Five Star Friday: Picture Books Edition #5

Another Friday, another top five! I had planned on doing not picture books this Friday, but I still have one more graphic novel to read for it, and didn’t want to post without my proper thoughts in order SO that one’s on the back burner. Anywho, enjoy some cute and IMPORTANT picture books!


1. What the Dinosaurs Did at School by Refe and Susan Tuma

31933140Synopsis: In this follow up to the hit What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night, the masterminds behind the social media phenomenon Dinovember once again envision the wonder and chaos of toy dinosaurs come to life-this time in a setting that’s perfect for back-to-school!

Every November, writer and social media master Refe Tuma and his wife, Susan, work into the night to bring their four children scenes from the secret lives of their toys–specifically the nighttime antics of their plastic dinosaurs. But in the follow-up to the hit What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night, these scampish dinosaurs make the trip to school, hidden in a kid’s backpack. Each scene is photographed in meticulous detail, letting viewers joyfully suspend disbelief and think to themselves–just LOOK at what these diminutive dinos did at school!

Review: A super fun read with wonderful detail in every carefully set up frame that still gives movement and life to the plastic dinos as they destroy a school with their shenanigans. This had me laughing out loud. If you love those T-Rex suit skating/dancing videos (and they KILL me) then this book is for you. All of those open mouthed dinosaur toys, lol, screaming at spiders in the ducts, and screaming with joy as they cause scientific mayhem = priceless. Also, this book secured a five star with this line from the “About the Book” section: “To ensure dinosaur safety, all stunts were supervised by a Chris Pratt action figure in full dino-wrangling garb.” Y’all are too clever. I LOVE IT.

2. The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon

28966500Synopsis: When Emma’s cousin Hannah gets married, Emma is thrilled to be the flower girl. However, nothing is quite as she expected it to be, from the ring bearer whom she expected to be a bear, to her celery-colored dress, which she expected to be covered in real celery, to the wedding’s two brides.

Review: We need more picture books like this – because I still remember every time I had a misconception from childhood and got brainboggled (both excitedly and/or exasperatedly) by some revelation that I had been wrong for so long. I’m thinking of believing Penelope was pronounced “Penny-lowp” until I met one and never realizing until JUST THE OTHER DAY that Navi from The Legend of Zelda games gets her name because she’s a NAVIGATION sprite. Also, the second hand embarrassment I had from Ramona thinking a lamp was called a dawnzer from the US national anthem (“the dawn’s early light”) and her whole family just laughed and laughed. Ack.

We need more picture books that let kids know how easy and simple and sweet it is to be corrected about misconceptions, and adults need to learn that, too. Sometimes kids take things too literally and adults far too often take things too seriously. Little girls can wear celery (colored) dresses, ring bearers are (sadly for myself) not real bears, and women can be named Hannah and get married to someone they love named Alex, who, shocker, is also a woman. And! They’re Jewish! Good times.

3. Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

389623Synopsis: Wombats are cuddly-looking, slow-moving Australian animals. Their favorite activities are eating, sleeping, and digging holes. Here, in the words of one unusually articulate wombat, is the tongue-in-cheek account of a busy week; eating, sleeping, digging holes . . . and training its new neighbors, a family of humans, to produce treats on demand. This entertaining book, with its brief, humorous text and hilarious illustrations, will endear the wombat to young children, who may recognize in the determined furry creature some qualities that they share.

Review: Three things I know to be true: 1) Wombats are roly-poly endangered Australian marsupials with square poops and a penchant for digging 2) The Wombats are an awesome English rock band with several songs that will make you miss the best of the ’80s 3) I have a tattoo celebrating both (both wombuses that is, not the poop fact) // Oh a fourth thing!: This book is freaking adorable.

4. A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson

25663825Synopsis: Do you dream of seeing some real, live bears? Then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!

In this perfect read-aloud, sure to delight kids and parents alike, a young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country . . . But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be dangerous, and our protagonist–accompanied by a trusty teddy bear–might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being (gulp!) eaten.

This laugh-out-loud, how-to guide–brilliantly brought to life by New York Times bestselling illustrator David Roberts’ expressive art–is a must-read for fans of I Want My Hat Backand Secret Pizza Party.

Review: Whup, here it is folks: the picture book that validates, encourages, and prophecies (despite the golden rule of bear spotting within) how I shall die from a bear hug one day. Beautiful book, with a lovely color palette (autumnal blues and oranges); an adorable, brave, too-pure-for-this-world young protag; and a delightful found family, the best found family, of a trio of bears.

5. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo: Presented by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss

39319227Synopsis: HBO’s Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents a picture book about a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence – the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon’s life is about to change forever…

With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming children’s book explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.

100% of Last Week Tonight’s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United.

Review: I’m all for sending a big f/// you to the stink bugs of the world. And then this picture book turned out to be so much more. It is beautifully written and illustrated and honestly made me tear up (I first read it while putting up someone else’s hold at my library; I just couldn’t wait till mine came in.) I will definitely be buying this one for my own collection.


This picture book holds such important messages of love and kindness and hope. Some people are stuck in “the Way It Has Always Been,” but friends can stand up for each other and do real actions (vote!!) to make the world a better place. Also, a small thing, I just love how Scooter who is a turtle has a bedazzled shell. Too damn cute.



Has a picture book ever made you cry?


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