Picture Book Barcode Bonanza Part 2

It has been YEARS since I posted about my love for a well-placed barcode on the back of a picture book. This was the initial post. Welcome to Picture Book Barcode Bonanza Part 2!

I was inspired to gather more of these barcode wonders because of the wild joy I got from seeing the final art for my upcoming book with Troy Cummings called One Sheep, Two Sheep. Our editor, Meredith Mundy, had asked if I had any suggestions for the back cover. Did I ever! Since sheep (and other things) keep jumping over a fence in the book, I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if sheep were jumping over the barcode?!” Happily, the fine folks at Abrams Appleseed agreed.

Check out this little beauty:

(Excuse the low-res image. This is all I have at the moment.)

And take a look at all of these special barcode treats, too.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car

written by Kate Dopirak and illustrated by Mary Peterson

The barcode is a road sign.

Let Me Finish!

written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Isabel Roxas

The barcode is being carried by a ridiculously adorable bear.

There’s a Giraffe in My Soup

written and illustrated by Ross Burach

The barcode serves as a great spot for a koala to take a nap.

Two Many Birds

written and illustrated by Cindy Derby

This book is filled with signs, so it only makes sense that the barcode gets to be on one, too.

Find Fergus

written and illustrated by Mike Boldt

The barcode serves as a not-so-great hiding spot.

Please let me know if you discover any extra special barcodes in your picture book collection!



Congratulations to Jennifer Hunt! She won a signed copy of Not Now, Cow, written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Troy Cummings.

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit tammisauer.com and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. Annette Pierce

    I had never really looked at the barcode “art” before! Now I will be looking at the barcode placements!

  2. Ok. The sheep jumping over the barcode is adorable. Now I’ll have to look for all the barcodes like I look for The Undies.

  3. Really cute! I can take a nap anywhere so I could probably take a nap on a barcode just like the koala.

  4. Such a fun post! I’m off to look at barcodes on my books.

  5. What a fun post. Those are such clever barcode integrations. I love the Find Fergus one- so cute?

  6. Kathy Shanahan

    Who knew? So fun and informative! I’m on the hunt for barcodes.

  7. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Yep, now I have to scan my bookshelf to see how barcodes are utilized. What fun! 🙂

  8. Love incorporating the barcode into the art -great idea! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Such a small gesture to creatively present the bar code! I’ll be looking at them more closely too!

  10. Gotta love a fun barcode. I’ll be on the lookout.

  11. Looking forward to looking at barcodes now. Fun post!

  12. The creativity in picture book production/design continues to amaze me! Thanks, Tammi, for pointing out this gem of a detail!

  13. Pamela Harrison

    I love these illustration/barcode ideas! They are so clever and fun!

  14. Who says ISBN’s can’t be fun? Love these!

    Cloudette always a favorite of mine.

  15. I love how publishers (and often authors or illustrators) will find unique ways to display a book’s barcode. I will keep these ideas in mind! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Holey moley! I never noticed bar codes before.

  17. I love the barcode art!! I, too, never took notice of the backs of books. Now I want to run to the library and pull all the books off the shelf to inspect them for BARCODE ART!

  18. I love this post!! Cloudette written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld includes a great use of the barcode as well.

  19. This was really fun, Tammi. I want to play with barcodes too, now.

  20. Oh Brilliant! I’ll be on the lookout for those special barcodes in the wild. And now I add barcode easter eggs in my future books to my personal dream list….ahhhhhh.

  21. I’ve never even thought about this! Now I’m on the lookout. ? Fun post, Tammi!!

  22. Lisa Frenkel Riddiough

    OK. Now I shall be on the lookout for all the barcodes. I love this!!!

  23. Angie Quantrell

    Oh, that is too cool! Now I’ll have to watch barcodes! If I were an illustrator (I am NOT), I would love to create book-specific barcodes. Fun!

  24. Hah! Thanks for opening my eyes to the joys of barcode spotting!

  25. Oh, these are delightful! Thanks for sharing!
    And I must admit, I do shudder when I see a library barcode
    violating the design of a book’s cover. And yes, I am a former
    children’s librarian . . . ps: I’ll always be a writer . . .


    It’s not a barcode, but the googly eyes in the “gb” on the back of Little Golden Books was pretty cool.

  27. How fun! I’ll pay more attention!

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