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I attended an SCBWI webinar in February entitled “Finding Your Agent Match” with author Carrie Pearson, which was very informative. Carrie discussed what agents do and don’t do, tips to getting a literary agent, ways to improve as an author both offline and online, website tips, social media tips, her literary agent history, how to create a list of “wants” and “not wants” of a literary agent, how to decide if a literary agent would make a good fit, query tips, and author resources.
I have researched literary agents in the past, but the webinar provided new insight into some aspects of choosing a literary agent. Needless to say, as with any of the other SCBWI events I have attended, I took lots of notes!
Then, last month my monthly writer group also discussed information about literary agents and children’s book publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
So what do literary agents have to do with books about raccoons (which is the title of this post after all)? Well, I have been doing some research on literary agents and found a literary agent who is interested in representing a picture book about raccoons.
How adorable! That made me wonder what picture books about raccoons have already been published. I discovered my library has quite a few to choose from. (As a side note, I read through all of these raccoon books in February when I was preparing for my March meeting before the library closed due to COVID-19. It will be nice when the libraries can open again. In the meantime, I have a list of books I want to check out from the library hanging on the refrigerator.)
Raccoon Appreciation Day isn’t until October 1st, but these picture books (and a couple of board books) with raccoons can be enjoyed all year long. Some of these books aren’t focused solely on a raccoon but include a raccoon as an important character.
Picture Books (and Board Books) about Raccoons
Pick Me Up, Mama! by Robin Luebs (Little Simon, 2009)
Simple rhyming text in this board book shows the love between a baby raccoon and her Mama. A sweet bedtime story.
Tails from History: A Raccoon at the White House by Rachel Dougherty and Rachel Sanson (Simon Spotlight, 2018)
This Ready-to-Read Level Two book tells the story of Rebecca the raccoon who became one of the many pets at the White House while President Calvin Coolidge was in office. Thanks to her mischevious ways, Rebecca ends up finding a new home at the National Zoo with some new raccoon friends.
Herman’s Letter by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, 2015)
Herman the bear and Henry the raccoon are best friends. Unfortunately, Henry has to move away. They promise to write letters back and forth. Henry keeps his end of the promise by writing letters to Herman, but Herman is kind of jealous of all the fun Henry seems to be having in his new home and keeps putting off writing a letter. When Herman is finally ready to send a letter to his best friend, the post office is closed for the winter. What will Herman do now? He walks, strolls, tiptoes, leaps, climbs, and even sleeps his way to Henry’s house. The letters are included throughout the book in a fun lift-the-flap style.
Herman’s Vacation by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, 2013)
Herman the bear and Henry the raccoon are going on a camping trip! The postcards they each send to family seem to tell a completely different experience. Herman is having a wonderful time while Henry is absolutely miserable. Herman, being such a good friend, notices that Henry isn’t having a good time. So, he comes up with a plan and works hard to turn their camping trip into a great vacation. Lift-the-tab postcards are included throughout the book.
Lucy in the City: A Story About Developing Spatial Thinking Skills by Julie Dillemuth and Laura Wood (Magination Press, 2016)
Lucy and her family scavenge the best garbage bins for some food. She’s so preoccupied with a jar of peanut butter she doesn’t realize her family has left, and she is all alone in the city. What will she do now? She thinks of what she had passed with her family and asks an owl to direct her to specific locations. She must follow his directions north, east, south, and west for the number of blocks he indicates to find her way home. A compass is shown on the bottom of each page spread along with a bird’s eye view of Lucy’s path. There are additional pages at the end of the book for parents, caregivers, and professionals that discuss spatial thinking and activities.
May I Come In? by Marsha Diane Arnold and Jennie Poh (Sleeping Bear Press, 2018)
Raccoon is scared of being alone during a thunderstorm, so he heads out in the storm to find a friend he can stay with for the night. Unfortunately, Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck do not have enough space. Finally, he reaches Rabbit who has a house full of rabbits. Will she have enough space? Yes! There is even enough space for Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck who have decided they also don’t want to be home alone.
Raccoon on the Moon by Russell Punter and David Semple (Usborne Publishing, 2015)
Rhyming text throughout tells the story of Raccoon who takes a trip to the moon. His adventure doesn’t go as planned, but some aliens on the moon give him a hand. Will he be able to safely make his way back? Of course he will, along with his new friend Zack!
Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio and Stephanie Graegin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017)
Manny wears visible capes every day after school. He proves how fearless, brave, strong, powerful, and invincible he is as he saves the world from creatures such as zombie bears and evil cloud monsters. But while at school, he wears his invisible cape, which gives him the courage to stand up to a bully teasing another student.
Just Like Daddy by Lucy Freegard (Sterling, 2019)
A young raccoon wants to be just like his Daddy when he grows up…brave, daring, smart, silly, strong, and fun to be with.
A Perfect Home for a Family by David L. Harrison and Roberta Angaramo (Holiday House, 2013)
Mama and Papa raccoon need a new place to live before their twins arrive. Will their real estate agent find them the perfect place?
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Ruth E. Harper & Nancy M. Leak (Tanglewood Press, 1993)
Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school but his mother shares an old secret with him. She kisses his hand and tells him he now has a kissing hand to remind him Mommy loves him. Chester makes sure his mother also has a kissing hand before he goes to school.
Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover by Audrey Penn and Barbara L. Gibson (Tanglewood Publishing, 2017)
Mrs. Raccoon sends Chester off to his first sleepover with a kissing hand. He has a lot of fun with his friends but ends up going home early to be back with his mom.
A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn and Barbara L. Gibson (Tanglewood Publishing, 2010)
It’s time for Chester to go to sleep, but he keeps imagining creepy creatures and is too scared to sleep. His mother appears and kisses his hand, giving him enough comfort to fall asleep.
Chester the Brave by Audrey Penn and Barbara L. Gibson (Tanglewood Publishing, 2012)
Chester’s mother tells him a story about a little bird who was hesitant to leave his nest. The bird finds courage after getting a feather on his wing from his mother. Chester decides from the story (and the kiss on his hand from his mother) that he can be brave enough to speak in front of the rest of his classmates.
School for Bandits by Hannah Shaw (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011)
Ralph is terribly unusual…he is too well behaved! His parents know just how to correct the problem. Ralph is sent to Bandit School to learn from Mrs. Mischief. Unfortunately, Ralph doesn’t do too well in school because he is too polite. Ralph is given an assignment that may seem impossible for him. He successfully completes the assignment in an unexpected way, causing Bandit School to become a School for Good Manners.
Waddles by David McPhail (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011)
In the spring, Waddles the Raccoon offers to sit on the nest of eggs of his friend Emily the duck. He takes his new job very seriously as he protects the eggs from a fox. He is still sitting on the nest when the five ducklings hatch. In summer, Waddles enjoys spending a lot of time with the ducklings. By autumn, the ducks have grown bigger and are ready to migrate. Winter is a lonely time for Waddles without Emily and the ducklings. Once winter is finally over, the ducklings return.
Mighty Mo by Alison Brown (Tiger Tales, 2014)
Mo is discouraged. It seems like he can’t successfully complete any job he tries. Will he ever find the perfect job? Yes, he does! Find the penguin and hidden robber throughout the pages.
Surprise! by Caroline Hadilaksono (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2018)
Raccoon, Squirrel, and Bear try to plan the perfect surprise welcome party, but it doesn’t go entirely as they planned.
Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw and Howard Fine (Henry Holt and Company, 2003)
The raccoons creep out at night to scavenge for a meal, and they end up with a delicious feast.
Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010)
Mama Raccoon is sick, but her family tells her they will take care of everything while she rests. Rhyming text throughout describes their busy day. How will the house look when Mama Raccoon wakes up and is feeling better?
Stay Awake, Sally by Mitra Modarressi (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007)
This is not your usual bedtime story. Sally insists she must go to bed, but Mom and Dad beg her to continue doing more activities instead of going to sleep.
Little Juniper Makes It Big by Aidan Cassie (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019)
Juniper feels her house is too big and she is too small. She invents crazy ideas to reach higher, which leads to some entertaining results. A sleepover at an even smaller friend’s house helps to change her perspective. Sure, there are still some things she doesn’t enjoy about being little but there are some advantages.
Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013)
Shhh! It’s a secret. I’m not telling you how the raccoon gets the pizza.
Have you read any of these raccoon books? If so, which one is your favorite?
Check out these posts for more books about animals: