Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 Picture Books: My Pile

2016 was another outstanding year for picture books. Here are four to whet your appetite:

BEAUTIFUL
by Stacy McAnulty
illus. by Joanne Lew Vriethoff
Running Press Kids

This book is the perfect juxtaposition of text and art. If you take the text alone, it reads almost like a mid-century book on etiquette. It is the vibrant illustrations that show the exuberance, curiosity, and individuality of a group of girls who have their own definition of beauty. BEAUTIFUL is PERFECT.

FIELD GUIDE TO THE GRUMPASAURUS
from the notes of Edward Hemingway
Clarion Books

The genius of this book is the mashup of dinosaurs, field guides, and the universal bad mood. Illustrated as a notebook, there are plenty of labeled diagrams, witty instructions, and a very satisfying twist at the end.

A POEM FOR PETER: THE STORY OF EZRA JACK KEATS AND THE CREATION OF THE SNOWY DAY
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
illus. by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson
Viking

Telling the story of a Jewish immigrant who grows up to be a beloved children's book creator, Pinkney's free verse is full of compassion and appreciation. In my opinion, this gorgeous book is one of the best of 2016.

TIGER AND BADGER
by Emily Jenkins
illus. by Marie-Louise Gay
Candlewick Press

I picked this up because I am a huge fan of Emily Jenkins' TOYS GO OUT books. She has a way with making her characters believably flawed and yet, so lovable. Tiger and Badger are best friends...until they're not. The realistic dialogue leapt off the page and spoke to me and my two (often bickering) boys.

Storystorm 2017

Happy New Year!

Start the new year off write (typo intended!) with Tara Lazar's reinvention of Picture Book Idea Month. It is called Storystorm. Follow her blog for daily posts that will get your storm stirred up! (I realize the month is more than half over, but these posts are an amazing resource, regardless of when you start!) Here's the line up: