Below is a list of some of my favorite picture books of the year. Click here for a printable version. Have a favorite book not on the list, please share the title in the comments along with a ‘best of category’ title. Feel free to create a new category.
Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season!
Best Interactive Book:
Tons of Trucks
Author: Sue Douglas Fliess – Illustrator: Betsy Syder – Publisher: HMH Books
Ages Birth-4. Colorful, engaging concept book that will have kids pushing, pulling, lifting, swinging, and spinning as they learn about trucks.
Best Concept Book:
Author & Illustrator: Mies Van Hout – Publisher: Lemniscaat
Ages 2-5. Vibrant, beautiful pastel drawings of fish, each depicting a different emotional word. So simple, yet powerful.
Best Nearly Wordless Book:
Good News Bad News
Author & Illustrator: Jeff Mack – Publisher: Chronicle Books
Ages 2-5. Best friend mouse or rabbit go on a picnic and experience a series of good/bad events. With just four words the author does an amazing job expressing deeper themes of attitude and friendship while keeping it comical.
Best Read Together Book:
Oh, No George!
Author & Illustrator: Chris Haughton – Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages 2-5. Great book to read at storytime. Kids will enjoy jumping in to finish sentences and trying to figure out what George will do next.
Best Friends Book:
Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always
Author & Illustrator: Tao Nyeu – Publisher: Dial Books
Ages 3-5. Imaginative, endearing set of stories of two underwater friends. Cute illustrations.
Best Book with Characters to Read Aloud or Act Out:
Duckling Gets a Cookie
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems – Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Ages 2-5. Cute story on manners. Duckling gets a cookie by asking politely but pigeon isn’t happy and launches into a tantrum. Great fun reading pigeon in a loud, exasperated voice and duckling in a soft, sweet voice.
Author: Michael Ian Black – Illustrator: Debbie Ridpath Ohi – Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Ages 3-8. High energy book about a potato that thinks kids are BORING, and a girl sets out to prove him wrong. This book is blast to read out loud, be sure to put some spunk into it.
Best Sibling Book:
Author & Illustrator: Matthew Cordell – Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Ages 3-8: Davy’s life is turned upside down by not one or two but twelve little brothers. A book every parent, older sibling, and younger sibling can relate too.
One Special Day
Author: Lola M. Schaefer – Illustrator: Jessica Meserve – Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Ages 2-4. Spencer is strong like a bear, funny as a monkey, but what will he become when his new sibling arrives? A sweet story that has minimal text that interplays well with the gorgeous illustrations.
Best Action-Packed Book:
The Three Ninja Pigs
Author: Corey Rosen Schwartz – Illustrator: Dan Santat – Publisher: G.P. Putnam Books
Ages 4-8. A rhyming, fractured-fairy tale that packs a one-two punch.
Best Fractured Fairytale Book:
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems – Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Ages 4-8. Clever, witty, completely original re-telling of a classic. Goldilocks walking into the dinosaurs house was no accident but a trap!
The Three Ninja Pigs (see above)
Best Christmas Book:
The Christmas Quiet Book
Author: Deborah Underwood – Illustrator: Renata Liwska – Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Ages 3-6. Cuddle up with your kids under a warm blanket and some hot cocoa. Discover the quiet joys of the holidays.
Best Squabble in a Book:
Chloe and the Lion
Author: Mac Barnett - Illustrator: Adam Rex – Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Ages 5-8. Quirky, innovative book about cooperation and the partnership between words and pictures in a book. The squabbling between Adam and Mac is laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Best Classic Feel Book:
A Home for Bird
Author & Illustrator: Philip C. Stead – Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Ages 3-8. Reminiscent of classic Frog & Toad stories, filled with small adventures, wonder, and most importantly compassion and heart.
Author: Mac Barnett – Illustrator: Jon Klassen – Publisher
Ages 4-8. It may look like just another picture book, but it’s not. A beautiful tale on generosity.
Best Spooky Book:
Author: Aaron Reynolds – Illustrator: Peter Brown – Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Ages 4-8. Twilight Zones meets the carrot patch, you may never look at carrots or anything else that is your “favorite” the same way again.