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The best new picture books each month for delightful, adventurous reads

Posted on March 11, 2021 at 6:00 am


If you’re someone who wants to know about the best and newest picture books arriving on library shelves and what our librarians have to say about them, then Picture Book Chat is for you!

Picture Book Chat is among our latest online programs. In these videos, Mary Ellen Braks, librarian and our Early Learning Public Services Manager, and I, as the buyer for our children’s collection at the library, regularly share a handful of new and wonderful picture books along with tips on how to use them at home or in small group settings to foster early literacy, social-emotional development, motor skills, and more.

The chat is informal and very similar to the kinds of conversations Mary Ellen and I would have in the office before the pandemic. This not only gives you some great new books to read but an insight into how librarians and early learning professionals discuss picture books as a way to engage young children and help develop their skills for kindergarten and beyond.

In each chat video, I show Mary Ellen a few books while talking about what excites me about them—beloved authors, hilarious text, amazing art, fresh treatment of an enduring subject, and so on. Then, Mary Ellen offers simple and kid-friendly activities inspired by each story that provide opportunities to work on developing skills while kids listen, interact, play, and have fun.

Each Picture Book Chat runs about 20 minutes long and is designed for parents, caregivers, and teachers to find out about new picture books and related activities. This is different than a Storytime during which a librarian leads kids and caregivers through stories, activities, and songs.

You can catch the premiere of the next episode on the Library District’s Facebook page:

Picture Book Chat
Wednesday, March 17, 1pm

You can also view the episode after it premieres on the library’s YouTube Channel.

In next week’s chat, we talk about these recent titles:

And if you’ve missed any of the chats that have happened since last August, you can view them on the Picture Book Chat playlist on YouTube. Each month, the latest chat will be added to that channel.

For us, this program is an opportunity to share new books at a time when our libraries’ hours are limited. It’s also a way to celebrate picture books as an art form, where each word matters and the illustrations are not only beautiful and engaging but as integral to the narrative as theme or dialogue.

We love sharing some of our new favorites with you and hope you’ll check out the chats!

Sheri Boggs

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