Tails & Tales -- Picture Books

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? – Steve Jenkins

A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood? Turn the page to find out which marvelous animal these attributes belong to. With six full spreads illustrated in cut-paper collage and an end glossary with even more fantastic facts, readers will learn about species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, and arthropods. 

PIC Jenkins

What Pet Should I Get? – Dr. Seuss

A boy wants all of the pets in a pet store but he and his sister can choose only one. End notes discuss Dr. Seuss's pets, his creative process, and the discovery of the manuscript and illustrations for "What Pet Should I Get?" 

PIC Seuss

The Bear’s Song – Benjamin Chaud

Papa Bear wakes up to find his son missing, and his search leads him to an opera house and a command performance. 

PIC Chaud

Suriya Swims – Bhagavan Antle

Although orangutans are not supposed to like water, an orangutan living at a wildlife preserve in South Carolina plays with her dog friend in the bathtub and learns to swim and dive in the pool. Based on a true story. 

PIC Antle

Where’s My Teddy? – Jez Alborough

When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem. 

PIC Alborough

Owl Bat, Bat Owl – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

An owl and a bat family endeavor to share living spaces on the same tree branch, where initial wariness is overcome by the curiosity of the families' babies on a wild and stormy night that compels them to set aside their apprehensions. 

PIC Fitzpatrick

Rattlesnake Dance – Jim Arnosky

A rattlesnake slithers into a cave and shakes and wriggles in a rattlesnake dance of pure bliss, while other hissing snakes join the underground ball. 

PIC Arnosky

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night Lights – W. H. Beck

Explains bioluminescence and profiles some of the bioluminescent animals and living things around the world, from the firefly and anglerfish to foxfire mushrooms and the vampire squid. 

JNF 572.43

Camp Tiger – Susan Choi

A talking tiger approaches a family during their annual end-of-summer camping trip and is befriended by the youngest, a boy who does not feel ready for first grade. 

PIC Choi

Can I Be Your Dog? – Troy Cummings

A dog looking for a home sends letters to prospective owners on Butternut Street, with surprising results. 

PIC Cummings

Play in the Wild: How Baby Animals Like to Have Fun – Lita Judge

An adorable nonfiction picture book by Lita Judge about the many ways baby animals engage in play and how play helps them grow. 

JNF 591.39 Judge

Du iz tak? – Ellis Carson

Readers are invited to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in the natural world, even the humblest back garden! With exquisitely -- detailed illustrations that will appeal to children and art-lovers alike, and a wonderfully playful invented language, we soon find ourselves speaking "Bug" ... Du iz tak? What is that? 

PIC Carson

Diary of a Wombat – Jackie French

Wombats are cuddly-looking, slow-moving Australian animals. Their favorite activities are eating, sleeping, and digging holes. Here, in the words of one unusually articulate wombat, is the tongue-in-cheek account of a busy week; eating, sleeping, digging holes . . . and training its new neighbors, a family of humans, to produce treats on demand.   

PIC French

Ribbit --   Rodrigo Folgueira

When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock, and says only "Ribbit!", news spreads fast, but only the wise old beetle has an explanation. 

PIC Folgueira

The Ant and the Grasshopper – Rebecca Emberley

In this version of the classic fable, a weary ant is energized by the swinging sounds of a grasshopper and his "buggy" band. 

PIC Emberley

Sergeant Reckless – Patricia McCormick

The story of the Mongolian mare, who, despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, became an American hero for her actions during the Korean War, being awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and being officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since. 

PIC McCormick

Won Ton – Lee Wardlaw

A cat arrives at a shelter, arranges to go home with a good family, and settles in with them, all the while letting them know who is boss and, finally, sharing his real name. 

JNF 8ll Wardlaw

Little Owl’s Night – Dirya Srinivasan

Little Owl enjoys a lovely night in the forest visiting his friend the raccoon, listening to the frogs croak and the crickets chirp, and watching the fog that hovers overhead. 

PIC Srinivasan (also in Board Books)

The Hiccopotomus – Aaron Zenz 

A hippopotamus with severe hiccups causes chaos until other creatures finally find the right cure. 

