Beth’s Faves — Top Picture Books I’ve Read This Year
At the beginning of 2018, I had the intention of reading one picture book every morning throughout the year. I did well for the first half of the year, then not so well the second half – but I’ve still read a LOT more picture books than I would have otherwise, and many of them have been stellar. In this post, I want to share some of my faves, since I couldn’t possibly do full blog posts about all of them. Next week, I’ll share some of my fave MG and YA books from this year’s reading.
Please note that not all these books were published this year. I chose from what appealed to me, as well as what I hadn’t yet read, and so those choices spanned many years. I rely solely on the public library system as my source of books, so although many books are available to me, not all are. If your book, or your fave did not make this list, that’s not a reflection on the book or on you! It’s a reflection of the reality of what’s available in terms of both books and reading time. I’d be delighted if you would tell me about your faves in the comments!
This list is not in order of preference – it’s in the order I read the books over the course of the year. I won’t share all the titles I read this year, or we’d be here all day, but I do want to give a shout-out to these wonderful books.
Note that every title is a hyperlink that will lead to more information. I certainly don’t expect you to click on every one and read what you find there (although if you want to, go for it!), but if you’re intrigued by a title and want to learn more, the information awaits you. Some of the links are to the author’s website, some are to reviews, and some are even interviews with the author. Enjoy!
BLUE SKY, WHITE STARS by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, 2017
STOLEN WORDS by Melanie Florence, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, 2017
THAT IS MY DREAM based on the poem by Langston Hughes, with illustrations (and a few edits) by Daniel Miyares, 2017
THE ROOSTER WHO WOULD NOT BE QUIET by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, 2017
VINCENT CAN’T SLEEP: VAN GOGH PAINTS THE NIGHT SKY by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary Grandpre, 2017
MY BEAUTIFUL BIRDS by Suzanne Del Rizzo, 2017
HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH by Oliver Jeffers, 2017
SCHOMBURG: THE MAN WHO BUILT A LIBRARY by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrator Eric Velasquez, 2017
VOICE OF FREEDOM: FANNIE LOU HAMER: SPIRIT OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, 2015
BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET: THE STORY OF HARRIET TUBMAN by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome, 2017
BOB, NOT BOB! by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, 2017
THE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, 2014
SAM & EVA by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, 2017
TWINDERELLA: A FRACTIONED FAIRY TALE by Corey Rosen Schwartz, ill. by Deborah Marcero, 2017
AFTER THE FALL: HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN by Dan Santat, 2017
A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE by Penny Parker Klostermann, illustrated by Ben Mantle, 2017
THE FIVE FORMS by Barbara McClintock, 2017
FREEDOM OVER ME: ELEVEN SLAVES, THEIR LIVES AND DREAMS BROUGHT TO LIFE by Ashley Bryan, 2016
XO OX: A LOVE STORY by Adam Rex and Scott Campbell, 2017
OUT by angela may george, illustrated by owen swan, 2016
BIG CAT, little cat by Elisha Cooper, 2017
IDA, ALWAYS by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso, 2016
BUNNYBEAR by Andrea J. Loney, pictures by Carmen Saldana, 2017
LOVE, MAMA by Jeanette Bradley, 2018
BUB by Elizabeth Rose Stanton, 2018
MY NAME IS BLESSING by Eric Walters, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, 2013
KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE by Ruth Ohi, 2013
BATS AT THE LIBRARY by Brian Lies, 2008
THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, 2013
FOUND by Salina Yoon, 2014
ON DUCK POND by Jane Yolen, ill by Bob Marstall, 2017
THIS IS NOT A VALENTINE by Carter Higgins, ill by Lucy Ruth Cummins, 2017
THE SNATCHABOOK by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty, 2013
PRIDE: THE STORY OF HARVEY MILK AND THE RAINBOW FLAG by Rob Sanders, ill by Steven Salerno, 2018
BOTTLED SUNSHINE by Andrea Spalding, illustrated by Ruth Ohi, 2005
STEPPING STONES: A REFUGEE FAMILY’S JOURNEY by Margriet Ruurs, art by Nizar Ali Badr, 2016
GIANT SQUID by Candace Fleming, art by Eric Rohmann, 2016
MOMMY’S KHIMAR by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, ill by Ebony Glenn, 2018
JULIÁN IS A MERMAID by Jessica Love, 2018
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A TREEHOUSE by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Emily Hughes, 2018
ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal, 2018
ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by April Chu, 2015
THE REMEMBER BALLOONS by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, 2018
FLYING DEEP: CLIMB INSIDE DEEP-SEA SUBMERSIBLE ALVIN by Michelle Cusolito, illustrated by Nicole Wong, 2018
THEY SAY BLUE by Jillian Tamaki, 2018
WE ARE GRATEFUL : OTSALIHELIGA by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac, 2018
KEEP YOUR EAR ON THE BALL by Genevieve Petrillo, illustrated by Lea Lyon, 2007
LITTLE WHALE by Jo Weaver, 2017
PENGUINAUT! by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Emma Yarlett, 2018
THE STUFF OF STARS by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, 2018
A great list, Beth.
Oh wow, Beth! Thanks for sharing “your”great picture book list. I appreciate it. Great boos to read and study.
Enjoyed reading your list, Beth. If you enjoyed They Say Blue, see Seeger’s Blue, an almost-wordless picture book about a boy & his dog.
I love your list. Have read many of the same books and agree with so many of your choices. You may enjoy Blended by Sharon Draper, Lord of the Mountain by Ronald Kidd (the beginning of the recording industry — country music) and A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker.
Impressive list of books – I think The Remember Balloon touched me the most. Like how you explained w=how you arrived at the list – what applied to you, what was available – it makes a difference. One that I kept out of the library for a long time was Swatch, The Girl That Loved Color.
Beth, this is a great list. Thanks for sharing. Many I had heard of, some I’ve read, but some are new to me. I appreciate that. It’s nice not to see the same thing that’s on everyone’s list. I didn’t reach my reading goals this year, but I did read some remarkable ones that were new to me. One of my new favorites is The Teddy Bear by David McPhail, in case you haven’t read it. Thanks for sharing.
I love that my book is on this wonderful list! I’ve read most of your favorites and many are my favorites, too. You did give me some to add to my reading list which always makes me happy! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and here’s to a happy and productive 2019!
Such an incredibly diverse reading list! I’ve read a lot of the titles, but I will add several more to my library list for 2019. And congratulations on sticking to your reading schedule, despite occasional life hiccups. Your persistence is inspiring. 🙂
Comments are closed.