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Picture Books and Summaries

Picture Books and Summaries

Children’s picture books convey information relating to children’s vivid events and help boost comprehension of things happening around their surroundings. Picture books contain features that attract children, and adults guide them in reading them, thereby enabling children to engage with these characteristics, including pop-ups, flaps, pull-tabs, and other attractive features contained in the books (Galda et al., 2016). Images and words used in picture books are combined in a specific way to form narratives for children and hence enormously contain style and fiction that attracts children to read them. Additionally, these books include illustrations to intensify the book artistically and draw children’s attention through the imaging feature. They contain few words, and one gets the story’s meaning by looking at the pictures.

Watch Out for the Crocodile by Ellis-Barrett Louise, 2014

Watch Out for the Crocodile by Ellis-Barrett Louise and published by The School Librarian is a delightful picture book that gives a story about a father and daughter’s trip into the wilderness. The author aims to address the theme of how children can create adventurous opportunities, helping parents see the world differently. Little Tora accompanies her father on a trip, and the goal of this trip is to trek, camp, and view animal spotting areas. Tora warned her dad that no more coffee drinking or talking to mobile phones would be allowed during this adventure (Ellis-Barrett, 2014). Tora is dedicated to helping her dad see life from a different perspective by helping him forget about all life’s troubles and see life from another perspective. Therefore, Watch Out for the Crocodile presents a sweet and unforgettable tale of father-daughter bonding as they go camping in the forest. Notably, the more children develop their creativity, the more they grow their curiosity about knowing more, helping shape their language acquisition. The books help children to grow their imagination, like when the author narrates how Tora saved her dad from their encounter with the crocodile.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, 1963

The Snowy Day is a classic ordinary picture book used to teach children literature. The book was authored by Ezra Jack Keats in 1963 and uses illustrations of beautifully orchestrated cut-outs, watercolors, and collages to help children understand the story’s message. This is a simple tale about a boy waking up to discover snow had fallen at night (Keats, 1962). The story captures the winter season and how big buildings can be seen covered in ice despite the shining traffic lights. The major theme covered in the book is the magic and wonders of a lovely snowfall, as seen through the eyes of a child. The story revolves around young Peter, an African-American boy, and his encounter with the fallen snow. Peter explores the neighborhood and discovers the snow has covered all the buildings. Keats uses such illustrations to pave the way for more inclusive and diverse children’s literature. Every page of this book is filled with soft, warm, and realistic pictures; looking at Peter’s images while in his parent’s house, one can feel the warmth of the house as he is dressed in pajamas and the presence of wallpapers in their home.

The Chicken-chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington and Shelley Jackson, 2007

The Chicken-chasing Queen of Lamar County by Harrington and Jackson features the story of an African-American farm girl who enjoys chasing a chicken. Every morning, the self-appointed chicken chaser narrates her experience chasing chicken to grey-haired Big Mama on the previous day as she heads out to pursue her prey (Harrington & Jackson, 2007). This picture book utilizes strategies such as poetic language to explore the tactics of this young girl while chasing a chicken. For example, in one of the sentences, the authors say, “Then I sneaky hide behind Big Mama’s Wheelbarrow to make myself small, small, small.” Another aspect of the book is the explicit use of language, such as “Wash away the dreaming,” “as still as sunlight,” and “plump as a Sunday purse.” The girl is determined to achieve her dream of chasing chicken regardless of the issues she encounters. The book is an exemplary piece of art narrated using captivating images, intending to increase the creativity and imagination of children as they read about the girl’s encounter with the chicken and her determination to chase and capture them.

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach, 2019

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach is one of the popular new editions of classic picture books recently published by Scholastic Press. The book is about the biggest challenge every child faces-being patient. The author uses images to deliver a story about a group of caterpillars scampering up a tree to metamorphosis. However, one of the caterpillars is still new to this transformation (Bush, 2019). In addition, this caterpillar is impatient and does not know he could become a butterfly within a short time. The caterpillar keeps asking himself, “Is I a butterfly yet?” His fellow caterpillars urge him to be patient because the transformation might take long (Bush, 2019). Ross Burach uses the opportunity to enlighten young children about the importance of patience. The book uses goofy, fun images that make children enjoy the story. The whole story is told using cartoon bubbles, dialogue, and iconic style of illustrations to provide not only an important life lesson to children but also entertain them as they read simple literature.

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer, 2017

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill is an important classic children’s picture book published by Templar Publishing (Zommer, 2017). This is a story that takes place in the forest, incorporating several animal characters. The “thing” described in the images of the story is a VW bus. However, animals are unable to comprehend what this “thing” is, hence creating a sense of danger. Out of speculation, the wolves decide to frighten it away. They howl at it throughout the night, all to no avail. However, the small animals, including the foxes, badgers, and weasels, decide to dig around it and bury it. Nonetheless, this frightens everyone, and they decide to run and seek advice from the Wise Owls, who suggest that the very small creatures form the “BIG BUG FLYING SQUAD” (Zommer, 2017). Through this method, they could use these small animals to understand things. The story represents itself through revealing, well-detailed, playful pictures that heighten the humor, making it more interesting. Children can use this book to better their skills in literature because it includes factual, realistic stories that help improve children’s reading skills.

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell, 2016

Clifford the Big Red Dog is another classic picture book authored by Bridwell (2016) and published by Paramount Pictures on August 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. The story is about a young girl and her love for a tiny puppy named Clifford. The girl is determined to walk with the dog until he grows to become an enormous big dog. The middle scholar, Emily Elizabeth Howard, 12 years old, struggles to juggle between home responsibilities and school duties. The girl struggles at school due to constant bullying by a popular girl at her school named Florence. However, the girl finds comfort in one of the animal rescuers, Mr. Bridwell, who introduces Emily to a small red puppy (Bridwell, 2016). As she goes along with her normal routine, touring the place, she discovers a small red puppy destined to become her best friend in a small magical animal rescue center. The main theme covered in the book is the importance of having unique people who can change the world through their simple deeds. The book also warns about the consequences of violence and bullying at school and how it affects others. Emily found refuge in the hands of Mr. Bridwell; therefore, children should be taught the importance of treating others well.

The Pilot and the Little Prince by Peter Sís, 2014

The Pilot and the Little Prince is a beautiful children’s narrative delivered using simple words and images to deliver valuable life lessons. The story revolves around the life of an aviator and a little boy from a distant planet (Stevenson, 2014). Both the characters are stranded in the desert, finding ways to get back home. The book conveys a message about humanity. At the beginning of the story, the narrator complains about how adults fail to comprehend the essence of life (Stevenson, 2014). The author narrates this by using an image of a boa that has eaten an elephant. However, when they claim the image looks like a hat, they understand that they have lost their imagination. The narrator, an aviator, experiences difficulties in life when his plane crashes in the Sahara Desert. Additionally, the story uses captivating images to warn children against bad habits. For example, the narrator says, “Ego, vanity, bad habits, and mindless following lead to people succumbing to these challenges.” On the contrary, he urges children to stay humble and curious and constantly reflect on one’s life.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, 1963

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a classic story that revolves around the main character, a little boy named Max (Sendak & Schickele,1963). After his mother sends him to bed without taking dinner, he falls asleep and immediately transforms into a moonlit forest surrounded by a vast ocean. Max sees a white boat waiting for him and is excited to travel away to escape his mother’s strict rules. After traveling for a while, Max comes across wild things. The wild things are big but, at the same time, tame creatures. Max is greeted by these wild things who try to scare him by roaring, stomping, and showing their teeth and claws (Sendak & Schickele,1963). However, Max shows courage and does not flinch. As he continues interacting with the wild things, they build an amazing bond and declare Max their king. Max is able to command things. However, as time goes by, Max starts missing home. He plans to go back and ask for forgiveness from his mother for being rude and disobeying her. The story, therefore, teaches children the importance of respecting their elders. Children should be taught the importance of abiding by the rules to avoid finding themselves in problems.

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens is a charming story about a young girl named Iris whose friendship with a large lion causes an uproar wherever he goes. The poor lion faces the wrath of the people while strolling the market square to buy a hat, and he is chased for fear that he will attack people (Stephens, 2014). However, while the lion strives to seek refuge in a nearby shelter, he meets the brave young girl Iris. Following their interaction, they become great friends. However, when Iris’s mother returns home, she is forced to chase the lion into the dark, cold night. All the same, Iris is determined to find the lion regardless of the challenges of staying closer to him. The author uses the narrative aspect and captivating images to deliver the themes of friendship, acceptance, tolerance, and helping those in need. The story touches on the aspect of imagination and play, thereby allowing young children to grasp the content because of the cheerful language of expression used by the author.

Frog on a Log by Kes Gray, 2015

Frog on a Log by Kes Gray covers the topic of doing the right thing. The author uses rhyming animal names to deliver the theme. For example, he says there are plenty of cats on mats and frogs on logs (Gray, 2015). The author uses childhood memories as his inspiration to create this story. He narrates about the experience of frogs sitting on logs. However, not all frogs love sitting here because some say they get splinters. The frog asks other animals about the comfort of animals sitting on assigned stations. According to the cat, every animal has a specific place where they enjoy sitting. As such, this is an interesting story that captures the attention of young readers because it is illustrated using colorful cartoony illustrations to depict a sense of humor (Gray, 2015). The facial expressions of the animals make the reader more entertained. However, the author not only aims to educate young children but also creates awareness of the importance of always doing the right thing. Sitting on the log is an illustration of how animals are fond of following rules. Therefore, children should also be educated on the importance of doing the right thing.


Bridwell, N. (2016). Clifford the Big Red Dog: Vintage hardcover edition. Scholastic Inc.

Bush, E. (2019). The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach. Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books72(5), 199–200.

Ellis-Barrett, L. (2014). Watch Out for the Crocodile. The School Librarian62(2), 105.

Galda, L., Liang, L. A., & Cullinan, B. E. (2016). Literature and the child. Cengage Learning.

Gray, K. (2015). Frog on a Log? Scholastic Press.

Harrington, J. N., & Jackson, S. (2007). The chicken-chasing queen of Lamar County.

Keats, E. (1962). The snowy day. Penguin.

Sendak, M., & Schickele, P. (1963). Where the wild things are (p. 48). New York: Harper & Row.

Stephens, H. (2014). How to hide a lion from grandma. Scholastic UK.

Stevenson, D. (2014). The pilot and the little prince: The life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís. Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books67(11), 596-596.

Zommer, Y. (2017). The big blue thing on the hill. Templar Publishing.


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Picture Books and Summaries

Picture Books and Summaries

Story: Texts and Resources:
● L. Galda, L. Sipe, & L. Liang (2016). Literature and the child. (9th ed.). Independence, KY: Cengage Learning
ISBN-10: 1305668847 ISBN-13: 9781305668843

Read Chapter 6&7

Directions: Select 10 classic picture books and read them. For each selection, include the title, author, and publication date (if you have them). Below that, provide a simple, one-paragraph summary of each book.

Put together a simple title page (name, date, course number). Begin your summaries on a separate page. Make sure that your assignment is typed using a 12-size Times New Roman font.

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