Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

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.)


A young boy with an unusual name, which is the same as his father’s, wants to change his name to something that fits him better.


Three sisters who take weekly trips to the zoo always buy food to feed the animals and never buy anything for themselves. Because of their kindness, a vendor gives them each a magical balloon.


Charlie visits his grandparents for two weeks each summer, but always feels lonely, until he discovers an old bridge he can bong like a bell and receives a response from somewhere off in the distance.


A young boy is frustrated because his gorilla won’t go to bed.


A simple box can be a child’s most imaginative plaything.


Senor Sasquatch wants to relax beside Mr. Blobule’s pool without getting wet, but he is constantly splashed by the other guests.


Poetic text celebrates United States immigration and the country’s diverse immigrant heritage.


A little boy named Sam takes a trip to the beach and meets a new friend, but leaves behind his stuffed bunny Jump when it’s time to go home.


Joey loves things that fold. When he gets the chance to learn origami, he discovers that practice and patience lead to perfect paper cranes.


As the seasons change, a mother explains how the love for her child knew to blossom in her heart naturally, like the wonder of the great outdoors.


A father tells his young son the story behind each of his tattoos.


A father acts like a boy and a boy like the father while visiting the zoo; and they both leave exhausted.


A sword, a shield, and a helmet are found in the stove, but who put them there?


Grandpa teaches energetic little Mei Mei to do tai chi while she teaches him to do yoga.


It’s Alice’s birthday, but her friend Gertrude seems to have forgotten. Or has she?


Ming is curious and playful and ready for adventure, but even she gets scared of new things sometimes.


A boy has a problem. He tries to avoid it, but it gets bigger. When he finally musters up the courage to face it, it turns out to be something quite different than expected.


Penguin is grumpy from his grumpy hat all the way down to his grumpy socks.


Bertie the giraffe leads a very predictable life, until one day, he meets Blue, who shows him the world in a new way.


It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a bit nervous, especially the school.


These are some great ideas on how to support authors even if you can’t buy their books! Thanks Josh Funk!

Writers' Rumpus

By Josh Funk

Pirasaurs! by Josh Funk & Michael Slack from ScholasticMy first book came out last September: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. I have two new books out this September: Pirasaurs! and Dear Dragon. You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, so lucky for you, I don’t plan on talking about them in this post.

Today it’s how to support picture book authors and illustrators.

One of the best things you can do is buy their books.

But what if you’re not in the market for picture books at this time in your life, so the idea of buying one doesn’t really interest you? Maybe it doesn’t fit your budget. Or maybe you have an irrational fear of dinosaur-pirates, letter-writing-dragons, and anthropomorphic breakfast foods.


Here are ten other ways to support picture book authors and illustrators:

  1. Give the book as a gift. You probably know someone who might like it. Give it to her/him. Or donate it…

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Frog On A Blog Certified Guest Post

Kids VS Life

Today’s guest article comes to us from the folks at Kids VS Life, a company “dedicated to introducing mature concepts, places and things to young children using interesting stories and music videos.” Their site is brimming with fun, informational eBook picture books for kids, all free! They stopped by today to tell Frog on a Blog readers about two exciting new books designed to introduce kids to different cultures.

Teach Your Children About Different Cultures Now!

by Kids VS Life

Hey Parents!

The world is a BIG place.

So many different countries, so many different cultures…

Children should be taught about the world outside of their home country, but where do you even begin?

Right here! We want to present you with 2 books to broaden their horizons:

1. Kids Meet Japan


Click Here To Download Kids Meet Japan

Written from the perspective of a father who is working and living in Tokyo, Kids Meet Japan aims to introduce Japanese culture to children. This story is jam-packed with basic Japanese words and interesting facts that will give your child a newfound appreciation for this unique Asian country.

2. Kitty Catties Take France: An Illustrated Kids’ Guide


Click Here To Download Kitty Catties Take France: An Illustrated Kids’ Guide

This book covers the geography, language and culture of France. It even covers some basic French vocabulary. The idea is to familiarize children with everything that makes France a great place to be a kid! As they follow the adventures of Kitty Catties, your children will definitely become interested in this mini French culture class, which is designed to offer them plenty of fun en route.

We all have a responsibility for broadening our children’s horizons, and these two free iBooks will give them a taste of the world around them!

P.S. Do you want your child to learn about another country?
Tell us which one! We’re constantly creating new children’s material, which means we’re always open to new suggestions. Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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.)


Henry is having a horrible time camping. So Herman comes up with a plan to  help his best friend have the time of his life.


An ugly dumpling is ignored and sad until an encouraging cockroach sees the dumpling’s inner beauty and helps him see it too.


Nibbles the book-eating monster has nibbled his way out of his own book and now he’s causing mischief in other people’s stories.


