Check out these new 28 picture books for children, published in 2016! I had such a huge stack of amazing books that I hadn’t reviewed yet so this is a longer post but worth it — keep on reading. (And let me know which books you love!)
28 Wonderful Picture Books for Children
Not Quite Black and White by Jonathan Ying, illustrated by Victoria Ying
This book makes me happy. Something about the simple text, the pop of color on the black and white animals (skunks in blue shorts, a tiger in a tall purple hat, a kitty with an aqua mohawk) and the rhyming all combine to make a great picture book for children about colors.
Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (diversity)
Mary loves all things fancy — glamorous. When she goes to school, she helps the other kids get glam, too. Until they need to unglam and play!
Pirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Matt Myers
Captain Crave has everything a good pirate should except for a pet. So he and his crew start searching for the perfect pirate pet. A crab is too cranky. An octopus too clingy. A pig, too muddy. An elephant, too big. But when he goes to the pet shop, he meets a parrot who poops on him and creates a ruckus — in other words, the perfect pirate pet. Dynamic illustrations and a rollicking adventure will make this a new favorite.
Cloud Country by Noah Klocek and Bonny Becker
I love this inspiring, fanciful story so much! Gale is a cloud who just can’t seem to make the right shapes (funnel, cumulus) and at her exam, she makes what she usually does — shapes of things on earth like a tugboat and a dog. But the Guardians surprise her. They aren’t disappointed, they’re actually thrilled because they’ve been waiting for her, a Daydream Cloud! She’ll make shapes the world can dream on, shapes from the Land Below. She can do what she loves and is good at.
This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Their classroom teacher shares the story of her great-grandmother’s trip from a far distant land with only one suitcase. She took ribbons, things to eat, shoes, and a doll. But what would you take? the teacher asks the students. The students each make lists of what he or she would take, things like a punk-rock Barbie, ukulele, karate gi, and Legos. The last pages ask YOU to think of what you would take and includes a pop up suitcase. I love the interactivity and connection to personal histories. I’m sure this story will prompt lots of family story sharing.
Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow by David Biedrzycki
This book can be read anytime of year, not just Groundhogs Day because it’s a great story about friendship. Phil is sick of Shadow following him everywhere and doing his own things. (They’re very different his shadow and he.) Phil loves scary movies. Shadow doesn’t. Phil likes to be punctual. Shadow stops and smells the roses instead. Finally Phil gets mad and pushes Shadow to leave. Which he does. Of course Phil realizes that he misses his adventurous Shadow and Shadow realizes that he misses Phil. Will they find each other again in the great big world?
Henry and Leo by Pamela Zagarenski
After a family day in the woods, Henry accidentally leaves behind his best friend, his stuffed lion named Leo. In a series of magical, evocative pages, the forest animals come together to return Leo to Henry. It feels fantasy-like, especially with the dream-like illustrations.
DC The Big Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg
It’s always a good time to find new female role models. I personally am partial to superheroes like the choices in this girl power book. Each person featured gets a full page, colorful eye-popping spread as well as written information about who she is and what she does. Love!!
I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora
This book, written in first person, is a celebration of all the little girl’s senses. It’s filled with sounds (fridge hum, traffic), smells (brother’s smelly sneakers, Mommy’s perfumes), sights (words, the moon), tactile objects (sticky lollipop, slimy worm) and tastes (crackers, ice cream).
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo (diversity)
Lucy yawns while her mother reads her a bedtime story and drifts off to sleep. Later, she wakes up suddenly in the dark, realizing that she doesn’t have her special stuffed bear, Molasses. As she makes her way back to bed with Molasses and her friends, readers will help count her yawns. Can you count all twenty? Beautiful illustrations perfectly set the tone for this comforting bedtime story.
Wet Cement A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka
Shape poems paint a picture on the page — and these do an amazing job. The Hanger poem is shaped like a hanger, Dominoes are shaped just like falling dominoes with fun texts about pushing single file down the row. I love the Corners poem about a hungry mouse looking for cheese that is shaped like a maze. These are inspiring! (This book is on my BEST CHILDREN’S NONFICTION BOOKS OF 2016 list.)
This Is a Serious Book by Jodie Parachini, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
The donkey narrator tries his best to make this a serious book but alas Zebra and friends are not cooperating with the seriousness and it all turns into a fun, zany silly-fest! I’m pretty sure your children will be cracking up while you read this with them.
Miss Mary Reporting The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C.F. Payne
The true story of Mary Garber is quite interesting — how she pioneered a career in sports writing when it was men only. The illustrations are fantastic, too.
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
This is a well-written and illustrated parallel story (top of the page is one, bottom of the page is the other) shows two dancers on a performance day — one big and a professional dancer, and the other little and still learning. Both work very hard and love ballet. It culminates in Julia’s performance on stage with Emma watching. Very sweet.