Basket Zenz

A Little Book of Sloth – Lucy Cooke

Hang around just like a sloth and get to know the delightful residents of the Avarios Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, the world’s largest sloth orphanage. You’ll fall in love with bad-boy Mateo, ooh and ahh over baby Biscuit, and want to wrap your arms around champion cuddle buddy Ubu! 

JNF 599.31 Cooke

Grandfather Buffalo – Jim Arnosky

When Grandfather Buffalo, the oldest bull of the herd, trails behind the group, he finds that he is joined by a newborn calf. 

PIC Arnosky

1001 Animals to Spot – Ruth Brocklehurst (Usborne)

Teeming with animals to find, count and talk about, this picture book helps develop basic word and number skills. 

PIC Brocklehurst 

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything – Elise Broach

Although his mother is a little worried, a young boy is delighted to discover that every shop in town is giving away real dinosaurs to their customers. 

PIC Broach

I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda – Steve Antony

Mr. Panda is making something, and all of his animal friends are interested--but only Penguin is willing to wait to see what it is. 

PIC Antony

Swirl by Swirl: spirals in nature – Joyce Sidman

A Caldecott medalist and a Newbery Honor winning poet celebrate the beauty and value of spirals.What makes the tiny snail shell so beautiful? Why does that shape occur in nature over and over again—in rushing rivers, in a flower bud, even inside your ear? With simplicity and grace, Joyce Sidman's poetry paired with Beth Krommes's scratchboard illustrations not only reveal the many spirals in nature—from fiddleheads to elephant tusks, from crashing waves to spiraling galaxies—but also celebrate the beauty and usefulness of this fascinating shape. 

JNF 811.54 Sidman

Count the Sheep to Sleep – Philippa Rae

In this amusing bedtime story, a little girl decides she must count sheep in order to fall asleep. Starting at ten, her sheep begin to suffer humorous mishaps as she happily drifts into dreamland. Each number illustrates sheep flying off in different directions, unable to control their skateboards, the slippery floor, or their crazy dance moves. 


A Tale of Two Beasts – Fiona Robertson

When a little girl rescues a strange beast from the woods, she takes him home. But for some reason, the little beast is not happy! There are two sides to every story, and this funny and charming tale is no exception. Author/illustrator Fiona Robertson offers both points of view in this discussion-starting tale of the importance of seeing the world in different ways. 

PIC Robertson

How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh? --  Alison Limentani

What does a little ladybug weigh? A snail? A swan? In her extraordinary picture book Alison Limentani introduces children to a fascinating world of wildlife, weight, numbers, and comparisons. Did you know that five starlings weigh the same as one squirrel—or that three rabbits weigh the same as one fox cub? Kids—and parents, too—will be amazed and amused by every surprising and intriguing page. 

JNF 590 Limentani

Oh Look, A Cake! – J. C. McKee

When Sloth and Lemur come across a giant, mouth-watering cake, they can’t believe their luck. Sloth wonders if they should tell the others, but Lemur is pretty sure they shouldn't. As Sloth lists each friend one by one, Lemur is ready with excuse after excuse as to why it’s better to keep the cake to themselves. In the end, that’s just what they do . . . but then the true owner of the cake comes along. 


Izzy & Oscar – Allison Estes

Octopuses make the best pets! Pretend pirate captain Izzy is looking for a pet when an adventurous little octopus squiggles into town. 

PIC Estes

Parents in the Pigpen, Pigs in the Tub – Amy Ehrlich

Tired of their usual routine, the farm animals insist on moving into the house, so the family decides to move into the barn, but eventually everyone tires of this new arrangement. 

PIC Ehrlich

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash – Trinka Hakes Noble

Jimmy's boa constrictor wreaks havoc on the class trip to a farm. 

PIC Noble

The Mermaid – Jan Brett

Set in the ocean off Japan, this retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears stars Kiniro, a mermaid, who finds a baby octopus's breakfast, chair, and bed just right

PIC Brett

How to Heal a Broken Wing – Bob Graham

In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices the bird lying hurt on the ground. With the help of his sympathetic mother, he gently wraps the injured bird and takes it home. Wistful and uplifting, told primarily through illustration, here is a tale of possibility — and of the souls who never doubt its power. 

PIC Graham