My Final List of Favorite Picture Books for the Coming Year

A final post on some new favorite picture books before the year kicks off officially tomorrow.  I just received my final batch due to a grant from the Meemic Foundation who thought it was a delightful idea to purchase picture books for 7th graders.  (They have a ton of grants that are easy to write, you should totally check them out).  So without further ado, what shall we be exploring together in the coming weeks and months.

I have long been a loud fan of Bob Shea’s for a long time.  After all, he is the genius that wrote Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great so I had to get Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret.  It is laugh out loud funny.  And the best part is that I can completely relate to the story and so will my students.  Plus this will be perfect for acting out when we act out picture books at the end of the year.  Is it bad if I have started the countdown for the next book to come out in February?

We are the shark team at our school so when a fellow picture book lover suggested I get this non-fiction picture book called Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy I was sold.  Warning; this is a real book about sharks, and they eat seals, so your 6 year old may be slightly terrified.  I love the set up of this book and like I said, the illustrations are magnificent.  What an amazing way to marry facts and picture book.

I can always count on Jillian Heise for having great recommendations for picture books and this one was one of them.  Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen is one I think many of my students will gravitate toward with its quiet message.  I know I will e using it to facilitate deeper conversations about finding our own path in the world.

Another great recommendation from fellow picture book lovers was Shaun Tan’s Rules of Summer.  This is one of those picture books I cannot wait for my students to read because I want to see their interpretation of it.  The illustrations and the text beckon you to wonder, and that is a great thing indeed.

Wild About Us by Karen Beaumont is a beautiful book in many ways.  The illustrations done by Janet Stevens pop off the page and catch your eye, but the message of the book is what really got me.  We all have things that we can pick apart, but what we do with those things is what matters.

Just finding the image of the cover of I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton makes me laugh.  Again an incredible non-fiction picture book that doesn’t scream non-fiction (not that there is anything wrong with non-fiction).  We read this a few times at home and then told everyone about it.  I cannot wait to see my students reaction to this book because you have to allow yourself to get a little bit silly.

Much to my surprise I was able to pick up a copy of Elwood Bigfoot Wanted:  Birdie Friends by Jill Esbaum before its supposed release date.  I love this message of the story, especially as a way to discuss with kids about what we do to try to fit in.  And let’s admit it; Elwood is a really cute and funny Bigfoot.

Boats for Papa by Jessica Bagley is one that I am looking forward to reading and sharing with my students.  The simple story is one that many of my students can relate to as well as the ambiguity of the situation.  I love how this will help us discuss and understand that there are many correct interpretations of a story.

I happen to be a fan of both Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell so it was only natural that I added The Skunk to our collection.  I cannot wait for the discussion of how we make decisions and how little things can affect our life in a big way.

To see the lists from this summer and other years, make sure you go here.

If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students.  The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) comes out September 22nd from Routledge, but rumor has it that it is out on Kindle already!

One thought on “My Final List of Favorite Picture Books for the Coming Year

  1. Ballet Cat was a surprisingly good book; would not have picked it up without a referral. Marilyn’s Monster is tops, too.

    If people are looking for a good ‘family’ book, see Mama Seeton’s Whistle. A rich story of a loving family.

    If you like a book where the text and graphics contradict each other, laugh away at How To Catch a Mouse. Funny, funny.

    Susan Roberts
    Picture Book Reviewer
    Books4theCuriousChild.com

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