Friday, July 21, 2017

Year of 1,000 Picture Books

In 2016, I read 1,000 picture books and found so many gems! Here are 115 of them arranged by loose categories for easier consumption

Most of these are on the shelves of Bennett Martin Public Library in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. I went through every shelf in the picture books and junior biography sections looking for promising books with these qualities:
  • Well-balanced text and illustrations, as opposed to walls of text.
  • Distinguished art.
  • Minority representation, especially of children of color.
  • Gender role stereotype push-back.
  • "Issues" books that could appeal to children, not just the adults reading to them.
I had the opportunity in 2016 to use many of these in my Summer Reading programs, my weekly reading at a local homeless shelter, and in my after school program. My first priority is always to show that reading is fun, so I never read a picture book I don't like myself. I also want ALL kids to see (1) themselves and their families, and (2) kids from other backgrounds. It's too easy to only show books that are about talking animals or white boys and girls acting out gender stereotypes. Intentional diversity is a correction back to realism.

Not every great picture book is a great read-aloud. These are, and so are many other titles in the categories below. It's important for a story to give kids the opportunity to "help" the reader with repeated phrases, noises, or emotional responses.
What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum, illustrated by Adrian Johnson
The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge
Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex
The Red Hen by Rebecca and Ed Emberley
No Ghost Under My Bed by Guido van Genechten
The Deep, Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker, illustrated by Deborah Zemke
H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers

The Ghost of Sifty-Sifty Sam by Angela Shelf Medaeris, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone
Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Harriet Kasak Portfolio
In a Dark, Dark Wood: An Old Tale with a New Twist by David A. Carter
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury, illustrated by Michael Rosen

Alphabet Books
Girls A to Z by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Suzanne Bloom
A Prairie Alphabet by Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet, illustrated by Yvette Moore
Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
My First Riddles by Judith Hoffman Corwin
CDC? by William Steig

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
What Can You Do With a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Amy Cordova
Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomeros by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Dan Santat

Be prepared for requests to photocopy project instructions at the end of these books, or use them as a lead-in to a group craft.
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison, illustrated by Slade Morrison
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story about Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
More-Igami by Dori Kleber, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

My Pen by Christopher Myers
Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Jojo's Flying Side Kick by Brian Pinkney
Nightsong by Ari Berk, illustrated by Loren Long
Chico the Brave by Dave Horowitz

Twelve Hats for Lena: A Book of Months by Karen Katz
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer
In the Town All Year 'Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner
Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Goyangi Means Cat by Christine McDonnell, illustrated by Steve Johnson
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
Rainy Day by Patricia Lakin,  illustrated by Scott Nash
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp
Do You Know Dewey? by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Around the World
Anno's Journey by Mitsumasa Anno
Rome Antics by David Macaulay
The World in a Second by Isabel Minhos Martins, illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho
Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock

A Fire Engine for Ruthie by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Cyd Moore
The Grannyman by Judy Schachner
Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village by Fang Suzhen, illustrated by Sonja Danowski
Remember, Grandma? by Laura Langston
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raúl Colón

Moms and Dads
The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith
What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (2007 edition with black family) or illustrated by Ben Schecter (1971 edition with white family)
A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrated by Kristin Blackwood & Mike Blanc

This category works wonders in read-aloud!
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis, illustrated by Paul Rogers
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
RRRalph by Lois Ehlert
And the Cars Go... by William Bee

Word Builder by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
Construction by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Those Building Men by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Barry Moser
Let's Go to the Hardware Store by Ann F. Rockwell, illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Proud To Be Myself
Happy to be Nappy by bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka
I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien  
Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Kathryn Mitter
Tommy Can't Stop by Tim Federle, illustrated by Mark Fearing
Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube
Maggi and Milo by Juli Brenning, illustrated by Priscilla Burris
Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts

Hard Times
Beautiful Moon by Tonya Bolden, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Yard Sale by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

The Feel Good Book by Todd Parr
Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley
Theo's Mood: A Book of Feelings by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Distinguished Art
Bow-wow's Nightmare Neighbors, illustrated by Mark Newgarden & Megan Montague Cash
Searching by Olga de Dios
Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg
Imagine a City by Elise Hurst
Something's Not Quite Right by Guy Billout
When The Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Stefano Vitale
An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Track That Scat! by Lisa Morlock, illustrated by Carrie Anne Bradshaw
An Ocean World by Peter Sís
Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons by Sara C. Levine, illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth
Fossil by Claire Ewart
I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
I Am the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Francis Vallejo
Little Treasures: Endearments Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Chris Raschka
The Quicksand Book by Tomie dePaola
The Village Garage by G. Brian Karas
Wandering Whale Sharks by Susumu Shingu,
Water is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? by George Shannon

Life Stories
The Firehouse Light by Janet Nolan, illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos
Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story by Martin Springett, illustrated by Isobel Springett
Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball by David A. Kelly, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by David Díaz
Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a grand undertaking, and an inspirational list! Thanks for being such a devoted reader, library user and advocate for all kids.

    I'll share this list with our staff. Thanks again!