HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Best New Picture Books | June 2017
Best New Picture Books June 2017 I Wrote You a Note

Best New Picture Books | June 2017

The Children’s Book Review | June 9, 2017

15 New Release Picture Books

We have 15 new picture book suggestions for you to read your way through. Included in this round-up of picture books is a sublime tale full of nuance and heart, a deceptively simple storybook from award-winning author-illustrator Lizi Boyd, a humorous story with energetic illustrations, a must-have for infants and new parents alike, and a photographic friendship adventure. Our selection of best new picture books will give you plenty of outstanding reading material! Which one are you going to read first?

Home in the RainHome in the Rain

Written and Illustrated by Bob Graham

Publisher’s Synopsis: Waiting out a storm by the highway inspires a name for an unborn baby sister in a tender, exquisitely observed tale from the incomparable Bob Graham.

The rain is pouring down in buckets, and Francie and her mom are on their way home from Grandma’s. As the little red car pulls into a picnic area to wait out the storm, the windows fog up, and Francie spells out Dad, Mom, and Francie with her finger. But the back window is waiting for another name, that of Francie’s soon-to-arrive baby sister. What should they call her? Francie and her mother ponder this as they return to the road. Later, when they stop to fill up with gas, who will notice one mother lost in thought and a small girl dancing? Once again, as only he can, Bob Graham elevates a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment into a sublime tale full of nuance and heart.

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Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763692698

Midnight at the ZooMidnight at the Zoo

Written and Illustrated by Faye Hanson

Publisher’s Synopsis: What happens at the zoo when all the people have gone home?

Max and Mia are very excited about their school trip to the zoo. But when they arrive, not much is happening: the zebra is asleep, the lions are hiding, and they can’t even see a monkey. Max and Mia make the best of it — after all, if you look very carefully, there is something to see everywhere. But when they are accidently locked in the zoo at night, they realize that midnight is when the zoo comes alive! Flamingos are doing the flamenco, the lions dance till dawn, and the pandas have a party. Morning comes all too soon and it’s time to go home, but Max and Mia will never forget their night in the zoo!

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Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Templar | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763689087

I Wrote You a Note by Lizi BoydI Wrote You a Note

Written and Illustrated by Lizi Boyd

Publisher’s Synopsis: In this deceptively simple storybook from award-winning author-illustrator Lizi Boyd, readers will delight in following a note’s unexpected journey and encountering a cast of charming characters along the way. The spare text is filled with the kind of repetition and rhythm that make for a captivating read-aloud, while the humor and childlike cadence will engage readers who are beginning to decipher books on their own. The brilliantly colored paintings share the gentleness of the text but also bring a joyous exuberance to this celebration of nature, curiosity, imagination, and friendship.

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Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452159577


Written by Patricia MacLachlan

Illustrated by Marc Boutavant

Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet Barkus. Barkus is loyal. Barkus is generous. Barkus is family.

The exuberant Barkus and his lucky young owner whirl and twirl across the pages of this delightful pre-chapter book series from award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. The accessible text is ideal for even the newest independent reader, while the warm, humorous story and energetic illustrations will appeal to picture book readers as well as advanced readers.

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Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452111827

Welcome- A Mo Willems Guide for New ArrivalsWelcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Written by Mo Willems

Publisher’s Synopsis: Mo Willems’ introductory guide for new arrivals welcomes readers to the world using bold, eye-catching graphics and clever text that is perfect for reading aloud. With a fun and heartwarming message, Welcome playfully interacts with the reader with its meta-humor, while addressing such topics such as injustice, cats, friendship, and family. This one-of-a-kind guide to the world is a must-have for infants and new parents alike.

Welcome makes love a key concept; the humor which shapes this volume is guaranteed to sooth not only baby, but the most frazzled of new parents as well.”—The Children’s Book Review

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Ages 0-2 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-148476746-7

The Teachers Pet by Anica Mrose RissiThe Teacher’s Pet

Written by Anica Mrose Rissi

Illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Publisher’s Synopsis: When their class tadpoles are big enough, Mr. Stricter tells his students they can keep just one. The class chooses Bruno, the smallest of the bunch. But Bruno doesn’t stay that way for long. Soon, he’s grown into a giant, classroom-wrecking creature: he eats desks, he farts for show-and-tell, and he sneezes slime all over everything! With Mr. Stricter blinded by love for the pet, the students must step up and take matters into their own heroic hands.

