Dandelion’s Dream by Yoko Tanaka

DandelionsdreamDandelion’s Dream by Yoko Tanaka; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. 2020. Charcoal and digitally colored. Published by Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: Dandelion leaves the meadow of yellow flowers and rides on a train where she continues her journey on the back of a sheep. She keeps traveling until she reaches the city. Dandelion watches a film about airplanes which encourages  her dream to ride on a real one. Dandelion changes  which allows her to fly to the moon.

Comments: Dandelion is a flower that has four paws, a tail, and a lion’s head. I’ll probably see  this character every time I come across a dandelion growing in my yard.

This picture book is a story without words.

Straw by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

StrawStraw by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Scott Magoon. 2020. Digital tools used for illustrations. Published by Hyperion

Brief summary: Straw has a large family of all sizes and shapes and friends from the kitchen. He likes to be first to finish drinking anything until one day when he starts to guzzle an icy  drink that gives him a brain freeze. A curly straw helps him discover that everything isn’t a race and to be more mindful and appreciative of the world around him.

Comments:  I will never look at utensils the same. End pages are decorated with utensils. Title page has a box of paper straws.  Great series to use for personification units.

Last of the series.





The Great Eggscape! by Jory John

The Great Eggscape!The Great Eggscape! by Jory John; illustrated by Pete Oswald(interior illustrations by Saba Joshaghani based on the artwork of Pete Oswald). 2020. Pencil sketches scanned and painted in Adobe Photoshop. Published by HarperCollins.

Brief summary: Shel, the egg, wonders where all of the other eggs go inside the store on the weekends while he enjoys hanging out in the carton reading in peace and solitude. The great eggscapes are usually short with everyone returning by lunch. Concerned that no one has returned yet, Shel decides to leave the carton and search for his friends that he finds camouflaged to look like various items in the store. Shel realizes he may like to  play with others from time to time as well as being by himself.

Comments: I LOVE these hilarious books with duo John and Oswald! Great sense of humor and puns.

This is a clever wink to Easter eggs in regards to how the eggs are all decked out in various colors and decorations and are hidden(and found) in the store similar to an Easter egg hunt.

I’ll never look at my carton of eggs in the refrigerator quite the same.

Note: Stickers are included with this book that a younger reader could use to decorate Easter eggs.

Moon!: Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty

Moon!: Earth's Best FriendMoon!: Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty; illustrated by Stevie Lewis. 2019. Colored pencils and digital tools. Published by Henry Holt and Co.

Brief summary: Moon tells the story of the friendship she has with Earth. She is Earth’s best friend and only satellite. Moon tells all about how she orbits the earth, smiling the whole time and never showing her back to her BFF. Moon explains how some earthlings have walked on her and left their footprints. Earth’s friends are her’s too.

Comments: Superb beginning book about the moon, how it rotates, tides, gravity, myths and so on. Definite must for any library collection.

Back pages have interesting facts about the moon. Illustrations are large and often two-fold.

This story is told through the moon’s perspective.

Personification of the moon and earth.

Others in the Our Universe series by Stacy McAnulty:

Earth!: My First 4.54 Billion Years      Sun! One in a Billion




Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars RoverCuriosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum; illustrated by Markus Motum. 2018. Mixed media. Published by Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: Curiosity tells readers of the scientific plans before her creation as a Mars rover, what she can do thanks to the hard work of the NASA scientists,  her travel flight of 253 days, and what it is like on Mars. Full of fun facts and nonfiction text features to help understand Curiosity and her important work.

Comments: This story is through the perspective of Curiosity. The book gives background information on how she was created and about other Mars rovers.  The book has several back sections: picture captions, diagram, map, a timeline of Mars’ missions, and glossary.

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt


The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Adam Rex. 2017. Published by Balzer & Bray.

Brief summary: Rock, from the Kingdom of Backyard, is a warrior without defeat and is looking for a worthy opponent. Paper, from the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, is also a warrior without defeat and looks in his empire for a worthy adversary. Scissors is from a small village from Junk Drawer and is also a warrior without an equal challenger. All are the best and bravest warrior in their land. The three slowly encounter each other, battling to see if they can be defeated thus creating the legend of Rock Paper Scissors.

Comments: This is a huge hit at my elementary school. I played the book trailer to build excitement and read the book the following week except for the kindergarteners. I had to read it right after the trailer. Next week seemed like a year to them.

The words and illustrations go so well together; one of the better pairs I have seen in a while. Drew Daywalt scored big time with the students by taking  this simple deciding game to a whole new level of imagination.

Adam Rex’s hilarious illustrations of Rock, Paper, and Scissors are a delight to the students’ funny bone.  The various fonts and sizes he uses capture the movement and energy of the warriors. Some words are half as large as the page to indicate shouting. Smaller sized words are read in a regular voice.   Readers–I suggest practicing various volumes and voices ahead of time. I practiced in front of my cat until he left the room, because I was shouting like the wrestling-match announcer voice indicated in the book with the large bolded words.

I brought in a pair of big scissors, a sheet of stock card paper, and a rock all with super-glued googly eyes on them. You  could also go as far as  bringing in all of the opponents that these three challenged.  Props  make the story even more fun to act out.

Children related to the humor and the personification. They all know the game but will play in the future with those three illustrated characters in mind.

Warning: You will hear students all over the library shouting “Rock paper scissors shoot!” “Rock paper scissors shoot!” “Rock paper scissors shoot!” until you feel like you have lost your mind, but well worth the joy of reading you just shared with future lifetime readers.

Buy here.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

That's Me Loving YouThat’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Teagan White.  Published by Random House. 2016.

Brief summary: A motherly voice in simple prose tells various children that no matter wherever you go, your mother will be  loving you which can come as the sun’s beam, a winking star, or ocean’s breeze.

Comments: This is a short book for very young students. This could be read to a child before a parent has to go on a trip or even the first day of preschool when they will not be together. This is a book which could be read and studied to introduce personification examples with students. Words are on one side; illustrations on the opposite. Although this is in prose, it is not rhyming other than the first sentence.

(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex; illustrated by Christian Robinson. 2016. Acrylic paint & collage techniques.

Brief summary: School is built one day and named Frederick Douglas Elementary.  Janitor is cleaning him and shares that teachers and children will fill him soon. School learns about the children on the first day of school and what they do inside of him. At the end of the day, School tells Janitor that the whole time before he thought of himself as the Janitor’s house. Janitor explains that the children will be visiting all school year.

Comments: Cute story to read during the first day of school. I would also read this during a personification or perspective unit of study.


Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser

Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser

Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser; illustrated by Brad Woodard. 2016. Illustrations created with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Brief Summary: An asteroid in outer space is enjoying his “personal outer space”  when a satellite causes it to be knocked off course plunging into the earth losing much of itself on the fall.

Comments: Space facts are in the back. A fun book to read perhaps when introducing personification or outer space.