Great New Picture Book Finds and GIVEAWAY!

Great New Picture Book Finds and GIVEAWAY!

Today is my turn for Picture Book of the Day and I had a hard time choosing because I’ve been reading and hoarding a small pile of really great picture books.

In the end, I went with my Caldecott contenter picture book,  Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by two Caldecott honored authors, Mac Barnett  and Jon Klassen. They both won a Caldecott honor for Extra Yarn last year when Jon Klassen also won the Caldecott medal for This is Not My Hat. Klassen also won a Caldecott honor for I Want My Hat Back.

Will this winning duo pull it off again this upcoming Caldecott?!! My money is on them!

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Caldecott, Picture Book of the Day

Have you read any great new picture books lately? Please share!


Picture Book of the Day

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

The most remarkable aspect of this picture book is how Mac Barnett manages to convey what is really a robust action adventure into a few handfuls of sentences. It’s the equivalent of distilling the Percy Jackson series into a haiku. Jon Klassen does some of the heavy lifting as well with his illustrations that show how tantalizing close the two adventurers come to finding something spectacular. In fact, this aspect might distress some kids, while others would find it humorous. It probably depends on their age and how ironic their sense of humor is!

And what makes this a Caldecott contender for me is how the ending is not the pat, boring, easy way out that I expected, but something that makes you actually read and re-read the book to shake your head twice and know that you interpreted it correctly.

I think Caldecott picture books have to work for both adult and young readers in the sense that it can be read over and over again with continued delight and this one most certainly does! [picture book, ages 4 and up]


Being Small is Still Powerful Picture Books

Little Elliot Big City by Mike Curato

Little Elliot is a small stuffed elephant navigating the big city. Sometimes he finds that he’s just to small to get things done, like being noticed at the cupcake store. It’s disheartening, but when Little Elliot discovers a mouse who has things worse, he finds that he’s big enough to help out and that the two of them together can conquer any problem. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Four friends — or could they be brothers or siblings? — go in search of a bird that they plan to capture. The smallest one keeps getting shushed while the others try different approaches. When the little guy finally gets his turn after the prior attempts all fail, it seems that the smallest kid’s plan which uses brains over brawn works the best. Haughton uses striking color schemes in his charming watercolor illustrations with punctuations of colors for the birds and different shades of blue for the rest of the scene. This is a picture book I’d give to the youngest of several siblings. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki and Qin Leng

Hana is just a beginner at violin but she signed up for the talent show anyway. Her older brothers laugh in derision. But Hana feels a connection to music because her grandfather in Japan — Ojichan — was a professional violinist and taught her that the sounds the violin makes can mimic nature. Hana is nervous the night of her performance; will her brothers turn out to be right? I’d gift this picture book to any child learning to play an instrument, particularly the violin! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

The Tooth Mouse by Susan Hood and Janice Nadeau

The tooth mouse in France is ready to retire and needs to find a successor. Sophie is smallest mouse to compete but will she be chosen? She needs to be brave, honest and, above all, wise. [picture book, ages 3 and up]


Fixing Problems Picture Books

Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo, illustrated by  Albertine

Jumping Jack is a prize jumping horse but things have been going poorly lately. His owner seeks the help of a veternarian and a psychologist and they take a long, restful vacation! They try again and things are not going well again until something strange happens. This picture book is perfect for any child who wears glasses! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud

This oversized picture book is both a story and a Find and Seek adventure! Papa Bear and his cub are looking for a nice place to hibernate but the Opera House turns out to be the wrong choice. Little Bear ends up accidentally leaving with a young boy and his family and Papa Bear must scour the world to find him via scooter, train and cruise ship! [picture book, ages 3 and up]


Robot Picture Book Also Teaches About Outer Space

Omo and the Rocket Car Race by Jonathan Spencer Levy

Omo and his best friend Olive are big Rocket Car fans and this time they get selected to race across the galaxy starting from Earth to Earth’s Moon to Mars. Jupiter, Saturn, Nepture, Pluto and back to Earth again. What is really great about this picture book is the Nasa images that are part of the illustrations and the astronomy talking points scattered through the book. [picture book, ages 6 and up]


New Picture Book Giveaway: 3 Winners!!!!

To win either of the three picture books, please fill out the Rafflecopter below ranking your first, second and third choice books.  Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Great New Picture Book Finds and GIVEAWAY!

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Great selection of books. Have heard a lot about Sam and Dave Dig a Big Hole, but haven’t read it. I’ve hear such positive things about it, but everytime I look at that cover I think of the kids who dug holes in the sand and had them collapse last summer. I need to read it and see what I think. I love Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. I really loved extra yarn. So simple. Have read and will release my review of Hana Hashimoto, a cute book. Haven’t read your other titles too. Great gift selections.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…The Night Before The Night Before Christmas – Book GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Shh! sounds great! I could see Anna loving it.
    MaryAnne recently posted…Jan Brett’s The Three Snow Bears Activity for KidsMy Profile

  3. Bekki@abetterway2homeschool

    I love your description of Sam and Dave Dig a hole. I cannot imagine condensing a Percy Jackson book into a Haiku, and that analogy has made me request the book for the library to share with my boys:). I cannot wait to read it!
    Bekki recently posted…15 Advent and Christmas Math and Reading ActivitiesMy Profile

  4. Cassandra S.

    1 – Omo and the Rocket Car Race
    2 – Jumping Jack
    3 – The Tooth Mouse

  5. Denise Taylor-Dennis

    Here is the order of my favorites.

    Omo and the Rocket Car Race
    Jumping Jack
    The Tooth Mouse

  6. Wehaf

    In order, I like Jumping Jack, the The Tooth Mouse, then Omo and the Rocket Car race.

  7. Emily Ducatte

    1. The rock car race
    2. Jumping jack
    3. The tooth mouse

  8. Katyann Marne Driver

    I love the mouse book first then jumping jack then the rock race car book <3

  9. Ann

    Hmmm, they all look good, maybe Jumping Jack first since my kids have been talking about wanting to ride horses lately then the Tooth Mouse since we like all things French.
    Ann recently posted…Minimalist Snowman OrnamentMy Profile

  10. I think all of these are amazing! Any kiddo will love them! The Rock Race Car would be my first choice, my boy would love it! Sam and Dave Dig a Big Hole would be second, and Jumping Jack! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  11. I love your list of great new picture books! Thank you for providing it!

  12. Annmarie W.

    I think my niece would like The Tooth Mouse first, Jumping Jack 2nd, then Omo & the Rocket Car Race!

  13. Kimberly

    My first choice would be The Tooth Mouse, second would be Jumping Jack and third would be Rocket Car Race.

  14. Debby Chandler

    Omo & The Rocket Car Race, The Bear’s Sea Escape and Jumping Jack

  15. Christina Anne

    1st: The Tooth Mouse; 2nd: The Bear’s Sea Escape; 3rd: Jumping Jack

  16. Dawn S.

    #1 Shh! We Have a Plan
    #2 Jumping Jack
    #3 Omo and the Rocket Car Race

    That was tough to choose!

  17. Trish

    1st Jumping Jack
    2nd Shh! We Have a Plan
    3rd The Bear’s Sea Escape

  18. Fiona N

    I would choose:
    1/ Little Elliot Big City
    2/ The Bear’s Sea Escape
    3/ Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

    Thank You for the chance

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