The Children’s Book Review | February 1, 2017
17 New Release Picture Books
From the companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, to a spirited picture book about two adorable badgers who get a little carried away while helping their mom out with the laundry, to a touching tale of a boy and his friendship with a horse, to a rollicking story that shares all of the ways a pet unicorn can ruin your life, these are the picture books that we feel represent the best of February 2017. How will you choose which one to read first?
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher’s Synopsis: At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452152165
Written and Illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
Publisher’s Synopsis: “I’m bored,” said Tic.
“Me too,” said Tac.
What do two bored badgers do when they’ve done everything, including driving their mother around the bend?
Laundry, of course.
What could possibly go wrong?
In this spirited picture book, Tic and Tac, two adorable badgers, get a little carried away while helping their mom out with the laundry.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | February 7, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626723177
Written by Ed Galing
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Publisher’s Synopsis: Tony was all white,
with wide gentle eyes
and a ton of love . . .
Follow this touching tale of a boy and his friendship with a horse, by the late poet Ed Galing and illustrated with remarkable tenderness by Caldecott-winning artist Erin Stead.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | February 7, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626723085
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Publisher’s Synopsis: We’re going on an egg hunt.
We’re going to find them all.
We’re REALLY excited.
Hooray for Easter Day!
Join a family of bunnies as they set off on an exciting lift-the-flap Easter egg hunt. There are ten eggs to find and count–but watch out for the obstacles along the way . . . Lambs, chicks, bees, and ducks await, and there’s even a wolfish surprise, so be careful!
This delightful, interactive read-aloud is the perfect springtime story to share.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1681193144
What Will Grow?
Illustrated by Susie Ghahremani
Publisher’s Synopsis: Seeds can be big or small, round or pointy, and all sorts of colors. They can become flowers, trees, fruits, or vegetables, and they sprout all times of year, during spring, summer, fall, and winter.
But all seeds have one thing in common–inside each is a new plant life waiting to emerge. What kind of plant will bloom? Wait and see what will grow!
Including four gorgeous pull-out gatefolds, this lyrical and stunningly illustrated book includes fun facts about starting a garden.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1681190303
You Don’t Want a Unicorn!
Publisher’s Synopsis: Be careful what pet you wish for in the newest picture book from fan-favorite author Ame Dyckman and rising-star illustrator Liz Climo.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316343473
Written and Illustrated by Marthe Jocelyn
Publisher’s Synopsis: Marthe Jocelyn is back with another clever concept book to follow Hannah’s Collections, Ones and Twos and Where Do You Look? This time, she tackles counting and categories.
Sam’s things are in a heap. Time to tidy up! He starts to organize his things, but quickly runs into trouble. He can make a pile of black and white things. But the penguin also belongs in the things with wings pile. He can make a pile of rocks. But the round rock also belongs in the round things pile. How will he ever sort his 100 things? Marthe Jocelyn takes a fun look at categories and counting in this very cleverly conceived story. Kids will delight in the cut-paper images of everything from a zipper pull to a robot, and Sam’s surprising solution makes for a tidy end to this unique story.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Tundra Books | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1101918050
The Blue Hour
Written and Illustrated by Isabelle Simler
Publisher’s Synopsis: A lovely and tranquil celebration of nature
The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn’t quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature—sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes—comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.
With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers | February 20, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0802854889
Caroline’s Comets: A True Story
Publisher’s Synopsis: Caroline Herschel (1750–1848) was not only one of the greatest astronomers who ever lived but also the first woman to be paid for her scientific work. Born the youngest daughter of a poor family in Hanover, Germany, she was scarred from smallpox, stunted from typhus and used by her parents as a scullery maid. But when her favorite brother, William, left for England, he took her with him. The siblings shared a passion for stars, and together they built the greatest telescope of their age, working tirelessly on star charts. Using their telescope, Caroline discovered fourteen nebulae and two galaxies, was the first woman to discover a comet, and became the first woman officially employed as a scientist―by no less than the King of England! The information from the Herschels’ star catalogs is still used by space agencies today.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Holiday House | February 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0823436644
A Perfect Day
Written and Illustrated by Lane Smith
Publisher’s Synopsis: Today is a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel.
