Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Picture Book Personals (6)


Picture Book Personals

Donkey seeks magical stone to provide protection from hungry lion.

What Classic Picture Book Am I?


Leave your best guess in the comments below. Find out the answer when the next Picture Book Personals is posted.

And the answer to last week’s Picture Book Personals is…

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel


I bet you knew that one!

PB at the library 2

I catalog hundreds of new picture books each year, and I read as many of them as I can. Unfortunately, I can’t review them all, but I can share them. Below are a few recent titles. (Summaries have been taken directly from the books whenever possible.)


Peek into the moonlit world of deer, rabbits, and other woodland creatures as they get ready for a good night.


From cave drawings to the invention of the printing press and beyond, discover how a story has been told in many different ways from the past to today.


In this game-book, choose which route to take through the forest and meet the fascinating creatures that live there.


Tito, the little clown, wants to learn how to do magic just like Manu, the magician at Circus Rondo, who can pull amazing things out of his top hat.



A cat walks through the world and is seen by many creatures from various perspectives.


When the gingerbread man gets separated from his class during a field trip to the zoo, he uses his teacher’s animal scavenger hunt clues to find his way back to them.


One morning, something isn’t right in Tinyville Town. There’s a traffic jam on the bridge. Maybe Tinyville Town isn’t as tiny as it once was.


Ruthie has a problem at school. It’s not the students, or the classroom, or the schoolwork; it’s the Snurtch!


A girl receives a special gift, a beautiful porcelain box, from her grandmother, and she fills it with all her favorite things.


A cat fools two dogs into hatching an egg and raising the chick as a puppy.


When Leo’s mom and dad send him off to fight a dragon, he takes a shield, a sword–and a pile of his favorite books.


The love story of two socks goes awry when one of them gets a hole.


Sally and Joe are convinced that the mysterious footprints they have discovered must belong to a dinosaur.


Superheroes have bad days just like everyone else, and they get mad, but instead of being destructive, they work through their emotions in other ways.


A young zebra has fun with his grandparents, eating treats, playing, swimming, dancing, and more. 


With gentle rhyming text, this book celebrates the special bond between parent and child.


Bella has outgrown her favorite coat, but doesn’t want to give it up.


Lucy and her animal friends share a picnic, search for buried treasure, and make a nest for baby chicks.


Ada’s fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments go too far, so her frazzled parents banish her to the Thinking Chair.



A little girl, a child of books, sails her raft across a sea of words and arrives at the house of a boy. She invites him to go with her on an adventure into the world of stories and imagination. Clever use of typography!


Picture Book Personals (5)


Picture Book Personals

Man with old steam shovel seeks job digging cellar for new town hall.

What Classic Picture Book Am I?


Leave your best guess in the comments below. Find out the answer when the next Picture Book Personals is posted.

And the answer to last week’s Picture Book Personals is…

Little Fur Family


Do you remember it now?

PB at the library 2

I catalog hundreds of new picture books each year, and I read as many of them as I can. Unfortunately, I can’t review them all, but I can share them. Below are a few recent titles. (Summaries have been taken directly from the books whenever possible.)


Little Duck doesn’t know the first thing about getting ready for a party–it’s her first one.


For Owl, nighttime is the time to play, but all of his friends are sleepy.


Duck decides to drive the tractor into town, and the other barnyard animals go along for the ride.

Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can’t find the moon to say good night, he sets out to find it.


Kitty wasn’t always such a scaredy-cat, but one late October day, a group of terrifying monsters showed up on her doorstep.


Birdie loves autumn, but mostly she cannot stop thinking about Halloween and what costume to wear.


Grimelda the witch searches everywhere for the jar of pickle root to make pickle pie, but her house is so messy, she can’t find it anywhere.


Love Monster tries to fall asleep but he’s convinced that a scary something with terrible, twisterly toenails and great big teeth is on it’s way up the stairs.


Cupcake is so worried about what the others think of her she feels she has to be perfect all the time, but that just makes the others mad.


Guess, discover, and delight in the sounds made by beasts big and small.


Celebrate that second year, full of new words, amazing skills, and a touch of mischief, as the toddlers in this book reach important milestones.


A mother and her two children set out on a journey filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope.


A little girl falls asleep, her book in hand, and as she dreams an astonishing adventure unfolds.


A mouse insists that there are no dragons in the book, not a single one, but you, the reader, might know better.


A boy makes friends with the monster in the tree house next door, but soon discovers there are things about his new friend that he just doesn’t like.


George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything. There’s just one hing they don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon.


With the help of friendly spider Webster, aspiring violinists Patience Muffet and Little Bo-Peep find personal fulfillment in the court of Old King Cole.


Miles was a difficult dog…until he got a car. Now he goes wherever he wants with his friend Norman.


Mary helps her school friends to look fabulous in their clothes and accessories, but now they’re too well dressed to play outside.


Far away from his family, Fox wanders the same forest he grew up in, but the beautiful trees and streams are gone. Lovely cover and touching story!

I am honored to be the Featured Author for the month of October on Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 blog!

If you’re a picture book author or illustrator, I highly recommend joining the 12 x 12 Challenge. 12 x 12 stands for 12 picture books in 12 months. In other words, members are encouraged to write 12 picture book drafts, 1 per month, for an entire year. But there’s much more to it than that. 12 x 12 offers resources, webinars, a member forum, exclusive submission opportunities, and more for writers at all levels within a friendly and supportive online community.

