being a teacher, books, Literacy, picture books, Reading, student choice

Our Top Picture Books of 2015

For the past 3 days, my 7th grade students have been furiously discussing the their favorite picture books as we get ready for the Caldecott awards.  While we have not voted for our top 3 yet, I thought it would be worthwhile to share our all of our favorite picture books from 2015.  What I love the most is the care that the students are putting into their conversations surrounding their selection, looking beyond the “What a great story!” and really searching for picture books that will leave a long lasting impression instead.  Note, some of these are sadly ineligible for the award since the illustrator does not reside in the US, nor are they a citizen.  So if you are looking to boost your picture book collection, start with some of these incredible books.

The Skunk – story by Mac Barnett, Art by Patrick McDonnell

Strictly No Elephants – Story by Lisa Manchev, Art by Taeeun Yoo

Strictly No Elephants Art and Story by Jessixa Bagley

Drum Dream Girl – Story by Margarita Engle, Art by Rafael Lopez

Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglas – Story Doreen Rappaport, Art by London Ladd

Sidewalk Flowers – Story by Jon Arno Lawson, Art by Sydney Smith

Sad, the Dog – Story by Sandy Fussell, Art by Tull Suwannakit

Marilyn’s Monster – story by Michelle Knudsen, Art by Matt Phelan

I Don’t Like Koala – Story by Sean Ferrell, Art by Charles Santoso

The Night World – Story and Art by Mordicai Gerstein

Lenny and Lucy – Story by Philip C. Stead, Art by Erin E. Stead

Waiting – Story and Art by Kevin Henkes

Little Bird’s Bad Word – Story and Art by Jacob Grant

I’m Trying to Love Spiders – Story and art by Bethany Barton

To the Sea – Story and Art by Cale Atkinson

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted Birdie Friends – Story by Jill Esbaum, Art by Nate Wragg

Float – Story and Art by Daniel Miyares

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Story and Art by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Henry Hyena, Why Won’t You Laugh? – Story by Doug Jantzen, Art by Jean Claude

Beautiful Hands – Story by Kathryn Otoshi, Art by Bret Baumgarten

If You Plant A Seed – Story and Art by Kadir Nelson

Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps – Story and Art by Sophy Henn

Growing Up Pedro – Story and Art by Matt Tavares

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement – Story by Carole Boston Weatherford, Art by Ekua Homes

Water is Water – Story by Miranda Paul, Art by Jason Chin

Last Stop on Market Street – Story by Matt De La Pena, Art by Christian Robinson

Toys Meet Snow – Story by Emily Jenkins, Art by Paul O. Zelinsky

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear – Story by Lindsay Mattick, Art by Sophie Blackall

The Only Child – Story and Art by Guojing

I cannot wait to see which books are in the top!

To see other favorite books in our classroom, go here

6 thoughts on “Our Top Picture Books of 2015”

  1. I love your list, Pernille, and your blog. Thanks for all your wisdom. Discussing favorite picture books for the Caldecott is a great way to introduce them to 7th graders. It’s fun to see Kathryn Otoshi’s book BEAUTIFUL HANDS here. She brought it to me to discuss in CA before I moved to FL, as she did her very first book. Miss her and CA. Hope you’ve seen my newest book and Junior Library Guild selection, LOST. FOUND. It’s two words repeated, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, and I think the depth and many ways to look at the story may be of interest to older students. (Fifth grade teachers have shared their students love it.) There’s a teacher’s guide at my website: Thanks again for your thoughts. So many times your blogs resonate with my own thoughts.

  2. Pernille, Tthanks to you and your students for sharing this wonderful list of picture books. As an intermediate teacher, I often reach into my cupboards for the next best learning experience and pull out Caldecott winning picture books.
    Regarding your knowledge of the written/published word, I often wonder how much you invest in a classroom library! Kudos!
    Thanks again, TIna

  3. Hi, Ann, I think I want to do book analyses/reports using these picture books. Do we have any of these? End of Jan will be fine. We have 26 students. I’ll come up with a report format. Hmmm, how about if they go read aloud their book to 4th & 5th grade??? Barb

    Sent from my iPhone


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