The New Wacky, Weaselly, Walrus-y Canon

Article by brooke

I grew up reading a steady dose of warm, fuzzy books featuring stuffed animals bent on some goal or other: Corduroy Bear looking for his brass button, the Velveteen Rabbit longing to be real, Winnie-the-Pooh doing whatever it is he does--mostly stuffing his face with honey and occasionally stopping to chat with Piglet. Dorothy Parker, that acid-tongued critic in leopard print, once said, “To speak against Mr. Milne puts one immediately in the ranks of those who set fire to orphanages.” I’m not suggesting any orphan fires, but it might be time to update the canon--and I think D.P. would agree. Each of these books exemplifies the traits I like best in a picture book: animal protagonists (like the handcrafted mice in I WISH I HAD A PET), minimal words (the wordlessly wonderful WHERE’S WALRUS) and tons of delightful details (those WEASELS are up to all kinds of shenanigans). 


Picture books are no longer just for children. In these wacky and wonderful picture books, adults will find as much to love as the kids they’re reading to--making these picture books sure to charm the whole family. Especially if that family likes weird hand-crafted mice and heart-warming tales of friendship between an un-huggable cactus and a lonely rock.

Hug Me Cover Image
ISBN: 9781909263499
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Flying Eye Books - September 16th, 2014

Poor Felipe! All he wants is a hug, but his formal, personal-space-respecting family leaves him in the lurch. Watch as this frustrated cactus tries to make his way in the world. Funny and endearing, Felipe’s journey will delight readers young and old.

Where's Walrus? Cover Image
By Stephen Savage, Stephen Savage (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780439700498
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - February 2011

This wily walrus is on the lam from the law. After escaping the zoo, our hero tries to elude his captors by blending in with his surroundings--whether he’s in a shop window, laying bricks with construction workers, or throwing up his tail along with a row of can-can girls. A story without text, these pictures are worth at least a thousand words.

I Wish I Had a Pet Cover Image
By Maggie Rudy, Maggie Rudy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442453326
Availability: Backordered
Published: Beach Lane Books - July 2014

A charming dollhouse of a book that serves as a guide to responsible pet ownership. Sure, it’s a little creepy, but you’re going to love it! It’s full of funny little details: see that desk? The legs are made of matchsticks. Trying to keep your pet turtle clean? Gussy him up with a can of Turtle Wax. Halfway between stop-motion animation and taxidermy.

Tea Rex Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670014309
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - April 9th, 2013

Endearing and fun, Molly Idle’s TEA REX will make you want to sip a cup of tea yourself and maybe have a crumpet. Formatted as a how-to guide to throwing the perfect afternoon tea, the young host and hostess learn that even armed with impeccable manners and a selection of cakes, a tea party can still go wildly awry.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316200639
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 3rd, 2013

Mr. Tiger wants to loosen up, have fun, be wild. He romps from Victorian stuffiness to full blown wilderness only to find out he’s happiest somewhere in between. Brown’s expressive illustrations are full of humor and warmth.

Staff Pick Badge
Weasels Cover Image
By Elys Dolan, Elys Dolan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763671006
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Nosy Crow - February 25th, 2014

These weasels are bent on world domination, but something has gone terribly wrong with their machine. Watch as the weasels scurry to and fro, trying to find a solution. Full of hilarious details that reward repeat readings, Weasels is one adults will enjoy as much as kids.

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