his-dog story!

On a...READ MORE

Lion Lessons
by Jon Agee
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

With the wit and read-aloud appeal of Peter Brown’s Children Make Terrible Pets and William Steig’s Pete’s a Pizza, this funny, fierce picture book teaches kids just what it takes to be a great lion
 
There are seven steps to becoming a proper lion, including Looking Fierce, Roaring, Prowling Around, and Pouncing....READ MORE

The Mixed Up Truck Book Cover
The Mixed-Up Truck
by Stephen Savage
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly

It's Cement Mixer's first day on the job and he doesn't want to make any mistakes. How can he help the other trucks on the construction site? By mixing some powdery white cement, of course!

He mixes it up, adds a little water, and presto . . . a cake?!...READ MORE

The Not So Quiet Library
The Not So Quiet Library
by Zachariah OHora
published July 19, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews

A hilarious story that celebrates the power of books and libraries in the vein of It's a Book

It’s Saturday, which means Oskar and Theodore get to go to the library with their dad! It means donuts for breakfast! And it means endless quiet hours lost in stories.

But...READ MORE

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats To Read Book Cover
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read
by Curtis Manley
illustrated by Kate Berube
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Publishers Weekly

It’s not easy to teach a cat to read, but one boy tries to anyway in this sweet and silly picture book debut that captures the challenges and rewards of learning to read.

Nick loves to read books—and he loves to play with his cats, Verne and Stevenson. So...READ MORE

Coyote Moon Book Cover
Coyote Moon
by Maria Gianferrari
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
published July 19, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

A howl in the night. 

A watchful eye in the darkness.

A flutter of movement among the trees. 

Coyotes.

In the dark of the night, a mother coyote stalks prey to feed her hungry pups. Her hunt takes her through a suburban town, where she encounters a...READ MORE

What to do with a box book cover
What To Do With a Box
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Chris Sheban
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? It may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for magical adventure, a feature imaginatively...READ MORE

The Ugly Dumpling Book Cover
The Ugly Dumpling
by Stephanie Campisi
illustrated by Shahar Khober
published April 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

"A whimsical story about being different, and the power of love."—Wendy Orr, author of Nim's Islandand The Princess and Her Panther

It’s not easy being the ugliest dumpling in a dim sum restaurant. Uneaten and ignored, the ugly dumpling is down in the dumps. But when an encouraging cockroach sees the...READ MORE

Sophie's Squash Go to School Book Cover
Sophie's Squash Go to School
by Pat Zietlow Miller
illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
published June 28, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly

This charming sequel to the beloved Sophie’s Squash is the perfect antidote to the back-to-school jitters. Sophie goes to school for the first time and has no interest in making friends that aren’t squash. Here’s a gently humorous read-aloud that proves that making friends, just like growing squash, takes time. 
 
On...READ MORE

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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