Penelope, an exuberant hippo, and Tiny, her cautious mouse friend, plan their act in the school talent show.


A father shows his love for his three kids by spending time with them.

A little dinosaur has a good time making himself a cake, but after he eats it all, what’s he to do?


All of the animals find cozy places to keep them safe and warm during a storm.

Grandfather’s garden has an overabundance of tomatoes. So the family sets out to share them with their community.


When a boy is gulped down by a hungry snake, he finds a clever way to trick the snake and escape its belly.


A young boy is disappointed when he gets his grandfather’s rusty, old toy firetruck instead of a shiny new one. But when he learns about all the fun his grandfather had with it, he begins to like it after all.


Flo and Sam help their new friend Bob learn how to play hide and seek.


A big brother walks his little sister home from school for the very first time.


When Vincent loses the shopping list his mother gives him, he relies on his memory to pick up what she needs, with unusual consequences.


Friends Bear and Hare play hide and seek, counting from one to ten each time.


Secret Agent Man (a.k.a. S.A.M.) needs new shoes. But the mission will be dangerous. Shoe Store Man looks shifty.


Officer Seth and Officer Thea help a little boy who’s lost find his parents at the local festival.


Children can be quiet as a mouse, mischievous as a monkey, stubborn as a mule, and so much more.


Rosie isn’t like her brothers and sisters. She doesn’t have feathers. She can’t fly. And she can’t caw. What is she, really?


Frog On A Blog Certified Guest Post

Tommy Teesox

Artwork for Tommy Teesox is by Jamie Drobnick, daughter of Teri Roche Drobnick.

Children’s book authors are creative in many ways, not limited just to writing. I know authors who are also visual artists, craftsmen, or performers. I was a floral designer for ten years, so I’d like to think I have a bit of artistic creativity in me too. 

Today’s guest article is by Teri Roche Drobnick, creator of Teesox, adorable hand-stitched animals made from reclaimed clothing. Teri tells us how her fight with Lyme disease led her to writing children’s picture books about Tommy, one very tenacious Teesox.

Teri’s Tenacious Tommy Teesox

by Teri Roche Drobnick

I read my Tommy Teesox picture book manuscripts to a preschool class for the first time recently. What a blast! Entertaining kids and turning them onto books is an amazing gift to be able to give.

I never envisioned myself as a picture book writer, but was encouraged to do so by friends and family. I have now gained so much satisfaction and enjoyment (despite not being published yet), that I plan to do this for the rest of my working days.

It all started as a diversion when I was spending many hours on IV therapy for my Lyme disease. I needed something to pass the time and started sewing whimsical sock animals out of reclaimed clothing ( It quickly blossomed into a business, and as my health returned, writing children’s books about my quirky characters seemed to be the next logical step. Well, many conferences, workshops, books, classes, #SCBWI meetings and critique groups later – I finally feel like I know a little something about writing children’s picture books. But it has been quite the learning curve!

I have now completed four picture book manuscripts and am actively seeking representation from an agent. The first two stories star Tommy Teesox:

Tommy Teesox Wears a Mask and Cape

When Tommy Teesox tries to make friends, he is teased for wearing a cape and mask, until astonishing things start happening…

Tommy Teesox Tackles Superhero Camp

Tommy Teesox receives an invitation to superhero camp. Does he have what it takes? Only when he learns to believe in his superpowers…

Teri Drobnick

Teri’s reading Tommy Teesox to the preschool where her daughter Casey Drobnick teaches.

Teri Drobnick2

Teri would love to connect with other picture book writers through social media: (Check out Teri’s custom-made Teesox characters on Etsy.)


Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of answering some questions about my debut book experience for Karlin Gray, author of Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still, which was published June 7, 2016 by HMH. Karlin says, “Since I am new to the picture-book world, I wanted to learn from other writers. What inspired their stories? How did they go about crafting their first book? What did they do when they finally received that offer?” Those are just a few of the fun questions Karlin asks on her blog.

Click Here to read my responses to Karlin’s questions.

Look for my review of Karlin’s debut book, Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still, this fall.

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.)


Homer the dog goes away to wolf camp to learn how to bring out his inner wolf.


Simple text follows a young boy and the many animals he meets on his adventure through the jungle.


Mouse enlists the help of his friends Mole and Rabbit to help him reach the shiny red “marble” he spots in a tree.


Jack has been looking forward to playing his trumpet in the concert for weeks. But as the day draws nearer and nearer, his worry gets bigger and bigger.


Betty the fairy can’t seem to do anything right. But there is one thing she is very fairy good at.


A little duckling finds a book without pictures. Though he dislikes it at first, he soon discovers he can read the words and make up the pictures in his imagination.


Creative collage fish, made from unusual materials, swim down the street when it rains.

