I read a lot of books this year. Well over 1000. Some I loved … some not so much. Here are my favorites. Understand that this is only from the books I had a chance to read. I’m sure there are hundreds of wonderful books that I didn’t get a chance to read.
The 100 books that follow, I found to be exceptional in the areas of text, art and idea.
I think it is clear that I am more attracted to quirky, humorous books, than I am to lyrical or serious books, but many wonderful lyrical books still made the list. I was also surprised by how often biographies made my list.
I start with my 10 favorites in no particular order. 10 books I completely connected with.
THUNDER BOY JR. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales – Strong, personal, emotional text with bold lively art.
THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brandan Wenzel – Fantastic. This book had it all, from great art to lovely simple repetitive words to and interesting concept to a perfect ending.
THE MAGIC WORD by Mac Barnett and Elise Parsley – Everything about this book is excellent. Pictures of the main character made me laugh out loud. Great twist on saying please. A new favorite.
NANETTE’S BAGUETTE by Mo Willems – I was beguiled and delighted by this repetitive, rhymy text with simple, silly images.
THE WATER PRINCESS by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds – Here is a lyrical one that I fell in love with. The perfect words with a lovely, important story for kids.
DUCK ON A TRACTOR by David Shannon – Hilarious pictures and story.
EXPLORERS OF THE WILD by Cale Atkinson – Loved this book. such clever story telling and so satisfying.
FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie – Emotional struggle for freedom with bright art.
THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ by Curtis Manley and Kate Burube – Such a clever book that was funny and unusual. Funny images.
LET ME FINISH! By Minh Le and Isabel Roxas – My only meta book on the list, and I love meta books. funny and relatable with active images.
These next 5 might have all be in the top ten if I were making this list yesterday or tomorrow.
IT CAME IN THE MAIL by Ben Clanton
SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson
HOW TO TRACK A TRUCK by Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco
BRING ME A ROCK! by Daniel Miyares
IS THAT WISE, PIG? By Jan Thomas
And here are the rest. All books I thought were terrific!
PLANET KINDERGARTEN: 100 DAYS IN ORBIT by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Shane Prigmore
MONSTER TRUCKS by Anika Denise and Nate Wragg
HOW THIS BOOK WAS MADE by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex
IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING A PIANO TO THE BEACH, DON’T! By Elise Parsley
JAZZ DAY by Roxane Orgill and Francis Vallejo
MY DAD AT THE ZOO by Coralie Saudo and Kris Di Giacomo
THE TWO TIMS by David Elliot and Gabriel Alborozo
MR. PARTICULAR by Jason Kirschner
NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN by Ben Hatke
MAYBE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell and Rafael Lopez
THIS IS NOT A PICTURE BOOK by Sergio Ruzzier
BYE-BYE BINKY by Maria van Lieshout
WHERE’S THE ELEPHANT by Barroux
MR. MOON WAKES UP by Jemima Sharpe
THE THANK YOU BOOK by Mo Willems
THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE by Pat Zietlow Miller and Frank Morrison
WOLF CAMP by Andrea Zuill
HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Rebecca J. Gomez and Dan Santat
ARE WE THERE YET? By Dan Santat
ALAN’S BIG SCARY TEETH by Jarvis
LUCY by Randy Cecil