Cat is lounging among the daffodils. Dog is sitting in the wading pool, deep in the cool water. Chickadee is eating fresh seed from the birdfeeder. Squirrel is munching on his very own corncob. Today is a perfect day in Bert’s backyard.
Until Bear comes along, that is. Bear crushes the daffodils, drinks the pool water, and happily gobbles up the birdseed and corncob.
Today was a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel. Now, it’s just a perfect day for Bear.
Lane Smith uses perfect pacing and vibrant illustrations to emphasize the power of perspective in this hilarious picture book about the goings-on in Bert’s backyard.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1626725362
Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
Photographs by Joel Sartore
Publisher’s Synopsis: A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird – pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world.
Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature’s markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore’s lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1426327674
Little Fox in the Forest
Written and Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Publisher’s Synopsis: Fans of Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world.
When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?
Stephanie Graegin’s oh-so-charming illustrations are simply irresistible, and readers young and old will want to pore over the pages of this delightful fantasy adventure again and again.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Schwartz & Wade | February 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0553537895
Written by Nic Bishop
Publisher’s Synopsis: Rockhopper penguins live by the sea, but in many ways, their families are just like ours. Penguin parents take good care of their children. Mama penguin fishes for food, while papa stays home and watches the baby. But even little ones get tired of waiting for breakfast, and sometimes they wander off… Luckily, penguin parents always save the day!
Sibert Medalist and naturalist Nic Bishop has traveled around the globe to photograph animals of all shapes and sizes. Following in the vein of his bestselling, award-winning book Red-Eyed Tree Frog, now Nic takes a close-up look at caring, and sometimes comical, penguin families.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | February 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0545206365
This House, Once
Written and Illustrated by Deborah Freedman
Publisher’s Synopsis: Deborah Freedman’s masterful new picture book is at once an introduction to the pieces of a house, a cozy story to share and explore, and a dreamy meditation on the magic of our homes and our world.
Before there was this house,
there were stones,
and a colossal oak tree—
three hugs around
and as high as the blue.
What was your home, once?
This poetically simple, thought-provoking, and gorgeously illustrated book invites readers to think about where things come from and what nature provides. Deborah Freedman’s masterful new picture book is at once an introduction to the pieces of a house, a cozy story to share and explore, and a dreamy meditation on the magic of our homes and our world.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | February 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481442848
Written by Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Publisher’s Synopsis: Antoinette—a very special poodle—learns to follow her heart and be herself in this charming companion to Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson’s beloved Gaston.
Antoinette’s three burly brothers each have a special talent. Rocky is clever. Ricky is fast! And Bruno is STRONG. Mrs. Bulldog reassures Antoinette that there is something extra special about her—but Antoinette is not so sure.
Then one day, while Antoinette plays in the park with her friend Gaston, Gaston’s sister Ooh-La-La goes missing. Antoinette feels a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. She must find Ooh-La-La. She will not give up!
Can Antoinette rescue the puppy in peril—and discover what makes her extra special along the way?
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | February 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481457835
Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal
Publisher’s Synopsis: Hawaiian locals and visitors always enjoy spotting endangered Hawaiian monk seals, but Honey Girl is an extra special case. She has raised seven pups, and scientists call her Super Mom. After Honey Girl is injured by a fishhook, she gets very sick. Scientists and veterinarians work to save Honey Girl until she can be released back to her beach. This true story will have readers captivated to learn more about this endangered species.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Arbordale Publishing | February 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1628559224
Written and Illustrated by Jason Chin
Publisher’s Synopsis: Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.
Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.
Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map and extensive back matter.
Ages 7-12 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | February 21, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1596439504
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.