April’s Best Picture Books

Spring is finally here, but it’s not all “early blooms and butterflies” everywhere. We know that, in order to get to the floral apex of May, April is usually the roughest part of the journey for many of you, what with the frequent scattered showers or seasonal allergies keeping you indoors, haplessly entertaining little ones. Because we don’t want to imagine you spending an hour with your nose pressed against the glass, staring at rapidly deepening puddles or drifting clouds of pollen, we are here—to help you prepare for the marathon story time sessions you should undertake instead. If you’ll allow us to assist, you’ll soon see why April showers can bring about better story times than you could have imagined!

Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex
Your kids could probably play the game in their sleep, but do they know the legend of how Rock, Paper, Scissors began? Long ago and far away, in the Kingdom of Backyard, Rock never found worthy opponents until he encountered Paper and Scissors. Read all about their glorious adventures and epic battles tonight!

Dragon Hunters (Dragon Brothers Series #1), by James Russell and Link Choi
Brothers Flynn and Paddy lead spectacularly untethered lives; indeed, these are existences even a Lost Boy would envy. They spend their carefree days facing dangers—and discovering delights—on a far-flung island in a mystical sea. One day, however, a fearsome dragon swipes their beloved dog Coco. Follow them on a wonderful journey to recover their furry little pal—an accompanying app will bring their odyssey to life!

Olivia the Spy, by Ian Falconer
Die-hard Olivia fans can finally squeal with delight—our favorite mischievous pig is back, and her birthday is right around the corner! Desperate to know what she might be getting on her big day, Olivia has resorted an unorthodox (or, what some might call, naughty) means of extracting information from her parents—spying! Ingenious illustrations and moments of hilarity combine to make this a perfect read-aloud for a rainy April day!

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (padded board book), by Eileen Christelow
Maybe these Five Little Monkeys have bounced their way into your heart, and you feel compelled to present the story at a baby shower—or maybe your little monkey at home has made mincemeat of your hardback copy. Either way, now’s the perfect time to pick up a durable version of this quintessential bedtime story—the padded board book just became available this month!

The Giant Jumperee, by Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury
Remember Room on the Broom and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt—two stories that can totally pack a room? Indeed, when it comes to read-alouds, Donaldson and Oxenbury know exactly what they’re doing—and they’re back with a fable that will quickly become your family’s favorite. When rabbit comes home to his burrow, there’s somebody there already—oops! The uninvited visitor calls himself The Giant Jumperee, and Rabbit’s going to have to enlist the help of all his friends (and your little reader at home) to solve the mystery!

The Pout Pout Fish, Far, Far, from Home, by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
Mr. Fish, the most cantankerous creature in the sea, is setting out on a journey. He’s packed all he needs, and he’s planned every last detail. Too late, however, he realizes his oversight—he’s forgotten his very favorite toy! How will he ever get comfortable? Timed perfectly to coincide with upcoming spring and summer travels, this Pout Pout Fish is not to be missed!

No Matter What, by Debi Gliori
Small is a little fox who runs headlong into every toddler pitfall. Small exhibits tantrums, mood changes, and frustration—but Large’s love is steadfast through it all. Large and Small are bound together by their love, and every question Small poses is answered calmly and assuredly by Large. Lulling your little one to sleep with melodious verse has never been so wonderful.

Shine!, by Patrick McDonnell and Naoko Stoop
The exquisite illustrations here tell a heartwarming story. Hoshi is a starfish, and every night she gazes longingly at the twinkling sky above, believing she belongs up there—not squashed in the sand! Instead of appreciating all the beauty around her, Hoshi nurtures her dream, and thinks constantly of her celestial calling. Fortunately, an anglerfish arrives with some helpful advice. If you have a little reader who could use a “bloom where you are planted” lesson, look no further!

The Berenstain Bears: Welcome to Bear Country, by Mike Berenstain
Cousin Tex has arrived for a visit, and Brother and Sister Bear can’t WAIT to show him all the sights! The itinerary is packed—with visits to Bear Town, museums and caves all planned back-to-back. But a very special activity is saved until the very end—a visit to the Old Honey Tree, of course! Come along on a wonderful springtime adventure at your next story time!

Moo Moo in a Tutu, by Tim Miller
Meet Moo Moo and Mr. Quackers: while their names are suggestive of their species, their ambitions are less predictable. When Moo Moo reveals her dream of becoming a ballerina to Mr. Quackers—as he prunes his exquisite garden—her loyal sidekick is initially dumbfounded, then unflinchingly supportive. There are ups and downs on any career path, and you’ll laugh all the way through Moo Moo’s. Comic book illustrations make this appealing to all ages!


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