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Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | June 20, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1484743645

Claymates by Dev PettyClaymates

Written by Dev Petty

Illustrated by Lauren Eldridge

Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet the claymates: two balls of clay that can become anything–even best friends!

What can you do with two blobs of clay? Create something amazing! But don’t leave them alone for too long. Things might get a little crazy.
In this photographic friendship adventure, the claymates squish, smash, and sculpt themselves into the funniest shapes imaginable. But can they fix a giant mess before they’re caught in the act?

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Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | June 20, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316303118

Don't Blink by Tom BoothDon’t Blink

Written and Illustrated by Tom Booth

Publisher’s Synopsis: Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all themAND a bunch of their other animal friendsat the same time? You’re about to find out!

Whatever you do DON’T BLINK!

Readers will enjoy testing their own staring skills against a vibrant assortment of characters in this interactive picture book from talented new author Tom Booth.

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Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250117366


If Sharks DisappearedIf Sharks Disappeared

Written and Illustrated by Lilly Williams

Publisher’s Synopsis: A healthy ocean is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be
big, like a whale,
tiny, like a shrimp,
and even scary, like a shark.

Even though sharks can be scary, we need them to keep the oceans healthy. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, many shark species are in danger of extinction, and that can cause big problems in the oceans and even on land.

What would happen if this continued and sharks disappeared completely?

Artist Lily Williams explores how the disappearance would affect other animals across the whole planet in this clever book about the importance of keeping sharks, and our oceans, healthy.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-10 | Publisher:Roaring Brook Press | May 16, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626724136

The Secret of Black RockThe Secret of Black Rock

Written and Illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton

Publisher’s Synopsis: Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea—the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won’t let her go . . .

Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend?

Joe Todd-Stanton’s first picture book, Arthur and the Golden Rope, was published by Flying Eye Books in 2016.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Flying Eye Books | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1911171256

Blue Sky White StarsBlue Sky White Stars

Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus

Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Publisher’s Synopsis: An inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people, illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson.

Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off.  This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.

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Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Dial Books | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0803737006

Garcia & Colette Go ExploringGarcia & Colette Go Exploring

Written by Hannah Barnaby 

Illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Publisher’s Synopsis: Exploring outer space and the ocean is exciting, but what if you left something very important at home?

Best friends Garcia and Colette are eager to go exploring, only they can’t agree on where to go. Garcia loves everything about space (Stars! Planets!)­ and Colette is obsessed with the sea (Waves! Fish!).

Staying home is not an option, so they each get busy. Garcia builds a rocket ship that’s snazzy and silver. Colette’s shiny submarine is perfect for deep-sea dives. And they wish each other well on their travels.

It turns out the Milky Way really is amazing and the ocean floor is truly spectacular, but Garcia and Colette both realize they left something very important back home.

Exploring your favorite place can be terrific, but maybe the company is more important than the destination.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-5 | Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0399176753

Little ExcavatorLittle Excavator

Written and Illustrated by Anna Dewdney

Publisher’s Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of the Llama Llama books comes a new character ready to dig his way into your heart!

Here come the BIG RIGS
rolling down the street.

There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all?

Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small?

Anna Dewdney’s signature rhyming text and inviting illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for for fans of things that go!

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1101999202

Can an Aardvark BarkCan an Aardvark Bark?

Written by Melissa Stewart 

Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Publisher’s Synopsis: From award-winning author Melissa Stewart and Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins comes a noisy nonfiction exploration of the many sounds animals make.

Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can grunt. Lots of other animals grunt too…

Barks, grunts, squeals—animals make all kinds of sounds to communicate and express themselves. With a growling salamander and a whining porcupine, bellowing giraffes and laughing gorillas, this boisterous book is chock-full of fun and interesting facts and is sure to be a favorite of even the youngest animal enthusiasts.

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Ages 2-8 | Publisher: Beach Lane Books | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481458528

Life by Cynthia RylantLife

Written by Cynthia Rylant

Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Publisher’s Synopsis: Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel explore the beauty and tenacity of life.

Life begins small, then grows…

There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Beach Lane Books | June 27, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481451628

*Header image illustration from I Wrote You a Note, by Lizi Boyd (Chronicle Books 2017)

For more of the best new picture books for kids, follow along with our articles tagged with New Books for Kids, Picture Books, Books for Ages 0-3, and Books for Ages 4-8.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • Thank you for the June list of new picture books. I can never have too many picture book lists. I can’t wait for my reserve to come up at my local public library.

    June 11, 2017

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