Every year at the start of the year I write a list of the new releases which I am most excited to read that year but this year I only re...

Exciting Upcoming Picture Book Releases

Friday, June 05, 2020 BookBairn 4 Comments

Every year at the start of the year I write a list of the new releases which I am most excited to read that year but this year I only really looked at books for the first half of the year (2020s list can be found here). So I've had a look over the releases for the next few months that I could find information about and picked some of the books that I am looking forward to reading. This list is far from exhaustive as writing them all (and for you reading them) would be exhausting so I've just stuck with the top bundle (and I'll no doubt kick myself later for having missed something off the list). Without further ado, here are the books that I'm excited about... 

Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival (9 June)

I love the previous books by Tom Percival - in particular Perfectly Norman and Ruby's Worry and how he handles tricky subjects with ease in a way that children will understand. This new book is about a little girl, Meesha who has a talent for making things, however she struggles with making new friends. With BookBairn starting school in August (or whenever things return to normal after then) I think this will be a great one and will be comforting to her as she embarks on that new journey and with the prospect of making new friends. A warm and affectionate look at the joys and difficulties of making and keeping friends, relating to others, and finding your place in the world

Mary Blair's Unique Flair by Amy Novesky & Brittany Lee  (24 June)

This has been on my wish list since I first heard about it months ago! The story of Mary Blair and her work at Disney is truly inspiring and I feel like this is one for my bookshelf. She collected that color and used it in her concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan, and even the It's a Small World attraction at Disneyland. This beautifully illustrated picture book shares Mary's story, in all its inspiring flair. This is one that I really want to enjoy poring over the illustrations and I feel like a collection of 'Mary Blair' books might be on order (I mean "in order" - slip of the tongue there!)

Mini Rabbit Must Help by John Bond (25 June)

BookBairn and I really love Mini Rabbit: Not Lost the first adventure of that adorable wide eyed bunny with it's truly hilarious ending. We laugh and laugh still when reading it. So we can't wait to see what Mini Rabbit gets up to next. Mini Rabbit has a letter to post and he MUST deliver it! If this is half as funny as they first one, and it sounds like it is going to be, we will love it!

Green on Green by Diane White & Felicita Sala (25 June)

Sometimes I find myself just drawn to a book! And the world in this just draws me in through the beautiful illustration. I actually haven't read the previous book Blue on Blue but I can seem me being tempted by both in the coming month. A child is on a colorful journey through the seasons, filled with yellow flowers and blue coral in spring and summer and orange pumpkins and green pine forests in fall and winter. All the while, there is another colorful change on the horizon—the birth of a new sibling. I love the sound of this - that it has a deeper message too as well as being beautiful!

Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bentley & Steven Lenton (2 July)

Anyone who has followed me for a while will know that I just adore Steven Lenton's illustrations - they are so bright and cheerful and often packed with a little something extra. And we really loved his pairing with Peter Bentley to retell 101 Dalmatians so a new book by them is a real treat! When a giant octopus arrives, the children LOVE their new friend; he makes the perfect slide and is fantastic at football! But some of the grown-ups aren't so pleased. Will they drive him away . . . or will they realise just how helpful an octopus can be? Doesn't that sound like a fun friendship story? And helpful for children starting or restarting school too!

I Can Catch a Monster by Bethan Woollvin (9 July)

I don't often agree to do blog tours anymore as I find being time committed can be a bit of a stretch especially with full time childcare requirements. However, I jumped at the chance to join this one as I adore Bethan Woollvin's fairytale retellings and am also lusting after her Meet the Planets book. Her books are packed full of girl power, wit and humour so I know this is going to be good. How do I know? Because I already have a copy! When her brothers tell her she's too little to be out searching and fighting monsters Bo sets out on her own. Can she defeat the furious griffin, conquer the hideous kraken and triumph over the monstrous dragon? In fact, she befriends them! There's a lot more fun and frolic to it than that and a lesson for her 'stinky brothers' but in short this one is brilliant fun! 

