New Picture Books Provide Laughs and Lessons | Brittney Uecker, Youth Services Librarian

            As we creep closer and closer to the holiday season and the whiplash of Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, now is the perfect time to read a few books that are perfect any time of year. There will be enough pumpkins and turkeys and snowmen in the coming months. Here is a roundup of some new picture books recently added to the youth collection:

  • “Toasty” by Sarah Hwang — Toasty isn’t like a lot of other dogs. He doesn’t have four legs or fur. He doesn’t bark or sleep in a doghouse. That’s because Toasty is a piece of toast. But that doesn’t stop Toasty from venturing to the park to play with the other dogs. While there, he meets a little girl and finds out that he is just the right pet for her. Simple, charming, and hilariously weird, this book is a treat for toasts and dogs alike.
  • “Looking for a Jumbie” by Tracey Baptiste — Naya knows there is nothing scary about the dark, or the creatures that are said to come out at night. As she marches through the jungle “looking for a jumbie”, she comes across the Douen, Lagahoo, Mama D’Leau, and other creatures from traditional Caribbean folklore. Though others might be frightened by them, Naya sees them as wonderful friends. This is perfect story for dispelling anyone’s fear of the dark and is a sweet tale of friendly monsters.
  • “Dessert Island” by Ben Zhu — Monkey is on a dessert island and Fox is on a desert island. As Monkey revels in his luck and gorges on cake, Fox looks for an opportunity to change his situation. As rain comes, both characters’ perspectives shift, and one’s problem becomes another’s solution. Monkey and Fox are brought together by the storm and create their own perfect island together. Though the text is sparse, the message of this book is clear: outlook is everything. A positive story for all ages.
  • “Unraveled” by Leanne Hatch — You know the drill: Mom makes a baby blanket. Baby takes the blanket everywhere. Blanket falls apart. Cole is overcome with disappointment when his beloved blanket is reduced to a pile of yarn and decides it’s time to throw it away. But Mom has other plans. When Cole wakes up to find that his blanket is now a sweater, he realizes that it is just as wonderful as before. A lovely book about growing up and a mother’s love.
  • “Vampenguin” by Lucy Ruth Cummins — Here’s a Halloween-adjacent book that is hilarious any time of the year. When the Dracula family visits the zoo, Baby Dracula notices something very interesting: he and Baby Penguin are the spitting image of each other. They decide to switch places. Baby Penguin explores the zoo with the Draculas, while Baby Dracula plays in the penguin den, and by the end of the day, they have both learned how fun switching places can be. Rife with vampire tropes and clever jokes, this is a not-spooky-at-all tale.

Check out these titles and many more at the Lewistown Public Library.

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