Be Who You Are by Todd Parr
Another hit from the inspirational, motivational Todd Parr! Be who you are. / Be silly. / Be brave. / . . . Try new things. / Be confident. / Stand up for yourself. Read it lots. Give it to friends. Do what it says.
Top Dog and Other Doggone Delightful Expressions by Carli Davidson
You don’t have to be a dog lover to love this fun book that gives you all lots of dog-ish expressions with photos of the cutest dogs EVER. “Working like a dog. / Raining Cats and Dogs. / Dog and Pony Show.” Each page is framable because these photographs are stunning! Added to Favorite Dog Books for Kids.
Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
The illustrations are so unique and gorgeous, I hope this book will be nominated for a Caldecott. The text shares what real cowboys are like — they are gentle, they share, they cry, they ask for help, and more. Love this! (This book is on my BEST CHILDREN’S NONFICTION BOOKS OF 2016 list.)
Libby and Pearl the Best of Friends by Lindsey Bonnice
These beautiful photographs capture the sweet friendship between a little girl and a little piglet. Each page shows the duo playing and having lots of fun together. It’s sweet and wonderful.
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
This entire picture book about a growing plant and the bugs that live around and in the plant is written in an invented language, which I admit to struggling with when reading the book out loud. It just takes getting used to says my blogger friend, Asia Citro. And don’t worry about the language — the illustrations make the story understandable and very fun. I think it’s a cool concept and wonder what your kids will think.
Dinosaurs Don’t Have Bedtimes! by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Nikki Dyson
An imaginative boy tries to school his mother about the dos and don’ts of parenting dinosaurs in this playful story. (Because everyone knows that they don’t take baths or have bedtimes!)
Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings, illustrated by Owen Swan
This is a sweet story about the forgetfulness that comes with aging. Georgie’s grandpa doesn’t always remember her but he does remember how to make newspaper hats. It’s age-appropriate and perfect for introducing the memory loss concept to children.
Tinyville Town Gets to Work! by Brian Biggs
If you don’t already know the Tinyville Town series by illustrator and writer, Brian Biggs, I think you’ll really like them. It’s a busy and diverse town (yeah!) but today no one can get to work. To solve the problem, the town must work together to make a bridge. A bit text heavy in parts but still a fun teamwork story.
I’m the Happiest by Anna Shuttlewood
One afternoon, the animals start bragging. “I’m the tallest,” said Giraffe. Most of the other animals are jealous of Giraffe but not Raccoon who is happy for Giraffe. In fact, Raccoon is happy that Porcupine is the spikiest, that Pig is the prettiest, and Polar Bear is the whitest. In fact, Raccoon is the happiest! He’s happy for everyone. Great positive message about being happy with who you are and happy for others, too.
Stripes the Tiger by Jean Leroy, illustrated by Berengere Delaporte
Stripes is a tiger-stripped cat who wants to BE a real tiger. His owner gets so sick of his tiger antics that he takes Stripes to the zoo where he can see a real tiger. There, the cat and the tiger decide to change places which makes for a very funny ending.
A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boeltz, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Ruben really, really wants a bike like Sergio has but he knows his family can’t afford it. One day at the grocery store, he sees money fall out of a lady’s purse. He snatches it up, thinking of the bike. But, his conscience gets the better of him and he later finds the woman and returns the money. This is a great story for discussion and reflection.
Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead
This is a friendship story about a lonely mammoth named Samson who meets a friendly red bird. Samson is worried about his bird friend after a snowy night so he trudges through the snow to find her. But first, he finds a mouse who is having a bad day and also worried about a friend. She joins Samson and together they find the bird who is almost frozen with cold and get her to a warm cave where they snuggle together. Very sweet!
Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Jarvis
A penguin family goes for a picnic and gets lost, ending up at the North Pole. They meet a friendly polar bear who helps them return to the South Pole by way of England, Italy, India and other countries. Finally, they return to the South Pole for a picnic and say good-bye to their new friend, Mr. White. Mr. White thinks he’ll never see his friends again but he’s wrong — surprise!
I Want That Love by Tasuya Miyanishi
In the harrowing prehistoric world, the Tyrannosaurus believes that strongest is best. Until, old and wounded, he meets baby Triceratops who show him kindness and he shows them love. This beautiful story will make you think about what is best and kindness to others.
What Color Is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla
Both a book about colors and a book about the intangible and imaginative, What Color Is a Kiss? explores a little girl’s musings as she tries to figure out the color. Is it yellow like sunflowers and good ideas or white like the snow or pink like cake? So, Monica asks her mother who gives her lots of kisses. And it turns out, kisses are all colors and patterns!
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