My 100 Favorite Picture Books of 2016

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 РMy 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.

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