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Featured Picture Books

Written by Super User. Posted in Staff Picks

Wemberly Worried 

by Kevin Henkes (P Henkes)
A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds she has a whole list of things to worry about when she faces the first day of nursery school.


A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea 

by Michael Ina Black, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. (P Black)
Pig Parade
Fanciful art show pigs performing admirably in a parade, while the next page illustrates natural pig behavior, which definitely wouldn’t do for a parade. Pointing out why pigs would never willingly don marching-band uniforms, or play music, or appreciate pig floats is almost as much fun as seeing them in a pig parade. The author also points out that pig feet couldn’t hold onto the huge floating pig balloons.

Reviewed by Patricia 

Henry In Love

by Peter McCarty (P McCarty)

I mention this one for two reasons--I really like the illustrations.  The story is sweet, but not extraordinary--your basic little elementary school crush between a cat and a rabbit.  It was very nostalgic, the rhythms of childhood very clear.  But what really stood out was a funny little visual joke on the second page that made me laugh out loud.  Fun to read to the kids, but would also make a cute Valentine's Day or anniversary present for the squishy-hearted romantic.

Reviewed by Marilee

Sadie and Ratz 

by Sonya Hartnett and illustrated by Ann James (I Hartnett)
Sadie and Ratz
Hannah has named her hands Sadie and Ratz. Sometimes they do get into trouble, especially when they try to rub the ears off her little brother, Baby Boy. But now something is changing. Baby Boy does naughty things, but he tells his parents that Sadie and Ratz have done it. And the parents believe Baby Boy! Something must be done, but what? 
The short chapters and many illustrations make this a fun and quick read, and the story of sibling rivalry will be familiar.

Reviewed by Patricia 

Books for a Laugh 

I Broke My TrunkFor the beginning reader, the 2012 Geisel Awards (named in honor of Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel) are books to tickle the funny bone. Mo Willems continues his “Elephant and Piggie” series with the antics of Gerald and his friend Piggie in I Broke by Trunk (B Willems), which won a 2012 Geisel Honor. The picture book, I Want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen (P Klassen), is a Geisel Honor that may seem a bit violent for a beginning reader, but is, in fact, just right. Paul Meisel’s See Me Run (B Meisel) is a paleo-horror mash-up with humor about an adventure in the park with a pack of dogs. The Geisel Award book is an easy chapter book, Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider (I Schneider).  In each chapter, a boy tells his father what he won’t eat, and the father responds in a seemingly reasonable manner, but Dad says outrageous things.

Reviewed by Patricia 

Harold and the Purple Crayon

by Crockett Johnson (P Johnson)

Kids develop the ability to write by first scribbling and drawing pictures to tell the ideas and stories they imagine. Harold is one such young fellow. He decides to take a moonlit walk one night--only he doesn’t have a moon. What he does have is his trusty purple crayon. So he draws himself a moon. And then he draws himself a path. And then a whole, wonderfully imaginative adventure follows that has been delighting readers for nearly sixty years.

Reviewed by Amanda 

The Rain Train

by Elena de Roo, Illustrated by Brian Lovelock, 2011 (P de Roo)

This New Zealand import about a boy taking an overnight train ride is a combination of the sounds of trains and rains. The repetition of sound is fun, the water color and ink illustrations are perfect for a rainy day.

Reviewed by Patricia

The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice

by Kristen Balouch (P Balouch)

Little Girl Big VoiceAn exuberant little girl with enormous black pigtails goes out to find someone to play with, but “something” scares away the elephant, a giant snake, and even a crocodile. The hint to that something is the title of the book, and the girl’s proportionally huge wide open mouth. When a lion’s roar nearly rolls her off the page, she has found the perfect friend.

Reviewed by Patricia 


by Blexbolex (P Blexbolex)


The book Seasons, by the French illustrator Blexbolex, caught my eye from across the children’s wing today.  Someone had left it out on the top of a shelf, and I was instantly entranced.  This is one of the most beautiful children’s books I’ve ever seen.

One of the book’s strengths is its simplicity.  Each page contains an abstract printed or silk-screened image below a single word describing different aspects of the weather or year.  For example, one of my favorite pages looks similar to a Japanese woodcut of a flowering fruit tree swarming with bees.  The colors are simple: pink, blue and brown, darker where they overlap.  Above, the caption reads Spring Fever.  Another favorite finds a tanker steaming along a narrow strip of blue sea at the bottom of the page, a tiny sun peeking through a hazy, brown sky.  Horizon, the caption says.  They’d look good cut out and hanging on the wall.

