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picture books

10 Picture Books to Help Tackle Tough Topics

In daunting times, many adults find themselves feeling anxious or scared about the future of the world around them. It’s important to remember that young children may be feeling the same way about their experiences or situations. Hearing something scary on the news, encountering a bully, dealing with a death in the family, or learning their parents are divorcing are all tough topics. Reading a book with a worried child may help. This can give the child and caregiver a time to connect and find comfort with each other. It can also give the child an opportunity to ask questions and start a conversation about their concerns.

Below, are a selection of picture books for tough topics …

Death, Dying, Grief

Ida, always by Caron Levis
The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown
The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Ida, Always by Caron Levis

When his best friend and fellow polar bear, Ida, becomes terminally ill, a sad Gus spends their final days together whispering, sniffling, cuddling, and laughing with Ida in their home at the Central Park Zoo.

The Dead Bird Story by Margaret Wise Brown

When they find a dead bird, a group of children bury it in the woods, sing a song to it, and put flowers on the grave.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Illustrations and brief text relate how a person might feel when he or she has lost someone they love.

Divorce

Monday, Wednesday, and every other weekend / Karen Stanton
Two homes / Claire Masurel ; illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend by Karen Stanton

Although Henry enjoys the time he spends at his mother’s apartment and his father’s house, his dog Pomegranate gets confused about which place is home.

Two Homes by Claire Masurel

A young boy named Alex enjoys the homes of both of his parents who live apart but love Alex very much.

News

Come with me / Holly M. McGhee ; illustrated by Pascal Lemaître
No bad news / written by Kenneth Cole ; photographs by John Ruebartsch

Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee

Frightened by news of angry people around the world, a young girl gets her parents’ help in learning to be compassionate and brave a little at a time.

No Bad News by Kenneth Cole

On his way to get a haircut, Marcus is dismayed by the bad things he sees in his urban neighborhood but, after hearing his friends in the barbershop talk about the many good things in their African-American community, he finds that on the way home he sees nothing but good news.

Bullying

Llama Llama and the bully goat / Anna Dewdney
Ben rides on / by Matt Davies
Lion vs. Rabbit / by Alex Latimer

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney

Following their teacher’s lead, Llama Llama speaks to Gilroy Goat and tells him he should not act like a bully on the playground.

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies

Ben rides his new bicycle the very, very long way to school but Adrian Underbite, perhaps the world’s largest third-grader, takes the bike anyway and later, when Ben finds Adrian in trouble, he must decide whether or not to help the larcenous bully.

Lion vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer

Lion bullies all the other animals until finally they can’t take it anymore. They post an ad, asking for help. One animal after another tries and fails to defeat Lion. Can no one stop him? Finally, a rabbit arrives. No one thinks that such a small animal will be brave enough or strong enough to defeat Lion. But perhaps this rabbit is smart enough?

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Kelly P. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/10-picture-books-to-help-tackle-tough-topics.

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Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is here! We’ve chosen 101 Picture Books and we want you to read them, too! The Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians chose the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

How Do You Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

Favorite Book on the 101 Picture Book Challenge List

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

My favorite book on the list is “Bark, George,” written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The book is hilarious and has been a favorite for years! I absolutely love sharing this book with kids – probably because I get to ‘moo,’ ‘meow’ and ‘bark’ with glee. Published in the late ’90s, this beloved new classic is a perfect title for the challenge.

Also available in Read-Along Audio [Book on CD]DVDeAudio and eVideo.

Reading Beyond The 101 Picture Book List

If you like the humor in “Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer , you may also like …

Petra by Marianna Coppo - picture book

Petra” by Marianna Coppo

A little rock who believes she is a mountain has her perspective changed by a series of movements, including a dog playing fetch, a bird’s nest, a pond, and a little girl.

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker - picture book

A Visitor for Bear” by Bonny Becker

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse — small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse — who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places — just won’t go away!

It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle - picture book

It’s a Tiger” by David LaRochelle

Kids and parents alike will rejoice in this lively read-aloud picture book, as the main character runs into (and away from) a tiger over and over again as the plot gets sillier and sillier.

Also available in Audio [Book on CD] and eBook.

Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough - picture book

Marigold Bakes a Cake” by Mike Malbrough

Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons and three loons.


