Here are my 25 picks for the best picture books from 2013!
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matthew Myers
These three gifted book creators truly channeled their inner children to create this book. It is funny, smart and immensely creative
Building Our House by Jonathan Bean
Get this into the hands of young construction enthusiasts definitely! But it has appeal far beyond that since it is a story of family at its heart.
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat
Clever, funny and wonderfully inappropriate, this book asks us all to accept our inner or outer carnivores.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
One of my favorite picture books of the year, this book reads aloud perfectly, the tension growing and growing until it’s almost explosive.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
A colorful look at crayons, personalities and ultimately creativity, this picture book should be shared aloud with plenty of paper for coloring on.
Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi
An accessible and beautiful look at a Muslim community that dazzles.
Dusk by Uri Shulevitz
A top holiday pick, this book is a lovely companion to Snow and stands on its own too.
Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka
A great pick for spring when children are sure to be longing to be out playing in the warmer weather, this book is a quietly inspiring read.
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
It turns readers into storytellers in a way that is engaging and free, just as this entire book is throughout.
Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer
Magical, dark, and filled with fog, this book would make a great story time paired with The Three Robbers.
Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley
Beautiful and charming, this little book is sure to become a favorite. Time to curl up with your own little bear and enjoy.
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Socks lost and then found, rhymes and rhythms, and a delight of a read aloud to share, this book has it all!
Hello, My Name Is Ruby by Philip C. Stead
A tiny but oh so impressive little bird will steal your heart in this vibrant picture book.
How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
Too clever to be called sweet, this book is warm and friendly. A perfect book to share with your big cat at home or to curl up like a lion and listen to.
If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Lovely, simple and filled with charm, this picture book is thoughtful, quiet and worth the wait.
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
This lovely wordless book explores the changing seasons in a subtle and engaging way.
Journey by Aaron Becker
Beautifully done, this book is a gorgeous testament to the power of creativity and the amazing places that great art can take us.
The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Highly recommended, this picture book would make a stellar pick to read aloud to elementary classes thanks to its boxing, action and humor.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
This is a stellar picture book. Brown tells a story that all children can relate to, that of being too wild and too loud and not acting appropriately. The storytelling is exemplary with perfect pacing and plenty of humor.
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner
Beautiful and funny this is a wordless masterpiece.
My Father’s Arms Are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Oyvind Torseter, translated by Kari Dickson
Stunning in its writing and illustration, this is a picture book that is noteworthy and memorable.
Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
Perfect for sharing aloud, this book is a friendly and funny introduction to Nasreddine.
Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
It is a quiet and lovely book, one to treasure and share.
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh
Tonatiuh writes with a strength here, each word seemingly chosen for its impact and power. The importance of this sort of story for young children cannot be ignored. This book carefully dresses the horrors of the story in folktales, but the purpose is still clear.
The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney
Quite simply, this is another masterpiece by Pinkney. A must-have book for every library serving preschoolers.