Book Notes: 3 Picture Books About Noticing the Good Around You

PB to Notice

In my talk at WSRA last week, I spent a good deal of time on writing notebooks and how essential they are to my writing process. As Ralph Fletcher says in A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You:

Keeping a writer’s notebook can help you be more alive to the world. It can help you develop the habit of paying attention to the little picture and images of the world you might otherwise ignore.”

Here are three recent picture books that celebrate that same sense of wonder. Any of these could be a great way to launch writing notebooks.


Sidewalk FlowersSidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson

In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects city wildflowers and gifts them to things around her, while her distracted father cruises through his day.


WaitWait by Antoinette Portis

Just two words: “Hurry” and “Wait” create the plot for this story of a mom and her son hustling to catch a train. A great reminder that sometimes things are worth slowing down for. Also perfect for talking about perspectives with little ones.


Last Stop on Market StreetLast Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Surely, you’ve heard about this Newbery-winning/Caldecott Honor-ing picture book by now. But each time I reread the journey of CJ and his grandmother’s bus ride, I’m struck by the power of the words and the message.