Spaghetti Hunters by Morag Hood (23 July)

Another book which I have agreed to join the blog tour for is for Morag Hood's new release. We adore all her books! Last year we got the chance to meet her at the Edinburgh Book Festival and she was so lovely and I loved her advocacy for children's literature as well as the support and advice she gave for aspiring writers and illustrators. It was also fascinating to hear her talk about her own books critically. Anyway... there was no way I would turn down a chance to take part in the tour! Duck has lost his spaghetti, and Tiny Horse has a plan to save the day. But what exactly do you bring to a Spaghetti Hunt? A spade, a fishing rod, a jar of peanut butter, cutlery and some binoculars, obviously. Searching far and wide, Tiny Horse catches worms, a ball of string, even a snake – but no spaghetti. Also the premise for the story sounds hilarious!

Some paperbacks:

I also noticed that there are some fabulous paperbacks being released which I missed in their original hardback. I love hardback books and find them so beautiful but as they are more expensive I love that in the UK we also have a strong paperback market for picture books making them more affordable so I will be looking out for these to add to my shelf.

The Tree Keepers: Flock by Gemma Koomen (2 June)

I admired the hardback of this in our local bookshop and to be honest I'm still quite tempted by the hardback edition which has a different title Flock and cover art (which I do think is more beautiful). However, this does the same job and tells the same wonderful story! Sylvia prefers to be alone rather than play noisy games with the other Tree Keepers. But one day, she finds a baby bird in her favourite hiding place. As Sylvia and the bird become friends, can she learn that sometimes, things are better when you have someone to share them with? This beautiful debut is a tribute to community and friendship. And with the bairns fascination for birds and our current home school bird project I think it would be a good fit for our shelves!

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (4 June)

I have seen the US bloggers raving about this one and for some reason I never got my hands on the hardback when it was released. When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn't feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that's not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes. Sounds like a timely book for the moment and one that I will enjoy reading for myself as much as with the bairns.

Blue by Britta Teckentrup (9 July)

I can't believe I missed the release of a Britta Teckentrup book! I love all the artwork but we don't actually own many of her story books and tend to have more of her poetic and narrative non-fiction titles. So I would love to add this to our list. Blue lives in the darkest depths of the forest. He has long forgotten how to fly, sing and play. The other birds swoop and soar in the sky above him, the sun warming their feathers. But Blue never joins in. Until, one day, Yellow arrives. Step by step, Yellow reaches out to Blue. With patience and kindness. And little by little, everything changes... Sounds fabulous! And that cover art just draws me right in!

My Butterfly Bouquet by Nicola Davies (6 August)

Nicola Davies is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. I just adore the variety in her writing. And to top it off this one is about butterflies! A few years ago we went to our local butterfly house at the botanic gardens (actually we go every year expect this year) and I noticed there were few really good books about butterflies. So this looks brilliant to fill that gap! See how a little girl recovering from poor health finds wonder in nature and delights in planting a garden with her father to attract a fascinating array of butterflies. Exploring the life stages of butterflies, their importance to our ecosystems and the revitalising power of nature, this book is a heart-warming information story for children who love the outdoors and all its incredible creatures.

Most People by ... & Jennifer E. Morris (7 August)

The world is quite tumultuous at the moment with all the anti-racism marches and protests I think it can be quite worrying for children. And to top it off we are teaching our children to be socially distanced from others which could affect their viewpoint on the world. So we need to find a way to teach our children about people, about humanity, about acceptance and generosity and kindness. And though things can be scary, most people are caring and kind. Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris's emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah's words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well intended. Most People is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media. A book we really really need!

When doing my research, there really were so many great books being released in the next couple of months but I had to narrow it down somehow! I hope you agree I picked some good ones. (I have no doubt missed some off my list in error too!)

Happy Reading!
Kim, BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner xxx

*Release dates are for UK release provided by publisher but may be subject to changes.

Sections in italics from Amazon description.


  1. I can’t believe that BookBairn is starting school in August. This collection of new releases looks great. They all sound fascinating in their own way and I’m sure BookBairn will love them.

  2. A great collection of books there.
    I'm drawn to the cover of Green on Green too, and I think my grand-daughter would approve of I Can Catch a Monster.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Fabulous collection of picture books. I'll always love picture books even though my kids are grown out of them. The Little Man still likes a story read to him every now and then. #KLTR

  4. Such amazing new titles.thank you for these beautiful recommendations