Picture-Story Books

The Snail and the Whale

Snail and Whaleby Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

A snail with an itchy foot hitchhikes on the tail of a whale, for a round-the-world grand tour.  When the whale ends up beached in a bay, the tiny snail comes to the rescue.

(a Round-the-World adventure tale)


Come Over To My House

written and illustrated by Theo LeSeig (Dr. Seuss)

A young child visits many countries of the world, learning about the houses and traditions of foreign children, and finding friendship wherever he goes.

(a Round-the-World adventure tale)


 Morning on the Lake

by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by Karen Reczuch

A young boy explores the Canadian wilderness with his grandfather, morning, noon, and night, and learns some important lessons about how to interact with Nature.

(a North American First Nations tale)


Sky Sisters

by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by Brian Deines

Two sisters trudge through the deep snows of the Canadian bush, to see the northern lights (aurora borealis) at midnight.

(a North American First Nations tale)


Ox-Cart Man

by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

A beautifully told and illustrated cycle of seasons for a farming family in Colonial New England.

(Colonial Days/New England Americana)


 Burt Dow, Deep Water Man

written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey

A tall tale, in the classic tradition, about an old Maine fisherman and his adventures with a pod of whales, and a box of candy-striped band-aids.

(New England Americana)


Time of Wonder

written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey

A beautifully rendered child’s journey through a cycle of seasons, living on a small island in Penobscot Bay in Maine.

(New England Americana)



written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey

A young boy with a harmonica saves the day, when the welcome-home parade for a town hero is sabotaged by a grumpy old man.

(Midwestern Americana)


Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

Mike Mulligan loves his steam shovel.  They have done wonderful work together, for many years, but modern technologies make steam shovels obsolete, they move to small-town America, where they find a creative way to continue to be useful.

(Midwestern Americana)


Something Beautiful

by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

A young girl living in the big-city slums, searches for something beautiful on which to focus her attention.  She learns how to see the beauty in the small things that are all around us.

(Big City Americana)


Wake Up, City!

by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Carolyn Ewing

A leisurely stroll through the streets of New York City, as the sun rises, and people begin to start their days.

(Big City Americana)


The Snowy Day

written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

A child’s eye view of the simple joys of playing in the snow, after a blizzard in the big city.

(Big City Americana)


 Mirandy and Brother Wind


by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Mirandy is preparing to dance in her very first, junior cake-walk competition, and she wants to dance with the wind as her partner. But how is she ever going to catch him?

(Southern Americana)


When I Was Young in the Mountains

by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Diane Goode

Vignettes from the life of a child, growing up in an old coal-mining family in Appalachia.

(Appalachian Americana)


Singing Down the Rain

by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

When heat and drought bring misery to children, grown-folk, and wild creatures, alike, a magical “rain-song woman” arrives to teach them all how to sing down the rain.

(Great Plains Americana — but a drought like this could happen anywhere)


Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

Another tale of severe drought, and the magical summoning of rain, this time taking place on Kapiti Plain, in Kenya.

(Kenyan legend)

Kaldi and the Dancing Goats

by Sauda Mdahoma, illustrated by Sari Nordberg

The classic legend of how an Ethiopian goatherd first discovered coffee, and introduced it to the people of the world.

(Ethiopian legend)


The Perfect Orange

by Frank P. Araujo, illustrated by Xiao Jun Li

A young orphan girl ignores the ploys of the scheming jackal, and brings one, perfect orange as a gift to the king of Ethiopia.  She is rewarded royally for her kindness and generosity, and the jackal discovers that greed does not pay.

(Ethiopian legend)


Suki’s Kimono

by Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

Suki wants to wear her new kimono on her first day of school.  Her sisters warn that no one will play with her if she does, but Suki remains true to her own heart, and is rewarded with admiration and friendship in exchange for her bravery.

(a tale of Japanese immigrants)


The Apple Cake

by Nienke van Hichtum, illustrated by Marjan van Zeyl

An old woman, with a basket of plums but a craving for apple cake,  barters her way across a small European village, spreading joy as she searches for the apples she needs.

(European folktale)


Katie Meets the Impressionists

written and illustrated by James Mayhew

Little Katie goes in search of a bouquet of flowers to give grandma for her birthday — by jumping in and out of impressionist paintings at the art museum.

(European fantasy — with real art works)


Zen Shorts

written and illustrated by John J. Muth

Three children meet the mysterious, philosophical giant panda next door, who shares three classic Chinese tales of wisdom with them.

(Chinese folk tales)


Stone Soup

written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth

A new, Chinese-culture adaptation of the classic tale of stinginess, deception, and the joys of sharing.

(classic folk tale)


Stone Soup

written and illustrated by Marcia Brown

The traditional, French-culture adaptation of the classic tale of stinginess, deception, and the joys of sharing.

(classic folk tale)