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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

This Is What Happens When You Read Too Many Picture Books

It seemed such an attainable goal. All I wanted to do was read every single picture book published in America in 2016. Was that too much to ask?  I even had a system. I’d create a Google spreadsheet and write down every single title and rate it.  That way I’d have an easy way of remembering what I liked and didn’t like later.

But I didn’t count on the patterns.  Oh no.  No, I did not.

You see, I’ve read a lot picture books this year.  Not all of them yet.  I still have a long shelf at work that’s creaking under the weight of the books I have yet to read. But since it’s October, the 2016 books have been replaced in the mail by 2017s.  That means I could conceivably finish the remaining books soon.  But before I do, I want to share with you some of the amusing things I’ve noticed about the titles I’ve read this year.  Proof positive that if you do something for too long, the brain rebels by creating hitherto unseen connections.

Enjoy the following lists:


The Most Popular Titular Name of the Year: Lucy

  • Lucy by Randy Cecil
  • Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc
  • Lucy and Lila by Alison Fletcher, ill. Christopher Lyles
  • Lucy Ladybug by Sharon King-Chai
  • Lucy’s Lovey by Betsy Devany, ill. Christopher Denise
  • The Three Lucys by Hayan Charara, ill. Sara Kahn


Books With Definite Demands

  • Bring Me a Rock by Daniel Miyares
  • Choose Your Days by Paula S. Wallace
  • Come and Dance, Wicked Witch by Hanna Kraan, ill. Annemarie van Haeringen
  • Come Home, Angus by Patrick Downes, ill. Boris Kulikov
  • Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, ill. By Charlotte Pardi
  • Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman, ill. Andy Elkerton
  • Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, ill. Elizabeth Zunon
  • Don’t Call Me Choochie Pooh! by Sean Taylor, ill. Kate Hindley
  • Don’t Cross the Line! by Bernardo P. Caravalho, ill. Isavel Martins
  • Don’t Wake Up the Tiger by Britta Teckentrup
  • Follow Me! by Ellie Sandall
  • Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau & Deborah Hopkinson, ill. Meilo So
  • Kiss It Better by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, ill. Sarah Massini
  • Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
  • Let Me Finish by Minh Le, ill. Isabel Roxas
  • Look Up by Jung Jin-Ho
  • Never Follow a Dinosaur by Alex Latimer
  • Never Insult a Killer Zucchini! by Elana Azone & Brandon Amancio, ill. David Clark
  • Open Up, Please! by Silvia Borando, ill. Lorenzo Clerici
  • Please Say Please! by Kyle T. Webster
  • Push! Dig! Scoop! by Rhonda Gowler Greene, ill. Daniel Kirk
  • Quick, Little Monkey! by Sarah L. Thomson, ill. Lita Judge
  • Quit Calling Me a Monster! by Jory John, ill. Bob Shea
  • Stop Following Me, Moon! by Darren Farrell]
  • Wake Up, City! by Erica Silverman, ill. Laure Fournier
  • Warning! Do Not Touch by Tim Warnes

(All these demands could have been created by either the Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee or Bossy Flossy by Paulette Bogan)


Good Morning, Good Evening, and Good Night

  • Good Morning Yoga by Mariam Gates, ill. Sarah Jane Hinder
  • Good Night, Baddies by Deborah Underwood, ill. Juli Kangas
  • Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
  • Good Night Tiger by Timothy Knapman, ill. Laura Hughes
  • Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
  • Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton


Little By Little

  • Little Bo Peep and Her Bad, Bad Sheep by A.L. Wegwerth, ill. Luke Flowers
  • Little Bot and Sparrow by Jake Parker
  • Little Brother Pumpkin Head by Lucia Panzieri, ill. Samantha Enria
  • Little Elliot, Big Fun by Mike Curato
  • Little Fox, Lost by Nicole Snitselaar, ill. Alicia Padron
  • Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts by Emily Gravett
  • Little Night Cat by Sonja Danowski
  • Little One by Jo Weaver
  • Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, ill. Christian Robinson
  • Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith
  • The Little Tree That Would Not Share by Nicoletta Costa
  • The Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin


My Favorite Series: The “Bear Who” books

  • The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep by Caroline Nastro, ill. Vanya Nastanlieva
  • The Bear Who Wasn’t There by LeUyen Pham
  • The Bear Who Wasn’t There and the Fabulous Forest by Oren Lavie, ill. Wolf Erlbruch


Best of the “How To” Books

  • How to Be a Hero by Florence Parry Heide, ill. Chuck Groenink
  • How to Be Famous by Michal Shalev
  • How to Build a Snow Bear by Eric Pinder, ill. Stephanie Graegin
  • How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace, ill. Andy Elkerton
  • How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder
  • How to Track a Truck by Jason Carter Eaton, ill. John Rocco