This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

Looking for reading, listening and viewing suggestions beyond the 101 Picture Book Challenge? We can help! Just visit us online and fill out a short form. That’s all it takes to receive personalized recommendations from our knowledgeable staff.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Cindy V. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/take-the-101-picture-book-challenge-today.

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13 Fun and Entertaining Picture Books Your Preschooler Will Adore
Picture Book Month - A Celebration!

Did you know November is Picture Book Month?

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November. Join the celebration by reading a variety of picture books to the children in your life. Encourage a love of reading and support early literacy in the process.


November is Picture Book Month | What is a Picture Book? by Katie Davis – YouTube


If you’re looking for some great books to read to your child, check out the books below. Some of them (not all) are from our 101 Picture Book Challenge, which is designed to provide all children with a strong foundation of words, reading and stories to build literacy. We picked 101 of our favorite picture books and we want you to read them, too. Our list includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

Fun Picture Books to Read to Your Preschooler

These fun and entertaining picture books will definitely induce giggles in your preschooler. And don’t be surprised if they ask you to read them multiple times.

Frog on a log? / Kes Gray and Jim Field
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
If you're groovy and you know it, hug a friend! / story and performance by Eric Litwin ; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Rhyming dust bunnies / [text and illustrations by Jan Thomas]

1. Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray and Jim Field

In rhyming text, cat explains why frog has to sit on a log, even if he finds it uncomfortable.

2. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

In the rhythm of a familiar folk song, a child cannot resist adding one more dab of paint in surprising places.

3. If You’re Groovy and You Know It, Hug a Friend! by Eric Litwin

Set to the rhythm of the classic children’s song, Groovy Joe invites the reader to laugh, sing, explore, and best of all, hug a friend.

4. Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Me and Annie McPhee by Oliver Dunrea
Nothing rhymes with orange / Adam Rex
Billy Bloo is stuck in goo / by Jennifer Hamburg ; illustrated by Ross Burach

5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss

Kids will love this noise-filled classic from the one and only Dr. Seuss! Mr. Brown is a sound-making wonder! Encouraging imaginative play while learning to read, “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” will keep kids laughing. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.

6. Me and Annie McPhee by Olivier Dunrea

In this cumulative rhyme, a tiny island in the middle of the sea “just big enough for me and Annie McPhee,” rapidly becomes very crowded with increasingly larger groups of animals.

7. Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

All the fruits gather together and enjoy a rhyming party, but poor Orange feels left out because he does not rhyme with anything–until Apple invents a new word.

8. Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg

Told in rhyme, a parade of characters tries to help Billy Bloo free himself from the goo, but only manages to get trapped in the goo instead.

Pigs by Robert Munsch
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams ; illustrations by Ken Min
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Rhyme crime / John Burgerman

9. Pigs by Robert Munsch

Megan is told to feed the pigs, but not to open the gate. She does of course, and the results are hilarious as the pigs help themselves to coffee and the newspaper at the breakfast table, follow Megan to school, and ride home by way of the school bus. The Overdrive Read version is especially entertaining.

10. Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Rupert the mouse wants to star in an artistic, wordless picture book, but his animal friends cause problems by talking too much.

11. Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams

When a young boy decides to get a pet, he discovers it’s not as simple as ABC. Every animal he brings home makes his poor sister sneeze! Follow along on a funny, furry adventure that features animals of every size and stripe, from Antelopes and Bobolinks to Yaffles and Zebras!

12. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his performances in The Office presents a silly read-aloud book that combines a deliberately image-free format with wacky nonsense text, goofy song lyrics and more. The Overdrive Read version is fun for all ages.

13. Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

A thief wreaks havoc by switching things out for rhyming counterparts, until he’s stumped by an unrhymable word.

Resources for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers of Young Children

Ready to Read – TLCPL

Why Picture Books Are Important by Mo Willems

Picture Book Month – National Education Association (NEA)

14 Laugh-Out-Loud Picture Books for Little Kids by Iva-Marie Palmer – Brightly

The 50 Best Books For Preschoolers – Early Childhood Education Zone

Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers by Reading Rockets

 

Originally posted by April S. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/13-fun-and-entertaining-picture-books-your-preschooler-will-adore

 

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