three books from a recent library stack that made my heart go pitter pat

I have my own special hold shelf at the local library. They had to give me one to house all the picture books I perpetually have on hold. What a wonderful thing to get all those books delivered for me to take home and borrow for free! Thank you, library and librarians!


These three really struck me as extraordinary in a recent stack.

Come see and I’ll tell you why!




Little Bird by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine (translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick of Enchanted Lion Books, who published it).



Spare, graphic, spacious illustrations. And same goes the text.

A road. A red truck. A man. A bursting bunch of colorful birds and one black one left behind.




A friendship. A shared sandwich. A change. All because of a small bird and a man who noticed.


“…little things are not made to be noticed.

They are there to be discovered.”


“There are no greater treasures than the little things.”

That line is the theme of this book. But it goes further with the illustrations. Little things are a treasure because of the rewards they contain. And sometimes those rewards are wild and big and magical. 





The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet.

This is one of those masterful examples of author and illustrator collaboration. It’s a perfect pairing of subject matter and visual style.

This picture book is a portrait of a young mind obsessed with lists, with cataloging things, with finding THE RIGHT WORD. An obsession that continues his whole life.







And the illustrations! Mixed media collage doesn’t describe or contain their wonder. Each illustration is like a box of kept treasures itself. Some have such a depth as to feel completely three dimensionally real.

Botanical. Astronomical. Little notes and watercolor portraits and big ideas.


EER-TheRightWord-IntPgs-7Imp (1)full




Breathe by Scott Magoon.


This one is sweet serenity. We follow a baby whale as it plays and swims and breathes. Beautifully, majestically breathes.







The “Breathe” spreads make you take a breath yourself. Stop. Go still. Appreciate. My favorite other page is:


“Listen to the sea. Sing.”

There’s a hint of drama, but mostly one lovely day punctuated by deep breathes above the surface (we could all learn a lot from this little whale!).




It’s a perfect bedtime book with its blue hue, wide expanses of whales and sea, and a slow transition to a dark, serene night.




7 Responses to three books from a recent library stack that made my heart go pitter pat

  1. I’ve got the Roget book on request at the library. Busy tapping my toes until it arrives. I love the little blue whale book. We all need a reminder to slow down and breathe, don’t we?

  2. Romelle Broas says:

    I’m waiting for my local library to give me a shelf of my own like you! I, too, have the biggest hold request. Thanks for these book recommendations.

  3. Joy Corcoran says:

    Thanks for reminding me of these books. I’ve been meaning to put them on hold at my library, now it’s done. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yay for the library! And yay for books that make your heart go pitter pat! Holding books is one of the library’s best services for sure.

  5. Tim says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one….when the librarian sees me coming through the door each week, he walks to the holds shelf and has my stack of picture books ready to check out by the time I reach the counter…:)

    I love pretty much everything Enchanted Lion is publishing these days. Looking forward to checking out Little Bird.

    And congrats to Eerdmans and Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet for The Right Word. I was lucky enough to see an early copy last May at BEA, and when I finished, I whispered “Caldecott” to Anita Eerdmans. Was very very happy for them, for the Caldecott and Sibert recognitions. It’s such a deserving book.

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