When In Rome

  • When a Dragon Moves in Again by Jodi Moore, ill. Howard McWilliam
  • When an Elephant Falls in Love by David Cali, ill. Alice Lotti
  • When I Am With Dad by Kimball Crossley, ill. Katie Gamb
  • When the World Is Dreaming by Rita Gray, ill. Kenard Pak
  • When Your Elephant Comes to Play by Ale Barba


As It Turns Out, “I” Have a Lot of Thoughts on the Matter

  • I Am a Baby by Kathryn Madeline Allen, photos by Rebecca Gizicki
  • I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
  • I Am the Mountain Mouse by Gianna Marino
  • I Have Cerebral Palsy by Mary Beth Springer
  • I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora
  • I Heart You by Meg Fleming, ill. Sarah Jane Wright
  • I Love Cake by Tammi Sauer, ill. Angie Rozelaar
  • I Love Lemonade by Mark and Rowan Sommerset
  • I Love You Always by Astrid Desbordes, ill. Pauline Martin
  • I Love You Americanly by Lynn Parrish Sutton, ill. Melanie Hope Greenberg
  • I Promise by David McPhail
  • I See and See by Ted Lewin
  • I Wanna Be a Great Big Dinosaur
  • I Want a Monster by Elise Grave
  • I Will Love You Anyway by Mick and Chloe Inkpen
  • I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt, ill. Scott Magoon
  • I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work by Doyin Richards
  • I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
  • I’ll Catch You If You Fall by Mark Sperring, ill. Layn Marlow
  • I’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail
  • I’m Lucky I Found You by Guido van Genechten


Too Many Questions!!!

  • Are You Sure, Mother Bear? by Amy Hest, ill. Lauren Tobia
  • Can I Eat That? by Joshua David Stein, ill. Julia Rothman
  • Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? by Dan Richards, ill. Jeff Newman
  • Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
  • Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow
  • Have You Seen My Trumpet? by Michael Escoffier, ill. Kris Di Giacomo
  • How Will You Change the World? by Linda Laudone and S. Jane Scheyder, ill. Jacob Scheyder
  • Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas
  • Playtime? by Jeff Mack
  • A Toucan Can, Can You? by Danny Adlerman, ill. Various
  • What Can I Be? by Ann Rand, ill. Ingrid Fiksdahl King
  • What Color Is the Wind? by Anne Herbauts
  • What Could It Be? by Sally Fawcett
  • What Do You Love About You? by Karen Lechelt
  • What’s a Banana? by Marilyn Singer, ill. Greg Pizzoli
  • What’s an Apple? by Marilyn Singer, ill. Greg Pizzoli
  • Where Did They Go? A Spotting Book by Emily Bornoff
  • Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres, ill. Christian Slade
  • Where Do They Go? by Julia Alvarez, ill. Sabra Field
  • Where, Oh Where, Is Rosie’s Chick? by Pat Hutchins
  • Where’s the Elephant? by Barroux
  • Where’s the Party? by Ruth Chan
  • Who Broke the Teapot? by Bill Slavin
  • Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane, ill. K.G. Campbell
  • Why? by Nikolai Popov
  • Why Do Cats Have Tails? by David Ling, ill. Stephanie Thatcher
  • Will You Be My Friend? by Susan Lurie, ill. Murray Head
  • Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon? by Barney Saltzberg


And In Conclusion . . .




About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Great list! That’s an amazing goal by the way. Seeing patterns in titles helps when writing picture books, too. We learn to find a fresh take on an old theme, and (hopefully) write a book that will sell.

  2. What a fantastic view of the nature of the kidlit publishing industry! thanks for this, Betsy! 😀

  3. I love lists like these. I have noticed that whenever I check out a pile of PBs from the library, There are always a couple with similar titles.

  4. Ian David Robertson says:

    Wonderful AND entertaining list!
    I consciously strive to avoid the obvious, so this will be a great help, thanks.

  5. Andrea Mack says:

    Very interesting!

  6. Love this! Thanks for (compiling) and sharing!

  7. Is it “Is That Wise Pig?” or “Is That Wise, Pig?”

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Now imagining a book containing a character by the name of “Wise Pig”. I wouldn’t mind reading that book too. Meanwhile, off to correct . . .

  8. This is a hoot! Thank you!

  9. Jodi Moore says:

    WOW! What a fantabulous list of picture books…thank you sooo much for the mention (Dragon is honored to be in such great company!) *runs to bookstore to add to MY ever-growing shelf* Hugs!