A small fish makes the long journey down the river to the sea.


A boy and a bear who both love exploring learn to share their adventures together.


When Penguin hears Whale singing the blues, he tries to help. But how do you stop a blue whale from feeling blue?


As one pig gets set to eat his perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich, nine other pigs decide to add a special ingredient of their own.


All Joseph ever wanted was to ride a bike. When he helps a girl with wild curly hair fix her broken bike, he may finally get his chance to ride.


Learn the who, what, where, why, and when of the invention of the doughnut.


After Liam writes to his mailbox, asking for more mail, he gets his wish, but soon he realizes that sending mail is even more fun than receiving it.


A young girl walks through the bustling city, while a pigeon flies above, both spotting hidden shapes at every turn.


Ursula, a bear, and Ricardo, a human, are preparing for the water ballet, but a new regulation at the community pool-no bears-leaves Ursula cut from the competition.


A boy and his dog love to play catch, but one day they encounter a different sort of ball, one they may not be able to catch.

help you help me

Fellow writers, what do you do while you’re waiting? Vicky Lorencen has some great ideas (as usual).

Welcome to Frog on a Dime

Photo by Vicky Lorencen Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Every writer I know is a “waiter.” We wait for our muses to return from Rome. We wait for feedback from critique partners. We wait for emails from editors and agents. We wait for books to launch and reviews to post. For those of us who are pre-published, we wait (and wait and wait) for our first big break into print. Given that waiting is a given no matter where we are in the waiting room, it’s wise to find ways to use the time, well, wisely. Otherwise we’re time-twiddlers in danger of becoming solitary sadsacks. And yeesh, don’t even get me started on those pricey catered pity parties. What’s that? How do I know about pity parties? Well, uh, [insert awkward silence so long you would take a nap in it here], let’s move on.

And so, my little twice baked potatoes, to help each other whilst…

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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.)


Young Raj is a natural at playing the piano, so his father sends him for lessons, but the more he practices, the less he enjoys playing.


A little girl hears her father mowing the lawn one day, in the process destroying her favorite flowers–the dandelions.


Mr. King likes pretty things. He also likes machines. So when he discovers a flower has been nibbled by a caterpillar, he builds himself a Caterpillar-Catcher.


A young girl tries to entice her older sister to play with her by creating an unbelievable tree fort from her wild imagination.


It is time to get dressed and Michael counts on his dog, Maggie, for help as he places yellow socks, a brown hat, blue pants, and other colorful articles of clothing where they belong.


While exploring, Lola the cat comes across a stage with a ballet performance about to begin. Lola puts on a costume and joins right in.


After an adventurous day, Theo finally has a memento of her own to add to Poppa’s travel trunk.


Join a family of rabbits as they have all kinds of fun, from digging holes to building snow rabbits to thumping their feet.


After stealing food from hikers and other forest animals, a hungry bear thinks the moon is following him, but when the moon disappears, the bear promises to be good if only it will come back.


Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.


An asteroid that wants nothing more than for his personal outer space to be respected is hit by a passing satellite and sent on what turns out to be a great adventure.


Syd loves Grandad and Grandad loves Syd, so when the two embark on a trip from which Grandad plans not to return, Syd learns that those who are dear to us will always remain near to us, no matter how far away they may be.


It’s mealtime on the ark, and all the animals have been fed, but Noah can’t seem to find anything that the two hungry chameleons will eat.


Title: Imagine

Author: Karen Kilpatrick

Illustrator: Tara Louise Campbell and Matthew Wilson

Publisher/Year: Nina Charles Publishing/2015

Series: Pumpkinheads

Back Cover Blurb: Slide down rainbows and swing from stars! Bounce on clouds and drive fast cars! Join the Pumpkinheads as they switch the world around in a silly adventure that explores the power of imagination and the differences that make the world beautiful.

Imagine you could fly like a super hero. Imagine you’re a shark in the ocean deep. Imagine you could change the world around you with the swish of a magic wand. These are just some of the fun things the super cute children do in Karen Kilpatrick’s latest book from her Pumpkinheads series Imagine.

Karen’s books always feature a racially diverse cast of characters, and Imagine is no different. When children open up this book, they will see kids who look like them. They will see kids who look different from them. And most importantly, they will see all of the kids playing together, pretending together, and having fun together. 

I like how this story of friendship and imagination, aptly illustrated in bold, bright hues, emphasizes that “colors make the world beautiful, just like me and you”! In this way, all children can see themselves as beautiful. And they can learn to appreciate the unique beauty every person possesses, inside and out.

Final thoughts: Karen Kilpatrick’s Pumpkinheads series could easily be adapted for television. Children would love to see illustrators Tara Louise Campbell and Matthew Wilson’s adorable kid characters and dazzling backdrops brought to life on the screen.

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