This has been a great year for picture books. It was really hard to come up with the list of our top 10, but with some help from the kids we finally whittled it down to the ones we read over and over and over (and over) again.
All these books have fun (and in most cases gorgeous) illustrations and extraordinary writing. Not all of them are new this year (although most are). We tried to pick our most current favorites but some that were written in the last two or three years were just too good to pass up.
If you are in need of a kid-friendly gift this Christmas any book on this list will be truly loved.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems • It was tough to pick our most favoritest Mo Willems book. The Pigeon Needs a Bath is his most recent book and That is Not a Good Idea from 2013 is pretty amazing too. But when you find your whole family quoting from a book you know you’re on to something good. Willems rendition of the classic Goldilocks story is hysterical and clever and silly and all the things that make his books so loved.
Journey by Aaron Becker • A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book, Journey, is whimsical and magical and a book you can easily lose yourself in. The illustrations are beautiful and intricate and come together to create a story that can only be limited by the imagination.
Black Dog by Levi Pinfold • This book is one of our all-time favorites and one I have discussed here in the past. Its imagery and text encompass the idea that fear only grows unless confronted and whatever it is usually isn’t worth being frightened over in the first place.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barrnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen • Mac Barrnett and Jon Klassen are like picture book gold. They have written and illustrated some our most beloved books and Extra Yarn is no different. It is a story that shows how some ordinary yarn can turn a cold, colorless town into something extraordinary.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead • If you live in a cold climate like we do where winter seems to last forever then you will identify with Julie Fogliano’s tender story about the anticipation of spring.
Have You Seen My Dragon by Steve Light • This is no ordinary counting book. The story takes you on an intricately illustrated adventure to find a young boy’s dragon counting everything from hot dogs to traffic lights along the way.
A House in the Woods by Inga Moore • We love this story but the pictures…the pictures! Moore’s illustrations are so lovely and inviting just looking at the book brightens your day. This book is like a ray of sunshine that warms your heart.
My No, No, No Day by Rebecca Patterson • This book is a favorite of my 2-year-old who maybe, just maayyyybbbee, identifies with its main character, Bella, who let’s face it; is pissed off.
Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter • This delightful book weaves history into a beautifully written and illustrated tale of a frustrated and sweltering monarch who just wants to go for a swim.
Silver Buttons by Bob Graham • What happens in a moment? This masterful picture book aims to find out. The entire book takes place in the moment a baby takes his first step and shows everything that is happening in a city during that split-second momentous occasion.