By: Linda Gauld-Elichko, Youth Services Coordinator
One of the greatest things about being a children’s librarian is getting to read picture books. Sometimes the humor in them seems just a little too sophisticated for kids, sometimes the book itself seems just a little too dark, or sometimes the book is just so, so funny on a day when an adult really needs a laugh. This is when I realize that a picture book maybe – just maybe – is really meant for adults. (Don’t tell anybody!) Here are a dozen picture books for those of us over age 10.
Chicken Clicking by Jeanne Willis
One night Chick hopped into the farmer’s house and had a little browse on his computer. Soon she’s bought a funny teapot, a frilly blouse, scooters for the sheep, and a car for the cows. She just can’t stop clicking! She meets a friend online and off she goes to meet him (without telling Mum or Dad). But the friend she thought she’d meet turns out to be not quite what Chick expected.
Company’s Coming by Arthur Yorinks
Are you a New Yorker? Are you friends with some New Yorkers? Have you ever lived on Long Island? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you’ll be laughing as chaos erupts when Moe and Shirley invite some visitors from outer space to stay for dinner with the relatives.
Company’s Going by Arthur Yorinks
The sequel to Company’s Coming and just as funny (if not even more so), Shirley’s famous meatballs find her serving as caterer to an out-of-this-world wedding.
Frankenstein by Ludworst Bemonster
Actually written by Ludwig Bemelmans, the author of the Madeline series, Frankenstein is the scariest of all the monsters in Miss Devel’s castle until one night when he loses his head. If you enjoy this book, just wait ‘til you read Frankenstein’s Fright Before Christmas!
Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians! by Jason Carter Eaton
If you’ve ever had a child whose room makes you fear a visit from the local Board of Health, you will feel right at home. An untidy kid sets off a pest invasion like no other in this picture book about the perils of messy habits. This cautionary tale shows you that being a slob might in fact be a big deal, a really big deal. Maybe even a BARBARIAN-size deal!
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
Moving to a new house can bring many surprises: a leaky roof, rattling pipes, maybe even a ghost. But what would you do if you found a crocodile in the bathroom? Come along as the Primm family takes possession of their new house and of Lyle, the artistic and helpful crocodile who already lives there.
Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner by Finn Buckley & Michael Buckley
This is a choose-your-own-ending tale of a distinguished lobster and a fateful dinner party. So happy to be invited, Lenny brings thoughtful gifts for the hosts and enthusiasm for whatever’s in store. But when he’s greeted with a pot of boiling water and lobster bibs, Lenny [and readers] must quickly decide: should he stay or should he go?
No More Naps! by Chris Grabenstein
Any adult who’s ever had to deal with a toddler (and wished that they themselves could have a nap) will certainly recognize what’s going on here. When stubborn Annalise Devin McFleece will not take a nap, the entire town decides to take one for her.
Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border
Everybody feels out of place and overlooked sometimes, including adults. What’s a little piece of bread to do when he’s feeling lonely? Peanut Butter sets out with his soccer ball to find a friend after moving to a new town, but everyone from Hamburger to Soup seems to be too busy to play. If you don’t find yourself saying “Hello, I’m new here, and I’d like to play…” in your head for hours after reading this book, you didn’t really pay attention.
Stop That Pickle! by Peter Armour
Full disclosure: this book is one of Miss Linda’s Top 25 picture books of all time. I’ve worked in libraries for over 20 years and made sure that each library had a copy. One of my other Top 25 picture books is Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay for Dinner – just so you know who you’re dealing with here. If Stop That Pickle! doesn’t make you laugh, you’ve lost your sense of humor. If you fail to hear the phrase “Stop that pickle!” in your dreams that night, something’s very wrong.
Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli
Tallulah the Tooth Fairy, a businesswoman who runs one of the most successful tooth collecting organizations in the world, finds herself unexpectedly stumped when six-year-old Ballard Burchell leaves a note instead of his tooth under his pillow. Not too many kids will see the irony in that board room meeting…
365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental
WARNING: There is no way to hide the fact that you’re reading this picture book. It is the tallest one in the library! When a box containing a penguin arrives anonymously on New Year’s Day, a family of four is puzzled, but as they continue to receive one penguin each day their problems–and food budget, and storage issues–are multiplied.