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5 Picture Books Adults Should Read

August 2, 2020


Here are five fantastic picture books guaranteed to enlighten and entertain readers of any age, but I'm especially talking to you, fellow adults. Ask your local children's librarian for more excellent recommendations.

Picture Books Honoring True Heroes

"Your civil rights are in these pages" declared a pastor who gave a Bible to Mrs. Mary Walker, an emancipated slave. But Mary could not read her Bible. She'd never been given the chance to learn...Not until she turned 116! Mrs. Mary Walker, who was born in 1848 on a plantation in Alabama, spent her later years living in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She used to tell people "you're never too old to learn." Now I will think of Mrs. Walker any time I get anxious about trying to learn something new.


The Cat Man of Aleppo is about so much more than taking care of stray cats. Ambulance driver Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel's selfless compassion and love for his country will make you shed tears. Yuko Shimizu's illustrations provide a realistic look into the tragedy of existing in a war-torn country, but also the beautiful moments of kindness and love. This book left me with thoughts of hope for a better future.

Catalog Book Cover

The Cat Man of Aleppo

By Irene Latham, Karim Shamsi-Basha, and Yuko Shimizu


Picture Books Go Outdoors

My little sister and I always threatened to "run away" when our parents disciplined us. We'd grab a couple paper sacks from the cupboard, put some clothes in the bottom, and nestle our kittens on top, walking down the driveway to sit at the edge of the road for a few minutes before better judgment kicked in. We had a lot in common with Kate and her cat Mango.


One of my library colleagues enjoys birdwatching. I must ask him if he's had any close encounters with wrens. Reading The Nest That Wren Built is a beautiful way to learn about these amazing creatures. I challenge you to find the ant hidden on every illustrated page.


Bear Came Along imparts the importance of teamwork to help reach a goal, with a bonus lesson about respecting the environment. It makes me long for another kayak journey on the Harpeth or Duck Rivers, or maybe a boat ride down the Cumberland. 

Crystal with large racoon


Crystal Deane is a librarian in the Popular Materials Department. She likes mysteries, cookbooks, and cats. She dislikes spoilers, and won't include any in her reviews.