Our Week in Picture Books: Mischievians, Teddy Bears, Anonymously-Given Cold-Weather Gifts, Foreboding Chicks, the Mishbooker Gavotte, and Dancing Baboons!!

  • Those in bold are books received for review from either the publisher, author, or illustrator.
  • All others not in bold are either ones I purchased or checked out from the library.  
  • All book titles and book covers are Amazon affiliate links and will take you to Amazon. 
  • Worldcat.org can find the book for you at your nearest library
  • Indiebound.org can locate the book for you at your nearest local independent bookstore.


What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day?What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day?  by Bruno Hachler and Birte Muller.  Minedition (2004)

A little girl wonders what her teddy bear does all day.  She continually tries to spy and sneak up on her teddy bear to catch him in action.  The execution is delightful!  It is told in verse with the repeating phrase, “You wait.  I’m gonna catch you!”  Each repetition of this phrase led to more excitement and laughter.  My son was jumping up and down by the end of the book begging me to read it to him again.

The MischieviansThe Mischievians by William Joyce.  Moonbot books and Atheneium Books for Young Readers.  (2013).

The Mischievians is basically an encyclopedia of the various creatures that throw little wrenches into our lives: from The Earworm, who is responsible for getting songs we hate stuck in our head, to The Itchy, who drives you insane running around your body to those areas that you can’t quite reach to scratch, and if you do happen to reach it — well, it can just run somewhere else just as fast, to The Yawn Mower, which well… makes us yawn.

Oh, this book is delightful and funny and turns mundane, irksome things into a new opportunity to use your imagination.  We’ve been creating our own Mischievians! My favorite being The Bacon Fairy, who steals your bacon if you leave the table unexcused during breakfast.  The illustrations are rich, wonderfully detailed, and so beautiful you just wish you could fall into the page — even if it means you’ll come face to face with The Itchy.  Read everything you can by William Joyce — he’s wonderful!

The Story BlanketThe Story Blanket by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz and illustrated by Elena Odriozola.  Peachtree. (2008).  The artwork in The Story Blanket is truly and absolutely gorgeous.  Sometimes the pages are full of color and motion and other times there’s only one simple, perfectly place image on the page — but whatever you see on the page is worth taking the time to slow down and savor.  The characters have charmingly round and flushed faces and their clothes are elaborate works of art.  There’s humor in the illustrations, but it isn’t goofy — it is stunning.

The story is WONDERFUL!   Babba Zarrah unravels her beautiful story blanket to anonymously make cold-weather gifts for people in the town.  When people realize where their special gifts come from, they repay her in an equally beautiful way.  This book is all and only good things.  You can read this book with anyone and they will love it!  Read it! Read it!  Read it!

That Is Not a Good IdeaThat Is NOT a Good Idea!  by Mo Willems Balzer and Bray.  (2013).  Done to the tune of a silent movie, a goose and a fox meet.  The fox invites the goose to go for a stroll with him.  Little chicks repeatedly, and with greater and greater urgency, warn, “That is NOT a Good Idea!”  But will anyone listen to those chicks doling out the good advice?  My son found it very funny and very suspenseful!  We read this to my father, who is a Methodist minister, and he said, “That’ll preach!”  I’d like to hear that sermon!  We’ve read this book easily 50 times and it must have some kind of anti-aging cream on it — because it just doesn’t get old.

The Miami GiantThe Miami Giant by Arthur Yorinks and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  HarperCollins Publishers.  (1995).

Giuseppe Giaweeni wants to go to China, but lands instead in Miami!  Here he discovers that there are dancing giants and wants to take one back home with him.  Giaweeni brings Joe to Paris to dance the Mishbooker Gavotte.  Things don’t go so well — a dancing giant was just too much for this crowd and so they fled. Chaos ensues and so Giaweeni brings Joe home and then goes on to discover Boca.  What happens to the giants?  Well, that’s left for you to ponder.  It’s a surreal book, but very fun.

My son had me read this book to him over and over and over and over again!  It’s happy, wonderfully absurd, and has a touch of drama.  Sadly, it is out of print, which I thought was illegal considering Mr. Sendak illustrated it.  Almost every page is cropped emphasizing the hugeness of the giants.  The real star of this book, though, is the calligraphy! (Which is saying a lot.) It is hand lettered by Jeanyee Wong.  Read more about her here and here.  Her work is truly, truly amazing.  The artwork, the story, and the calligraphy together make this book such a treasure.  Hopefully it’ll be printed again in the future — it would be such a shame to lose this book.

Hank & snOliverHank & Snoliver in Put Down the Phone by Nate Williams. Gibbs Smith. (February 2015)  — It’s out today!

Such an awesome book!  It’s fun, creative, brilliantly designed, and the illustrations are fabulous! It is a fun and light-hearted look at communication, miscommunication, distraction, interaction, and our dear, dear, beloved phones. The madcap energy that this book exudes subtly and hilariously reminds you that maybe, just maybe, we should put the phone down from time to time and pay attention — because good things await.

After it arrived and my son read it, he actually thanked me for agreeing to review this book!  He declared, “It’s great!”  I was so dumbfounded by his unsolicited gratitude that all I could muster was a stumbling, “You’re welcome.” You can get a sneak speak of the book HERE.

There are more excellent books, like another book by Nate Williams called Hank & Snoliver in What Can I Be?, but I am out of time for now!  I hope you have a wonderful week and get a chance to read lots of incredible and fantastic books! Happy Reading!

If you have a moment, please tell me: What picture books did you read and love this week???  I’m always looking out for picture books to read with my family.  Did you write a review?  I’d love to read it.


    • My pleasure! There are a few about the teddy bear from the same author/illustrator duo. From reading your blog, I think your son will love it, too! You have wonderful blogs, btw. I really enjoy reading both of them! Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Wow! What a great list, here! Mo Willems is a genius, I think. Just read all of his Knuffle Bunny stories. What does my Teddy Bear Do All Day sounds like a new twist on Nina Laden’s “The Night I Followed the Dog.” Have you read that one? It, too, is wonderful. I’ve got to check out all of your recs at the library. I love how easy it is to reserve them online. Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

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