The abstract forms and colors remind me of one of my childhood favorites, Ezra Jack Keat’s book, The Snowy Day.  I loved the clean lines, the play with negative space, which make the images evocative and suggestive.  Both the images and the captions captured my imagination, especially some of the more unusual entries.  I can’t wait to read this with my kids and see what they make of it.

Reviewed by Nathan   

Interrupting Chicken 

by David Ezra Stein (Call #: P Stein) 

Papa is willing to tell Little Chicken a bedtime story if she promises not to interrupInterrupting Chickent. But Little Chicken interrupts each of three common fairy tales so she can save the characters from harm with a new ending. The art is in three distinct styles. The bright colors that illustrate the main story line are contrasted with the stories-within-the-story that are ink and muted colors and sepia pages, except for the brightly-colored chicken that inserts herself into the story. Crayon drawings are Chicken’s own story for Papa.

2011 Caldecott Honor

2011 Golden Kite Picture Book Text Honor

Reviewed by Patricia  

How High Can a Dinosaur Count?

By Valorie Fisher (J 513 F538)

Does the mere mention of the word math make you break out in a sweat?  Does it bring back classroom nightmares for you or your child?  Or perhaps memories of boredom are what come to mind.  This activity math book puts those thoughts aside.  Each page has a math riddle to solve with fabulous illustrations to intrigue even the most math reluctant mind.  It includes visual hints to help you and your child solve the problems.  The text reads smoothly with alliteration thrown in to make it fun to read.  For those children who love numbers there are more problems to solve in each picture at the back of the book.  Solutions are included.

Reviewed by Julie  

Madeline and the Cats of Rome

by John Bemelmans Marciano (Call #: P Bemelmans)

In this installment of Madeline’s adventures, continued by Ludwig Bemelmans’ grandson, Madeline and her school friends visit The Eternal City.  A stolen camera leads Madeline in pursuit of a thief, and the discovery of some Roman felines in need of help.

Marciano continues Bemelmans’ tradition of cute rhymes and breathtaking illustrations.  This is the first all new Madeline book in fifty years, and it’s sure to satisfy both old fans and new.

Reviewed by Nathan

Art & Max

by David Wiesner (P Wiesner)

This funny, brilliant picture book was my pick for the Caldecott. (Wiesner has five.) Alas, no for this book about two lizards. One, an artist named Arthur (Art), comes to something of a disagreement. Art is a wonderful painter. Max wants to paint, too. Arthur relents and gives him paints, but Max is stumped by the blank canvas. When asked for a suggestion, Art suggests Max paint him. And Max does. He sprays paint all over Art, who doesn’t appreciate it. Then he goes to clean Art up, and Art’s color is washed away, totally. Soon he’s only a line drawing, and when Max grabs a black line, he also unravels. 37 pages

SLJ Best Picture Books of 2010
2010 Kirkus Best Books

Reviewed by Patricia 

The Big Noisy Book of Truckery Rhymes

by Jon Scieszka (398.8 Sci 279)

Love little Miss Muffet and Peter Pumpkin Eater?  How about Little Dan Dumper and Peter Payload Eater?  “Little Dan Dumper sat on his bumper, taking his break for the day, along came Pete Loader, who revved his loud motor, and frightened Dan Dumper away.”  

Jon Scieszka’s truck town books have always been a hit with little boys, but this one is my favorite.  Scieszka’s rhymes still sing with rhythm like the traditional Mother Goose and are fun to read aloud.  The illustrations draw you into the rhymes so well you won’t want to turn the page until you have taken it all in.  The short rhythmic rhymes will help your preschooler recognize patterns in speech and prepare them for reading.  

So go ahead, indulge your little ones as you sing them to sleep with, “Rock a bye mixer on the site top, when the wind blows the building will rock, when the beam breaks the mixer will fall, and down will come Melvin bricks beams and all.”

Reviewed by Julie 

Orem City

58 North State Street // Phone: 801.229.7050
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About the City of Orem Library

The Orem Library is open Monday through Friday 9am until 9pm and on Saturdays from 9am until 6pm. We are closed Sundays and Holidays. Click here for a list of observed holidays.

If you need to return books outside of these hours, a 24 drive through book and media drop is located on the North side of the Library.

The Main Library is located at 58 North State Street in Orem, Utah at the north end of the City Center Complex (on the northeast corner of State and Center Streets). Parking is to the east of the library building and is accessed from 100 North. If you need assistance please call 229-7050.