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Picture Books - Librarian Top Picks

Post Date:06/24/2018 8:00 AM

 picture book header

With all of the fun and beautiful picture books regularly published, it's hard to sift through them all. Children's Librarian Stephanie has put together a list of some of her favorites.  

Stephanie S. - Youth Services Librarian, Storytime Teacher and Picture Book Lover

"What isn’t there to love about a picture book? They are designed to share and offer an opportunity to connect with one another through reading aloud.  They introduce young children to reading, art, big ideas, and the world around them.  At the very least, they’re 5 minute stories that almost always warm your heart.

This collection represents some current favorites, and for the most part - with the exception of a few - are newer titles. There are local authors and illustrators on this list, a story about a bored potato, and without a doubt, at least one or two books that will make you and the little person snuggled in your lap smile."

Dear Girl

Dear Girl
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam

Dear Girl, is a remarkable love letter written for the special girl in your life; a gentle reminder that she’s powerful, strong, and holds a valuable place in the world. This title from Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter Paris contains a series of short letters of affirmation and encouragement. Each missive reminds readers to be herself, be smart, be adventurous, sometimes cry, and always listen to your instincts. The mother-daughter connection is always loving and personal. "Make your room awesome. Make your room you. And while you're at it, make your bed!

Rosenthal, who died last March, has authored many well-loved books, including Little Pea, Little Hoot, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Duck! Rabbit!, Spoon, The OK Book, Plant a Kiss, I Wish You More and That's Me Loving You. Dear Girl is encouraging and important and, if shared by the right adult, could have a powerful, lasting impact

Dear Girl,
This book is for you.
Wonderful, smart, beautiful you.
If you ever need a reminder, just turn to any page in this book and know that you are special, and you are loved.
—Amy and Paris

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth - written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child--and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents. 


Im Bored

I’m Bored- written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Just when a little girl thinks she couldn’t possibly be more bored, she stumbles upon a potato who turns the tables on her by declaring that children are boring. But this girl isn’t going to let a vegetable tell her what’s what, so she sets out to show the unimpressed potato all the amazing things kids can do. Too bad the potato is anything but interested….

This tongue-in-cheek twist on a familiar topic is sure to entertain anyone who’s ever been bored—or had to hear about someone else being bored—and is filled with comedian Michael Ian Black’s trademark dry wit, accompanied by charismatic illustrations from newcomer Debbie Ridpath Ohi.




Last Stop on Market Street - written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Messages of optimism, kindness, and serving those less fortunate than you are palpable in every word and page of this beautiful book. A grandmother teaches her grandson to look on the bright side of life and lift up those around him.


The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside - written by Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field

"That day they BOTH learned, that, no matter your size, we all have a mouse AND a lion inside."
A mouse feels small and insecure and determines that what he needs to do is learn how to roar like a lion. He knows he must act brave when he approaches a lion to learn how. In a hilarious turn of events, the lion is afraid of mice! The mouse comforts the lion, they become friends, and we learn that there's a lion and a mouse inside all of us. The inspiring text by Rachel Bright and the fun, bold illustrations by Jim Field teach young readers an important lesson. Regardless of how big or mighty we are, we can all live our dreams and do what we want to do. Fans of Aesop's "The Lion and the Mouse" will enjoy The Lion Inside!



Not Quite Narwhal

Not Quite Narwhal - written and illustrated by Jessie Sima

Kelp is a little different than the other narwhals in his family. In fact, Kelp might not be a narwhal at all. Is it possible he’s really a unicorn? And if so, what does that mean? A fun and clever story about what it means to fit in while still being yourself.



A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day - written and illustrated by Lane Smith

Lane Smith has a way of turning the things you thought you knew on their head and forcing you to rethink them. Take a perfect day, for example. By the time you’re done with this book, you’ll be asking yourself what perf
ect is after all.


People don't Bite People

People Don’t Bite People - written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Molly Idle (Local Illustrator!)

Lisa Wheeler and Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Molly Idle remind overeager little biters that biting is for food in this hysterical read-aloud picture book. Learning good behavior has never been so fun! New York Times book review praise:  "In People Don't Bite People...that Class-A preschool felony is faced head-on with the snappy verve of a 1950s tooth-paste jingle: "It's good to bite a carrot. It's good to bite a steak. It's bad to bite your sister! She's not a piece of cake." The drawings are bright and no-nonsense, quickly removing, like ripping off a Band-Aid, the stigma of biting. The message is outlined and repeated in tick-tack-toe squares with plenty of illustrations and humor, straight-forward, with a hint of Mary Poppins's intolerance for nonsense."



Rocket Shoes

Rocket Shoes - written by Sharon Skinner (Local Author!), illustrated by Ward Jenkins

“Shoes with engines, springs and sprockets,
kick-start heels, and shoe-size rockets.”
A rhyming story for every kid who wants to fly—and wonders when it’s okay to break the rules.




They All Saw a Cat

They All Saw a Cat
- written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?


We’re All Wonders
- written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio

From the author of the middle grade phenomenon Wonder comes a picture book for younger children. Palacio once again uses Augie and his friends to teach children about empathy and kindness. That’s a lesson we can learn every year.





The Word Collector

The Word Collector
- written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words... In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him - short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words - and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.