THE UNCORKER OF OCEAN BOTTLES by Michelle Cuevas and Erin Stead
ARMSTRONG by Torben Kuhlmann
OH NO, ASTRO! By Matt Roeser and Brad Woodard
BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK by Jean Reidy and Leo Timmers
ELLA AND PENGUIN STICK TOGETHER by Megan Maynor and Rosalinde Bonnet
CAN I TELL YOU A SECRET? by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant
GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN! by Ken Burns and Gerald Kelly
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING by Arthur A. Levine and Katie Katherine
BEDTIME FOR BATMAN by Michael Dahl and Ethen Beavers
ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
QUACKERS by Liz Wong
ONE DAY IN THE EUCALYPTUS, EUCALYPTUS TREE by Daniel Bernstrom and Brendan Wenzel
ME AND ANNIE MCPHEE by Oliver Dunrea and Will Hillenbrand
EXCELLENT ED by Stacy McAnulty and Julia Sarcone-Roach
CAN ONE BALLOON MAKE AN ELEPHANT FLY? By Dan Richards and Jeff Newman
I LOVE YOU ALREADY by Jory John and Benji Davies
THERE’S A GIRAFFE IN MY SOUP by Ross Burach
JOSEPH’S BIG RIDE by Terry Farish and Ken Daley
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE by Diana Murray and Leslie Lammle
YOU BELONG HERE by Clark, M. H. and Isabelle Arsenault
EVERYONE LOVES CUPCAKE by Kelly DiPucchio and Eric Wight
10 LITTLE NINJAS by Miranda Paul and Nate Wragg
NEXT TO YOU by Lori Haskins Houran and Sydney Hanson
QUIT CALLING ME MONSTER by Jory John and Bob Shea
BEAUTIFUL by Stacy McAnulty and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
STEAMBOAT SCHOOL by Deborah Hopkinson and Ron Husband
THIS ORQ. (HE #1) by David Elliot and Lori Nichols
ALL ABOARD FOR BOBO ROAD by Stephen Davies and Christopher Corr
COWPOKE CLYDE RIDES THE RANGE by Lori Mortensen and Michael Allen Austin
MERVIN THE SLOTH IS ABOUT TO DO THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD by Colleen AF Venable and Ruth Chan
KISS IT BETTER by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Sarah Massini
GOODNIGHT, BAT! GOOD MORNING, SQUIRREL! By Paul Meisel
MOTOR MILES by John Burningham
THE BILL THE CAT STORY by Berkley Breathed
THE WOLVES OF CURRUMPAR by William Grill
MARY HAD A LITTLE GLAM by Tammi Sauer and Vanessa Brantley-Newton
RULES OF THE HOUSE by Mac Barnett and Matthew Myers
DRAGON WAS TERRIBLE by Kelly DiPucchio and Greg Pizzoli
MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG by Lisa Papp
THE CRANKY BALLERINA by Elise Gravel
WE FOUND A HAT by Jon Klassen
BRUNHILDA’S BACKWARDS DAY by Shawna J. C. Tenney
THE HAPPIEST BOOK EVER by Bob Shea
ALL WE KNOW by Linda Ashman and Jane Dyer
THIS IS MY BOOK by Mark Pett
PLAYING FROM THE HEART by Peter H. Reynolds
DOG RULES by Jef Czekaj
A PERFECT MESS by Steve Breen
WE ARE GROWING by Laurie Keller
DOJO SURPRISE by Chris Tougas
THAT STINKS! By Alan Katz and Stephen Gilpin
SECRET TREE FORT by Brianne Farley
THE MIXED-UP TRUCK by Stephen Savage
RUDAS NINO’S HORRENDOUS HERMANITAS by Yuyi Morales
AROUND AMERICA TO WIN THE VOTE by Mara Rockliff and Hadley Hooper
THE BRANCH by Mireille Messier and Pierre Pratt
EAT, SLEEP, POOP by Alexandra Penfold and Jane Massey
ROSIE THE RAVEN by Helga Bansch
BELLA’S FALL COAT by Lynn Plourde and Susan Gal
THE DEAD BIRD by Margaret Wise Brown and Christian Robinson
POND by Jim LaMarche
TEK: THE MODERN CAVE BOY by Patrick McDonnell
TOO MANY MOOSE! By Lisa M. Bakos and Mark Chambers
DON’T CALL ME CHOOCHIE POOH! By Sean Taylor and Kate Hindley
A VOYAGE IN THE CLOUDS by Matthew Olshan and Sophie Blackall
ANIMALS BY THE NUMBERS by Steve Jenkins
PAWS MCDRAW by Connah Brecon
Let me know which of your favorites made my list, and which ones you think I should have included.