Picture Books for August 2016
Best Picture Book Picks for August 2016


August has been an outstanding month for children’s books releases!  There are so many great new books out, picture books included, that I can’t wait to get ahold of.  All of the books on this list look amazing, and are all very different, which hopefully means you'll find something that appeals to your particular kiddo's interests. September looks equally splendid for new picture books, so I’m already excited to share a ton of books with you next month as well.  

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Erin E. Stead is about a man whose job it is to read the messages that float to shore in bottles.  It’s a solitary job, and one the man attends to somberly.  A surprise comes one day when the man receives a message for himself – an invitation to a party.  The people of the town joyfully gather on the beach to celebrate.

I truly wish that there were some sneak peak of this book available.  There are often images and previews on Amazon.  Not so in this case.  Also, publishers sometimes reveal large inside spreads, but this time – no.  Sigh.  The gorgeous book cover is the only indicator of what’s inside, to be revealed when the book is published later this month.  The illustrations look beautiful and reviewers, who have raved about this book, consistently comment on the poetic language of the writing.

Another book that’s sure to have remarkable illustrations is Return by Aaron Becker.  Return is the third in a wordless picture book trilogy where a lonely girl’s bland world gives way to a magnificent one when she steps into a world of her imagining.  These books are a blend of great storytelling and intricate, richly imaginative illustrations.  It would help to read book one and book two of the series before moving on to Return.

I’m looking forward to They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel.  It’s a simple story of a cat walking through its neighborhood, but as the cat goes on a walk, the perspective changes from the reader’s view, to include a dog’s view, a snake’s view, a bee’s view and so on, showing how different the world can look through different eyes.

I can’t wait to share Dragon Was Terrible with my three-year-old-son.  Between you and I, my bright, generous little guy can be kinda naughty.  Stories of other creatures gleefully acting rotten really crack him up.  Dragon was Terrible shows a series of situations where Dragon does terrible things like scribbling in books, throwing sand, and stealing candy from a baby unicorn.  The illustrations are a perfect comic compliment for the tone of the story.  If you have a sweet little stinker, or just want to share a laugh, Dragon Was Terrible might be a good one for you.

 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. 

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles Book Cover
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
by Michelle Cuevas
illustrated by Erin E. Stead
published August 23, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to...READ MORE

Return Book Cover
by Aaron Becker
published August 2, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star Image School Library Journal

Welcome the much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless trilogy—a spectacular, emotionally satisfying story that brings its adventurer home.

Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm...READ MORE

They All Saw a Cat Book Cover
They All Saw a Cat
by Brendan Wenzel
published August 30, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publishers Weekly Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist  

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .

In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what...READ MORE

Dragon Was Terrible Book Cover
Dragon Was Terrible
by Kelly S. DiPucchio
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
published August 23, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

We all know dragons are terrible, but this one is especially terrible. He scribbles in books. He steals candy from baby unicorns. He even burps in church. Seriously, who does that? Dragon, that's who. The king, the knights, and the villagers are desperate to take down this beast once and for all....READ MORE

Steamboat School Book Cover
Steamboat School
by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Ron Husband
published June 7, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

Missouri, 1847

When James first started school, his sister practically had to drag him there. The classroom was dark and dreary, and James knew everything outside was more exciting than anything he'd find inside.

But his teacher taught him otherwise. 

"We make our own light here," Reverend...READ MORE

Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn Book Cover
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn
by Kenard Pak
published August 16, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star ImageHorn Book Star ImageBulletin of the Center for Children's Books

As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows--autumn is on its way!

Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every...READ MORE

The Sound of Silence Book Cover
The Sound of Silence
by Katrina Goldsaito
illustrated by Julia Kuo
published August 2, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star ImageSchool Library Journal Star Image Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

"Do you have a favorite sound?" little Yoshio asks. The musician answers, "The most beautiful sound is the sound of ma, of silence."


But Yoshio lives in Tokyo, Japan: a giant, noisy, busy city. He hears shoes squishing through puddles, trains whooshing, cars beeping, and families laughing. Tokyo is like...READ MORE

Pirate's Perfect Pet
Pirate's Perfect Pet
by Beth Ferry
illustrated by Matt Myers
published August 2, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly  

Ahoy! Pirates, pets, and puns run amok as a swaggering, softhearted captain takes off on a mad search for the perfect animal sidekick.

Big, brave Captain Crave can check off most items on the handy Be Your Best Buccaneer checklist. He has a pirate ship, an eye patch, courage and daring, and...READ MORE

Nanobots Book Cover
by Chris Gall
published August 23, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star Image School Library Journal

Introducing a team of robots powerful enough to change the world--and yet smaller than the dot at the end of this sentence!


A boy inventor creates the ultimate in high-tech superheroes that could one day save the world--but they have some smaller problems to take on first! NanoBots are...READ MORE

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion Book Cover
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
by Alex T Smith
published July 26, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star ImageBooklist

Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and some spot medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion. The Lion is eager to gobble up Little Red. The Lion's plan doesn't work out the way he wanted. 
"Little Red and...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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