20 NEW Favorite Picture Books, September 2011

This post may contain affiliate links.

This fall I’m so excited about the amazing picture books being published – there are so many excellent ones. You are going to love these best children’s books – some recommendations for you to browse . . .

You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown

I love how hilarious this book is! Really seriously funny. Lucy, God-love her, is very enthusiastic about making friends with a forest critter. Well intentions go awry and soon Lucy is yelling at animals — “Come back here and have fun with me.” and “You WILL be my friend.” Turns out that isn’t such a great way to make friends, either. Will Lucy ever make a friend?

King Hugo’s Huge Ego by Chris Van Dusen
A funny rhyming book about a king who thinks too highly of himself and is cursed by a witch so that every time he utters more self-important words, his head inflates which, to him, is just more to love. How will the king ever learn his lesson? A delightful story with a moral and great ending. (We read this book EVERY night!)

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Stacy Innerst
Hands down, this is the most entertaining narrative non-fiction books I’ve read. It reads like a fiction story and captures children immediately. Levi Strauss realizes the gold miners smell terrible and their clothes are all falling off. He uses his tent material to make the first pair of jeans.

Light Up the Night by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

This will be a new bedtime favorite! The bold illustrations and soothing rhyming, cumulative text showing a child’s place in the world reminds us that even as big as the world is, we each have a place in the universe at home in our room. “This is me, in my cozy bed, under my blanket, white and red, right here in my room, inside my house, on my street, in my town, part of my country, here on my continent, on half the Earth, circling the sun, while stars glow bright and light up the night . . . in my own little piece of the universe.

Magic Trash by J.H. Shapiro, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The true story of artist, Tyree Guyton, who made his own crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood into an urban canvas in the 1980s. His grandfather told him to “paint the world” and that’s exactly what Guyton does using houses, trash, found objects, and more, Guyton created magic and healing for the community. Read more at the Heidelberg Project website.

Pirates and Princesses by Jill & Sadie Kargman, illustrated by Christine Davenier

Best friends Ivy and Fletch arrive at kindergarten to discover that boys and girls play separately. This happened to my daughter in preschool, too so I like the message of this book – that boys and girls can play together.

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes

A winner of the Caldecott medal, this board book in black scratchboard, tells the simple story of a girl entering her house with a key, sitting on her bed, reading a book about a bird. The girl hugs the bird tightly as he flies through the starry, moonlit night on an imaginative adventure. Then, everything reverses.

Never Kick a Ghost and Other Silly Chillers (I Can Read Book) by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Pascale Constantin

A fantastic not-too-scary, silly, spooky stories perfect for early readers.

Grin and Bear It by Leo Landry

Technically this was a summer book but I forgot to share it with you. It’s a darling book about a bear who wants to be a comedian but he has a problem with stage fright. Fortunately, hummingbird helps bear’s dream come true.

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet by Paul Thurlby

Thurlby’s brown with blue and red colors make each graphic alphabet page frameable. Beautiful!

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

Little pig’s den becomes filled with friends but once Moose arrives, the den collapses. Together the animals build a new house in the woods.

Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe, illustrated by Maria Monescillo

I love how Charlotte Jane learns her valuable lesson — that she does need sleep.

Puff the Magic Dragon Pop-Up Book by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton, painted by Eric Puybaret, paper engineering by Bruce Foster

Who doesn’t love a pop-up book of a favorite, familiar story? Lift the side flaps and get bonus pop-up scenes, too.

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

I love Jeffer’s book, The Incredible Book Eating Boy. And this story is just as wonderful. Floyd has a problem – his kite is stuck in a tree. He tries to knock it out. First with his shoe, but it gets stuck, too. He tries throwing his other shoe, then his cat, a ladder but everything gets stuck in the tree along with the kite. Quite a bit of odds and ends get stuck in the tree – so much that when he throws one last thing, his kite becomes unstuck.

Gift From the Gods by Lise Lunge-Larsen, illustrated by Gareth Hinds

This isn’t really a picture book or a chapter book – it’s an illustrated volume of Greek and Roman Mythology – with stories of the myths and words which originate from them, words like fury, muse, panic, and echo. If your kids like mythology (and Percy Jackson) I highly recommend this book – it’s hard to put down.

Splendid Spotted Snake by Betty Ann Schwartz & Alexander Wilensky

JJ loves this magic ribbon book because she can read the words and it’s so fun! Each time you turn the page, the snake adds another length of yellow ribbon with colorful dots. It’s great for color reinforcement and the sturdy pages make it perfect for even the littlest hands.

Pirate Nap a Book of Colors by Danna Smith, illustrated by Valeria Petrone

I really love this book because it takes the color book a step further, into a compelling story. That rhymes. It’s a great adventure as the swashbuckling pirates play around the house, they find pirate treasure and chase the purple monster little sister, and sail into nap time.

Wake Up Sloth by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud

Probably one of the most beautifully done pop-ups I’ve seen, this book tells about the sloth’s forest being destroyed as he sleeps and how it is replanted and comes back to life.  Beautiful.

Friday the Scaredy Cat (Ready to Read) by Kara McManon

It thrills me to no end to find engaging, funny early readers like this one. Friday is a cat that is scared – but not of chickens or bikes, just chickens riding bikes. Your kids will think Friday is one funny cat.

I’m Here by Peter Reynolds
I lent my review copy to AJ’s teacher – review coming soon. I’m a big fan of Peter’s work – everything he does encourages creativity and thoughtfulness.






Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love this list of picture books, I have it bookmarked so that I can see if our library carries any of them. Thanks for linking the list up to Flutter By Friday!