bwilson's Book Reviews

They Say Blue, illustrated and written by Jillian Tamaki

They Say Blue, illustrated and written by Jillian Tamaki

2015 Caldecott Honor winner Jillian Tamaki usually creates graphic novels for older readers but here she presents a striking work for a younger picture book audience, and does so with amazing grace. With swirling brush strokes and flowing vibrant imagery, this philosophical creation gets inside the head of a curious girl thinking about the natural […]



Honk! Splat! Vroom!, illustrated and written by Barry Gott

Honk! Splat! Vroom!, illustrated and written by Barry Gott

A bunch of mice in colorful race cars try to outmaneuver each other in this fast-paced, near-wordless, action-packed romp for the young fans of all things cars. Right at the starting line young readers know they will be in for a turbulent contest when a mouse in a blue car sneezes just as the race […]


If I Had a Horse, illustrated and written by Gianna Marino

If I Had a Horse, illustrated and written by Gianna Marino

Gianna Marino is a chameleon as an illustrator. When you look at her comical cautionary tale Too Tall Houses, you notice that it’s very different from the melancholic whale bonding tale Following Papa’s Song or the slapsticky Night Animals. I love those books, and others by her, but I have to say If I Had a Horse may now be my […]


Grandma’s Purse, illustrated and written by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Grandma’s Purse, illustrated and written by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Very few picture book artists create warmer or cozier illustrations than Vanessa Brantley-Newton. In this delightful and sweet slice of life story, a little girl has her grandma, affectionately called “Mimi”, show her the contents of her purse. The loving grandmother explains the significance of the objects, from the hairpins that help manage her hair […]



The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein

The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein

Writer/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein, the Caldecott winner for the amazing The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, delivers yet another visually astounding picture book that mixes wonder with adventure. The story is relatively simple: in a seaside community, a fisherman’s son notices a whale tangled up in a net. Remembering a time when he almost drowned, the compassionate […]


I Want That Nut!, illustrated and written by Madeline Valentine

I Want That Nut!, illustrated and written by Madeline Valentine

This exuberant and funny sharing book begins before author/illustrator Madeline Valentine gives us the title page. A mouse and chipmunk are having a great time playing chase and hide & seek. On the title page we see an acorn fall. We flip the page and the story officially begins with the furry creatures hearing and […]


Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

Talk about a book packed with surprising humor, Andrea Tsurumi’s chaotic, surreal, and joke-a-second Accident!  has page after page after page of comical mayhem with visual puns galore.  An animal named Lola stumbles quite literally over the title of the book, causing a mess that makes her race to the library to hide.  As she runs down the street she encounters other […]


Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

This poignant, near wordless tale depicts the bond that quickly develops between a brave young girl wearing a Little Red Riding Hood style jacket and a scared wolf cub separated from its pack on a cold, snowy day. With his striking pen and ink with watercolor art, Cordell serves up two linked storylines that merge as we […]


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