12 Great New Picture Books to Read to Kids in July

My Teacher is a Monster

It’s nearing 8 p.m. on a midsummer’s eve, and while there’s not a wide eyelid in the house, your crew’s obviously not going down without a story or two. However, Corduroy’s found his button enough already, the pigeon has certainly driven the bus, and Pooh Bear’s fed his honey habit for ages—it’s time for something new. And you’re in luck: there are simply TONS of great new books out this month! From hug machines to making new friends—with a healthy handful of stories about our four-legged friends in between—these new tales will help you turn the page on your midsummer bedtime slump, and celebrate the golden age of picture books:

Hug Machine, by Scott Campbell
The Hug Machine is small but mighty. His hugs can calm, cheer, and comfort. Basically, “No one can resist his unbelievable hugging.” And the Hug Machine doesn’t stop at people. He’s always up for a challenge: a porcupine? A whale? Done and done. There are some things that a Hug Machine needs to keep his energy high, however. Will the Hug Machine get what he needs after an exhausting day of hugging? There is no way you won’t want to hug this book when you’re finished with it. Luckily, “Hug Machine is always open for business.”

The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House, by Eric Litwin and Scott Magoon
“It was time for bed. The day was done. But Hazel and Wally were still up having fun!” These little nuts aren’t listening to Mama Nut, because they’re too busy singing their song: “We’re nuts!” Will Mama Nut be able to get these little nuts down to sleep? And will they always be her little nuts? This is a playful romp through the bedtime tug-of-war that ends with a sweet lullaby.

My Teacher is a Monster, by Peter Brown
Dedicated to misunderstood teachers and their misunderstood students, this story is a hilarious account of Bobby’s troubled relationship with his teacher, Ms. Kirby. Bobby’s always in trouble with roaring, stomping Ms. Kirby, but he bumps into her one day at the park, and, following an afternoon that starts with awkward silences and ends with an impressive paper airplane flight, he learns that Ms. Kirby might just be human after all.

Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog, by Fmr. Captain Luis Carlos Montalván, Bret Witter, and Dan Dion
Tuesday tells this very special story about his friendship with Luis, a disabled veteran, who requires a service dog to overcome the difficulties of his postwar life. Theirs is an incredible bond, built on trust, compassion, and intuition. From good morning hugs, to stressful doctor visits, fun trips to the park, and all the way to evening prayers, Tuesday dedicates every moment to helping Luis live a comfortable life—and Luis demonstrates his appreciation for Tuesday in a multitude of ways. “I know Luis needs me,” Tuesday says. “But he loves me too.”

Five Trucks, by Brian Floca
There are five trucks for five drivers, and each has a job to do. With Floca’s engaging text and trademark illustrations, take a journey down the runway and learn how each truck operates—you’re in the driver’s seat. It’s an important story about working together for a common goal: takeoff!

Mogie: the Heart of the House, by Kathi Appelt and Marc Rosenthal
Mogie is a “ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup,” and he’s recently found himself in a “very special house in the heart of the Big City.” Sick kids and their families stay in this house, and Mogie, with his singular charm and sense of humor, is determined to help some incredibly deserving kids get their mojo back. Based on a real-life Mogie, who lives at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, Texas, this tale is sure to engage every reader.

The Tooth Fairy Wars, by Kate Coombs and Jake Parker
Nathan’s lost his first tooth, and instead of exchanging it for a dollar, he wants to keep it! Actually, he wants to keep ALL his teeth. However, Nathan’s found it’s pretty difficult to conceal his baby pearly whites with an indefatigable Tooth Fairy on the job. While his hiding spots get increasingly more complicated, the Tooth Fairy’s clever tools and bureaucratic measures reveal her to be a true adversary—and highly dedicated to her vocation! Who will you root for in this hilarious tale?

Books Always Everywhere, by Jane Blatt and Sarah Massini
There’s a magical world inside every book, and anyone can go on an adventure—even the youngest among us! Step inside this enchanting picture book tonight with your toddler, and celebrate all the ways books can be shared and loved—always and everywhere!

Planet Kindergarten, by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Shane Prigmore
The countdown has begun. School supplies and sack lunches have been safely secured in our backpacks, and we’re ready for liftoff, ready to travel to the unknown world of…KINDERGARTEN! While moms and dads head back to their own planets, we’re invited to explore this new and interesting planet with the “aliens from many galaxies” who have converged here. The day is filled with fun times and a few difficult moments, but before we know it, the mission is accomplished, and we head back to our home planets. Maybe kindergarten isn’t so scary after all!

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems, by Paul B. Janeczko and Melissa Sweet
Full of carefully selected poetry celebrating each season, Firefly July is a delight for all your little one’s senses. It’s a wonderful introduction to the world of poetry (that woefully underserved literary form), and captivating illustrations bring the verses to life.

Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson
Mrs. Poodle has four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. His mother notes with pride how Gaston endeavors at all his barking, sipping, and walking lessons, but, from the start, Gaston is different. He doesn’t do things the same way as his brothers and sisters. So when a chance encounter in the park with a bulldog family reveals there might have been a terrible mix-up, Gaston has the opportunity to discover where he truly belongs.

A New Friend for Marmalade, by Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie
Ella, Maddie, and Marmalade are builders and best friends. It’s a sunny day, so they set out to do what they do best. But someone new keeps on ruining their playhouse and sandcastles: their neighbor, Toby! Ella and Maddie don’t warm up to Toby as quickly as Marmalade the cat, but when Marmalade gets stuck in a tree, Toby might be the only caped kid around who can save the day.

What books are currently dominating bedtime at your house?

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