I thought I wouldn’t be able to pick all of my favorite picture books from 2016, and then I realized that I do not need to. I can write this post as a way to pay homage to the picture books that started conversations, that taught us to think, to question. That made us laugh out loud, that made us cry. This post is therefore not the best picture books of the year necessarily, they are the ones I loved. The ones I remember as I sit at home fighting off the flu. I can guarantee you that when my head clears and I am back in our classroom, I will add more to the list because inevitably some will get left off. While most of these were published in 2016, some were not, some were simply discovered by me finally. Also, to save my own sanity at the length of the post, I will only write one sentence about each book. I encourage you to read them, to buy them, to praise them, to read them in your classroom and to advocate for the use of picture books with all ages.
So in no particular order, which books am I so grateful to have discovered in 2016?
Friendship. Loneliness. Beautiful.
Fitting in. Feeling lost. Appreciate differences.
Inspiration. Wonder. Empowerment.
In-depth. Eye-opening. Mesmerizing.
Tears. Death. Beauty.
Magical. Hopeful. Enchanting.
Deep. Thoughtful. Love.
Unbelievable. True. Informational.
Dreams. Perseverance. Equality.
How did I not know about this before?
Funny. Creative. Inventive.
Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea
Laugh out loud funny. Must be acted out.
Story craft. Inventive. Funny.
Story craft. Collaboration. Hi jinx.
Thought provoking. Imaginative.
Creative. Funny. Writer’s craft.
Fierce. Unapologetic. Thought provoking.
Discussion starter. Community builder.
Creativity boosting. Writing process. Storytelling.
Funny. Naughty. Great read aloud.
Meant to be read aloud. Mentor text.
Makes me want to read more.
Inventive. Masterful conclusion. Dreamers.
Bridging differences. Adventure. Appreciation.
Finding commonality. Social justice. Funny.
Just let me read.
Another book, please?! Knowledgable. Crowd favorite.
My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison.
Friendship. Perspective. Loyalty.
Gratitude. Fitting in. Perspective.
Finding common ground. Social justice.
Heart-attacher. Caring for others.
Gorgeous. Empowering. Tender.
Humanity. Loneliness. Connections.
Chasing dreams. Loneliness. Finding home.
Finding commonalities. Seeing good. Social justice.
Inspiring. Dreamy. Do something.
Informational. Inventive. Inspiring.
Power. Empowering. Speak up.
Surprising. Hilarious. Sequel, please.
Monsters in the library. Imagination. Read another time, please.
Read it again. Surprise. Shock.