“ALL 12 x 12 members get access to an amazing community of 750+ picture book writers at all levels from absolute beginner to multi-published. 12 x 12 offers motivation, support, and accountability to help you write more (LOTS more!) than you would on your own.”

~12 x 12 Website

Click the 12 x 12 logo above for more information.


Picture Book Personals (4)


Picture Book Personals

Fur-covered child seeks tiny animal to catch, kiss, and set free in the wild wood.

What Classic Picture Book Am I?


Leave your best guess in the comments below. Find out the answer when the next Picture Book Personals is posted.

And the answer to last week’s Picture Book Personals is…

In The Night Kitchen


How’d you do?


Please welcome the talented Shawna Tenney, author and illustrator of Brunhilda’s Backwards Day, which is out just in time for Halloween! You’re not going to want to miss her fantastic tips for writing delightful picture book page turns.

Four Ways to Write Delightful Picture Book Page Turns

By Shawna Tenney


What do picture books have that no short story can ever have? Page turns!

I had so much fun with the page turns in Brunhilda’s Backwards Day. Whenever Brunhilda cast a spell, the result was hidden behind the page turn. And the outcome was always a surprise!

There are two parts to a page turn. The first part is the pause before the page turn, where tension is built and we feel an anticipation for what comes next. And the second part is the surprise after the page turn, or the punch line.

A great page turn can be accomplished in many different ways. Here are four ideas for creating a fun page turn. Remember, the keys are anticipation and surprise.



  1. Cause and effect– Show what happens first, and when you turn the page, show what happened because of that. I used this kind of page turn a lot in Brunhilda’s Backwards Day to show the cause and effect of Brunhilda’s spells.


  1. Stopping and starting a sentence– Stop in the middle of a sentence and finish it on the next page. You can even use transition words like: then, but, and, when, and finally.


  1. A continuation of an image– Start an image on one page and finish it on the next page. Or only show a small part of what is going on, and zoom out to show the whole picture after the page turn.


  1. Use a question– Ask a question on one page, and answer it after you turn the page.



Great page turns can be like a guessing game. The parent who is reading the book can sense a surprise is coming just around the page turn, and can ask the child, “what do you think will happen?” Children love to guess, and they are often right! Page turns give the parent and child great chances to interact.

One thing that could make a page turn even more exciting, if your story allows for it, is to show what happens in the surprise instead of telling. Let the pictures tell most or all of what happens in the surprise. This will make the action even more fun! Kids will have a great time describing what is going on.

What elements can you incorporate into your manuscript to make great surprises for your page turns? I can’t wait to see what’s waiting behind your next page turn!

shawna-tenney-author-photo-small-2 Shawna J.C. Tenney is an author and illustrator with a passion for picture books. Her work can be found in many children’s books, magazines and games. Brunhilda’s Backwards Day, Shawna’s first book as both author and illustrator, was published by Sky Pony Press. Shawna is also the host of the Stories Unbound Podcast, where she loves helping other authors and illustrators. Shawna lives in the beautiful state of Utah with her husband and two kids. Visit her online at or on Twitter at @shawnajctenney. Find more fun with Brunhilda and The Cat at



Visit the other awesome stops on Shawna Tenney’s blog tour!

Blog Tour Announcement

Monday, October 3

Guest post by Shawna

My Word Playground  


Tuesday, October 4

Guest post by Shawna

Frog on a Blog  


Wednesday, October 5

Book Review

Good Reads with Ronna


Thursday, October 6

Guest post by Shawna with giveaway

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)


Friday, October 7

Book Review and giveaway

The Late Bloomers Blog


 Sunday, October 9

Podcast book review

The Best Book Ever This Week 


Monday, October 10

Book review

A Simple Life, Really?!


Tuesday, October 11

Illustrator Interview and giveaway

J.E. Morris Illustration


Wednesday, October 12

Book Review and giveaway

My Word Playground 


Thursday, October 13

Blog tour wrap up and giveaway

Shawna J.C. Tenney

PB at the library 2

I catalog hundreds of new picture books each year, and I read as many of them as I can. Unfortunately, I can’t review them all, but I can share them. Below are a few recent titles. (Summaries have been taken directly from the books whenever possible.)


In 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set off to tour the country in their tiny yellow car, with rallying shouts of “Votes For Women!”


In this story that incorporates Spanish words, Marta explores the world of opposites and animals.


A little boy can’t choose which instrument to play, so he decides to try them all.


A mother takes her son to the zoo to answer his science question.


A young inventor accidentally creates a group of tiny robots that employ their unique abilities and teamwork to become incredibly useful and maybe even change the world.


With dogs and cats, horses and chickens, hamsters and chinchillas–and many, many more–this book celebrates animal companions of all shapes and sizes.


It seems that giraffes will misbehave whether attending a birthday party, going to the movies, playing in the park, or just about anything else.


The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles has a job of the utmost importance, to open any bottle found at sea and make sure that the message found inside is delivered to its intended recipient.


If you’re in Syracuse, NY on October 15, stop by and chat with me at the East Syracuse Free Library Author Greet and Meet Event from 11 am-2 pm. I’ll be signing books along with other local authors representing books for all ages and across all genres.

Final Final Cover

The address for the East Syracuse Free Library is 4990 James St., East Syracuse, NY 13057.

I’ll see you there!

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