The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Awesome August Books

There was NO way I could highlight all the wonderful authors and illustrators and their amazing books which release in August. So I decided to do a quick shout out for a few of the books I wish I had space for. Each of these three books are stunning and absolutely worth a read and a place in one's library.

Curious Creatures Working With Tools by Zoë Armstrong, illustrated by Anja Susan (Flying Eye Books/Nowbrow Ltd. 8/2/2022) (Ages 3-7 ) - Some animals are known to use rocks to open shells (sea otters) or crack open nuts (chimpanzee), but what about using a car to crack nuts? This book explores lots of interesting ways that animals use tools. Showing how they learn to solve problems, plan for future use, and teach their young to use the tools. There's even a bird whose learned to use fire to scare prey out of grasses. Side bars explain how their tool use resembles our own tools and what is in each animal's "tool kit." With lots of cool facts and beautiful illustrations, it's a fascinating nonfiction book about many animals around the world.

Synopsis: From apes to otters to clever crows, this beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture book tells stories of amazing tool-using animals that use objects in crafty ways.


In Earth’s jungles and deserts and deep beneath the sea curious creatures are hard at work. Some resourceful animals use tools to get the job done, just like you do. There are bottlenose dolphins holding sponges to protect their snouts, chimps wielding stone hammers and tailorbirds stitching leaves with spider silk.


Learn how and why these animals toil with tools, and discover that you have more in common with them than you ever imagined…

a room of your own: A Story Inspired by Virginia Woolf's Famous Essay by Beth Kephart, illustrated by Julia Breckenreid (Abrams 8/9/ 2022) (Ages 4-8) - I LOVE this cover! The book as a tent is intriguing, especially with the butterflies made from book pages is delightful. Full of wonderfully imaginative illustrations, this book encourages the reader to find their place "to think, to dream, to be...." regardless of whether that's somewhere inside (under a table) to outside (snuggled by a tree), just find time to imagine and create.

Synopsis: A picture book about the places we go to create, inspired by Virginia Woolf and her noted essay.


Sometimes Virginia Woolf wrote her stories in a garden shed. Sometimes she wrote them among stacks of books in a cool basement. And you? Where do you go to think, to dream, to be? The shade beneath a tall tree? The brick step on a city stoop? The cozy spot beneath the kitchen table? Or inside the night’s deep dark? Not all rooms require four walls and a roof. Inspired by the writer Virginia Woolf and her celebrated essay, “A Room of One’s Own,” A Room of Your Own is about the importance of claiming a space for oneself.

The Three Canadian Pigs by Jocelyn Watkinson, illustrated by Marcus Cutler (Sleeping Bear Press 8/15/2022) (Ages 6-7) - mix The Three Little Pigs, a Canadian showdown (hockey of course), honor, and humor and you get a unique and funny fairy tale retelling. Fun illustrations and a hunger satisfying ending for all make this a great addition to fairy tale collections.

Synopsis: The three pigs are just finishing up a hockey practice session when the Big Bad Wolf drops by and declares them Canadian bacon--and lunch. When north country bad boys Bear and Moose join the fray, the pigs invite the gang to settle their disputes The Canadian Way--with a rousing game of hockey. Will the big guys overtake the pigs with brute force? Or will the pigs skate circles around the lumbering baddies? One thing is certain, the trial is likely to end with a meal (poutine, please!). But will the piggies be on the menu?

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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