Best Picture Books of 2016 (10 More)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

You didn't think I could let the year end without sharing a few more favorite picture books published in 2016, did you? The New York Times recently came out with its annual list of best illustrated books and School Library Journal is planning on releasing their top selections next week. This time of year the only thing more ubiquitous than holiday decorations are end-of-year lists! Which is great news if you are currently growing your home library or looking for fantastic gift ideas. In that case, these are all worthy of your attention.
  1. What is a Child? by Beatrice Alemagna - "All children are small people who will change some day." With detailed precision the illustrations and text form a compilation of children throughout this ephemeral state. It is sentimental without being saccharin and portrays a lovely collage of the poetry adults see in children.
  2. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas - When it comes to picture books I have found that I am incredibly loyal to certain illustrators. Which is absolutely the case with Erin Stead. As the title suggests, the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles is responsible for unstopping all bottles that come his way and delivering messages to the appropriate individual. One day a party invitation arrives in a bottle and he is stumped as he traverses the island in search of the intended recipient. Truly a remarkable read. 
  3. It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton - This brilliant picture book is all about snail mail, with a little lesson about greed and generosity. The pictures are a treasure trove of colorful odds and ends that work together in playful harmony. My nephew, Liam (mail spelled backwards), especially loves this one. 
  4. First Snow by Bomi Park - For anyone that has experienced the magic and wonder of snow, either for the first time in their life or for the first time at the start of each winter, this ebullient debut picture book expertly captures that seasonal delight.  
  5. The Moon Inside by Sandra Feder - Daytime is bright and yellow, but when darkness falls Ella is afraid. Will her Mom be able to help her overcome her fears and realize that the night also holds an illuminating light? 
  6. Me: A Compendium by Wee Society - This fill-in-the blank journal isn't technically a picture book, but it is such a visual masterpiece I couldn't not include it. With numerous questions and artistic opportunities, it's perfect for capturing a precise moment of childhood. Best suited for children ages 6-10. 
  7. Misss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill - I confess that I almost didn't read this book. Namely because it falls into the everyone-is-raving-about-it category, which is usually a sure sign I won't like a book. Ha. That said, this collection of 20 bits of wisdom is worthwhile for both dogs and their human owners. 
  8. One Minute till Bedtime selected by Kenn Nesbitt - This collection of brief nighttime poems is a handy tool to have in your bedtime arsenal. With whimsical illustrations and poems by familiar authors, this is a genius and concise approach to lights out. Highly recommend. 
  9. A Well-Mannered Young Wolf by Jean Leroy - "A young wolf, whose parents had taught him good manners, went hunting alone in the forest for the first time. Very quickly, he caught...a rabbit!" Knowing that it was respectable to grant a last wish, he asked the rabbit what his wish was. Unfortunately, the well-mannered young wolf runs into trouble when he must momentarily leave his prey to grant its last wish. For anyone that enjoyed A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals earlier this year, no doubt you'll relish the sly and slightly dark humor of this book.
  10. The Journey by Francesca Sann - I still haven't found the right words to review this book. Publisher's Weekly proclaims it both "haunting and deeply reverent." Which is true. A story of refugees but so much more. Personally, the layers of meaning struck a deep chord in my mother heart.

  11. Here is my summer list in case you missed it. 

    Mural located in Salt Lake City, UT. 


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