With Drake and Juliet’s birthdays approaching, I am looking at what new books I can give them. I always gift books as part of any gift giving celebration as a way to enhance their love of reading, as well as to get new books into our rotation at bedtime. I love this age where both kids are into picture books as I love not only finding unique and fun stories, but also looking at the gamut of talented artists that illustrate children’s books. Here are some new picture books that have caught my eye. A few are out and many are upcoming for the year.


Before I Wake – I always love Britta Teckentrup’s soft earthy illustrations. Before You Wake takes us through the dreams of a young girl as she dives into the ocean and deep into the jungle.


Teatime – The cover of this one made me think of the old poem about Wynken, Blynken, and Nod floating off in a wooden shoe, except this time its’ a teapot that takes us on a nightly excursion through tea cups and sugar cubes. What a sweet way to drift off to bed!

School’s First Day of School – Drake has had a really great year in kindergarten, and next year is going to be a big change starting full day for the first time in a new school. In School’s First Day of School, school is the actual school getting ready and excited to start off a new year just as the children are feeling the same way. I think Drake might like the idea that the school is alive and having the same thoughts he is having on the first day of a new year.

Explorers of the Wild – When I saw this book title I immediately thought of Drake. Something about the illustration of a young boy out to tackle the wilderness with a bear buddy by his side is just so like him.

Return – This is the third book in the wordless book journey that started off with Journey and Quest as the young girl ventures again into the colorful and amazing world of Becker’s design. It’s on pre-order to arrive in August and I know we will be enjoying the trilogy once it arrives.

Let Me Finish – This little boy just wants to finish his book but keeps getting interrupted by all these wild animals! I think Drake is seriously going to laugh out loud with this one and it’s on pre-order for his birthday.

You Belong Here – I often buy books based on the illustration style and this is one that drew me in with its pictures. It’s not out yet, but I already can’t wait to dive in after reading the description and am dying to see more illustrations if they are anything like the cover.

To the Sea – Tim finds a whale and a new friendship is born. Drake is at an age where making friends and not feeling left out or alone is growing more important. I like books that talk about friendships as to help him understand to always be inclusive and kind whenever he has the chance.

If I Had a Gryphon – Despite having 3 cats, 2 dogs, and several fish as pets, Drake has never quite taken to any of them. I think he finds them a bit too ordinary and boring as our pets do spend a lot of time just laying around sleeping. Like the little boy in the book, I bet in Drake’s ideal world he would have some fantastical new pet like a tiger or maybe a gryphon.

Flora and the Peacocks – We are huge fans of Flora’s adventures in this house so when I saw this Peacock book a while back, I pre-ordered it from Amazon and forgot about it. It arrived last week and has been an immediate hit our house. All of these books are wordless but through the simplistic drawings, a story unfolds. This latest addition comes with some pop up surprises that both my kids love, and we read this one every night.

The Night Garderner – The cover illustration of this book really drew me in along with the title. Who is the night gardener? Who gardens at night? I can see Drake wondering the same questions and wishing such fantastical creations would pop up overnight in front of his own window.

The Whale in My Swimming Pool – Joyce Wan is one of my favorite author/illustrators. We own almost all her books and they are so bright, bubbly and fun that anytime she has a new one I am always interested in adding it to our collection.

What Do You Do With a Problem – I absolutely loved What Do You Do with an Idea which is by the same author. I thought the message was wonderful and done in a way where a child could understand ideas and how to make them come to life. When I saw this new book coming in July I pre-ordered it immediately.