Noteworthy Fall 2017 Picture Books
Betty’s Burgled Bakery An Alliteration Adventure by Travis Nichols
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers
I’m so impressed by Dave Eggers picture book, Her Right Foot, with gorgeous illustrations by Shawn Harris. As you might expect from Eggers, it’s FUNNY — I laughed out loud while reading. But, it’s more than that — it’s also interactive, informative, and insightful. In fact, this amazing book builds to a poignant and timely message about the meaning of the Statue of Liberty. Notice how her right foot is raised as if she’s stepping. Eggers wants us to notice that the Statue is moving. She is an immigrant, too. Her job of welcoming immigrants is active, never ending. Think about that for a moment. I think our country needs this book now more than ever. (*See ALL my recommended books about immigration including this one.)
Greatest Animal Stories chosen by Michael Morpurgo
ANIMALS / FABLES
This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido Van Genechten
It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
FAIRY TALE / FUNNY
Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell
WORDLESS / ALPHABET / FUNNY
You’ll love this terrific adventure! Look carefully as the cartoon cat in red runs through the pages and finds unexpected silliness with an alligator trying to eat him, a bear up a tree, a chicken squawking out of her coop, and so on with each page representing one letter of the alphabet. An uniquely imagined story in alphabetical order. (See all alphabet books for kids here.)
Tea with Oliver by Mika Song
Zoo Zen: A Yoga Story for Kids by Kristen Fischer, illustrated by Susi Schaefer
A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui
Step into the shoes of a young boy who wakes up early to go fishing with his dad. As they fish for their dinner that evening, Bao helps his dad build a fire and put the fish in a bucket. While they’re together, Bao’s dad remembers fishing in a pond in his home country of Vietnam. The illustrations and prose help us feel the stillness of the early morning hours and the strong bond between father and son. At night, the entire family gathers together to eat the morning’s catch. This moving autobiographical picture book of an immigrant family gives us much to appreciate and ponder. (Added to my list of children’s books about immigration.)
Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
KINDNESS / MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The little girl wants to make the world a better place. Her parents show her how they do by treating people with respect and kindness. The girl asks if she can do something herself like walking the dog. She invites a friend because two is better than one. The story encourages us to all be brave, gentle, strong, and kind. “Because as small as it may seem, your part matters to the world.“
Bear Make Den by Jane Godwin and Michael Wagner, illustrated by Andrew Joyner
Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day by Jennifer George, illustrated by Ed Steckley
The Pickwicks’ Picnic A Counting Adventure by Carol Brendler, illustrated by Renee Kurilla
William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Chuck Groenink
I’m No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith
POETRY / FUNNY
If you like to laugh, run to buy this book. It’s wordplay at its silliest in the vein of Shel Silverstein with randomness that kids love (misnumbered pages and rivalry between Harris and Smith). I dare you not to laugh! Another best picture book contender for 2017!
Aunt Fanny’s Star by Brigitte Weninger Feridum Oral
AGING / DEATH (SECULAR)
Applesauce Day by Lisa Amstutz, illustrated by Talitha Shipman
Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli & Mariachiara di Giorgio
Little i by Michael Hall
GROWING UP / PUNCTUATION
Teachers, this will make a fun read aloud! Little i journeys to find his missing dot and discovers punctuation: commas and a period as well as a delightful surprise at the end. He’s grown into a word: I.
Hooray for Books by Brian Won
The Book of Gold by Bob Staake
BOOKS / READING
Bob’s Rock by Ann and John Hassett
PETS / EASY READER
Franklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell, illustrated by Katie Harnett
Franklin the dragon scares everyone he meets until he meets Luna, a girl who loves books and stories just as much as him. Together they decide to open a flying bookshop on Franklin’s back. They show people the wonder of stories as well as not to be afraid of Franklin.
Hog Wild: A Frenzy of Dance Music by Sandra Boynton
It’s hard to decide which song we like best– are all so fun and catchy! Right now I’m partial to “Dance It Out” because it seems like sage wisdom we all should follow in life. This songbook with CD is another win from the talented Sandra Boynton!
Noteworthy Picture Books From Earlier in 2017
Sometimes I miss reviewing amazing (noteworthy) picture books as they are published. 🙂 Here are those books. More from 2017 . . .
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Edlridge
CREATIVITY / DIVERGENT THINKING
Time Out by Ale Barba
FUNNY / IMAGINATION
Dear Dinosaur by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
FUNNY / DINOSAURS / WRITING
The Thank You Dish by Trace Balla
Rosie & Crayon by Deborah Marcero
Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough
Lost and Found What’s That Sound? by Jonathan Ying, illustrations by Victoria Ying
SOUNDS / MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Midnight at the Zoo by Faye Hanson
Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall
Someone Like Me by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Chris Sheban
Take Ted Instead by Cassandra Webb, illustrated by Amanda Francey
BEDTIME / EASY READER
Peace Is an Offering by Annette LeBox, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
FRIENDSHIP / KINDNESS
Simple but powerful truths show children being kind to each other, listening, laughing, being together. . . “It’s a safe place to live. It’s the freedom from fear. // It’s a kiss or a hug When you’ve lost someone dear.“
The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Freya Blackwood
MIGRATION / REFUGEE
Peter and his father flee their burning village carrying suitcases and a treasure box holding a precious book, the only one that wasn’t burned by the enemies. At the last village with mountains looming and his father gone, Peter buries the box. He returns later, when it’s safe, finding the box and the book which he takes to the city’s new library to share with others. Amazing artwork!
What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy, illustrated by Mat Sadler
INTERACTIVE / GROWING UP
Kids get to help Danny use his superpower of choice to go through his day. As you help Danny make choices in this choose your own adventure, there is a clear cause and effect relationship shown between making good choices and maybe not to great choices. I really like the format and the message of this interactive book.
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