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Tween Tuesday: Picture Books for Tweens

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and leave a link below with your Tween Tuesday reviews!

This past week I presented a tween lit training at my library. One thing I discussed was picture books for tweens. Picture book reading doesn't have to stop when you can start reading novels on your own! There are lots of picture books that are perfect for older readers and are great for tweens. Some picture books have humor or themes that really work better with an older reader. These picture books would be great to give tween readers, read in the classroom, or share with them at home.

-Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett-What happens when your science fair robot takes over? A hilarious read perfect for tweens especially if you have young manga fans. The art is reminiscent of a manga and Japanese horror films and there are so many hidden details that will appeal to this age group.

-Dear Vampa by Ross Collins-A paranormal picture book with humor that's perfect for young tweens!

-Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester-Poor Wodney. He's a rat who can't say his "R's" When a mean new rodent shows up a school and Wodney is picked to be the leader of Simon Says, he might be the only one who can save the school from evil Camilla! The humor in this one is perfect for tween readers!

-Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters From Obedience School by Mark Teague-Ike LaRue is a clever dog. He's at obedience school and writing letters home to his owner. Obedience school really isn't all that bad, but Ike is going to milk it for all it's worth and his tall tales will leave readers laughing.

-The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka-Who loves fractured fairy tales more than a tween? They're the perfect audience for these twisted tales and this is one of my all time favorites!

-John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith-This is a fun take on history-use this one in the classroom when discussion the Revolutionary War!

-The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris VanAllsburg-What would you do if you were watching a dog, but it wandered into a magician's garden and was turned into a duck? An imaginative tale perfect for older readers!

-Tuesday by David Wiesner-This picture book is wordless and the beautiful illustrations tell the story. A great book for tweens-especially if you're wanting to have them tell stories of their own-you can start with this one as your basis. Flotsam is another great one for early storytelling exercises.

And OK, this might not count as a picture book, but you can never go wrong with tweens and Where's Waldo by Martin Handford!

Have any other favorite picture books for older readers?


  1. I always loved Where's Waldo. Dear Vampa sounds very cute. Another picture book, of sorts, are those Magic Eye books. My friends and I could stare at those forever when we were tweens.

  2. What a great idea for a Tween Tuesday post! I read The Sneetches last week to my sixth grade homeroom and they were all very into it!

  3. When teaching, I used a number of picture books in my classrooms (grades 4-7). JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE, AND BEN was on my list, as was THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.

    I loved using JABBERWOCKY and STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING when teaching poetry (so much is visual in poetry, it's helpful for kids to see what they're hearing and then create their own mental pictures).

    When teaching about Australia in my social studies class, I loved using WOMBAT STEW and MY GRANDMA LIVES IN GOOLIGULCH.

    And while teaching grammar, I loved the series on parts of speech (can't place the author right now...Helen someone?), including A CACHE OF JEWELS. Really, really helpful.

  4. My post today isn't about picture books--but about a new novel for tweens, Selling Hope, by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb. However, some of my favorite picture books for tweens are Jon Scieska's Math Curse and Science Curse--hilarious and perfect for that age.

  5. Chris VanAllsberg is so fabulous! I'd like to check the Science Fair book out too... Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. I love, love, love sharing TWO BAD ANTS by Chris Van Allsburg with older readers. I'd also suggest SADAKO by Eleanor Coerr, illustrated by Ed Young. It's a picture book adaptation of SADAKO AND THE THOUSAND PAPER CRANES and the illustrations are just heartbreaking.

  7. Ooo, what timing! I am going to be doing a program on Why You Never Outgrow Picture Books coming up; I have been rejoicing in all my discoveries of brilliant books (it was even the last thing I posted on my blog!). I have no experience actually using picture books with tweens, but I hope I'll at least peak a few people's interests with my program. One title I just discovered, speaking of Van Allsburg, is his The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. It's like every page makes a story EXPLODE fully-formed into your mind! It's amazing.

  8. I really never thought of this topic before, but you're totally right. My best friend freshman year in college dragged me over to the local bookstore to force me to read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, which of course was brilliant. As an adult, I adore picture books and read them constantly - and no I don't have any kids!


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