august 2018 Best Picture Books

Updated Jun. 17, 2019
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
#1
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

The Widow's Broom book
#2
The Widow's Broom
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Some of Minna Shaw's neighbors don't trust her clever broom. "It's dangerous," they say. But Minna appreciates the broom's help. She enjoys its quiet company. But one day two children get taught a well-deserved lesson by the broom. For her neighbors, this is proof of the broom's evil spirit. Minna is obligated to give up her dear companion. Chris Van Allsburg, master of the mysterious, brings this tale to life with moody and memorable pictures that will haunt readers long after the book's covers are closed—now in a new edition to celebrate this beloved book's twenty-fifth anniversary.

No, David! book
#3
No, David!
Written and illustrated by David Shannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

America's favorite trouble maker will fill your home with good-natured laughter in this brand-new board book that celebrates 20 years of the bestselling, Caldecott-winning classic!

Stellaluna book
#4
Stellaluna
Written and illustrated by Janell Cannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. “Delightful and informative but never didactic; a splendid debut.”--Kirkus Reviews For this anniversary edition, color has been added to the ink drawings and the interior design now allows for more art to be see. Plus there is a code for a downloadable crafts and activity kit, two pages of updated notes about bats, and a special note from the author.

Melia and Jo book
#5
Melia and Jo
Written and illustrated by Billy Aronson, Jennifer Oxley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.

The day you begin book
#6
The day you begin
Written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you. There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

Good Dog book
#7
Good Dog
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This charming picture book—from the author-illustrator of The Rabbit Listened and Little Bunny Foo Foo: The Real Story—follows an adorable stray puppy who exemplifies what it truly means to be a “good dog.” When a puppy in need of a friend follows a kind girl into town, he lands himself into all sorts of trouble. He gets lost. He’s nearly run over. And he gets chased out of a bakery for being a “bad dog.” But when the pup and the girl reunite in the park and she leaves behind her favorite doll, the puppy has a chance to prove just what a good dog he really is! This heartwarming story told with bold, beautiful illustrations and sparse text is a perfect read-aloud book and great for beginning readers. Families who enjoyed Kelly DiPucchio’s bestselling Gaston, Patrick McDonnell’s lovable characters, and Mike Twohy’s award-winning Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! will fall in love with Cori Doerrfeld’s Good Dog.

Music Is for Everyone book
#8
Music Is for Everyone
Written by Jill Barber and illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Music is for Everyone is sure to get you excited about making music! Singer-songwriter Jill Barber takes her young readers through many different kinds of music—hip-hop, jazz, classical, folk—and instruments in an energetic, rhyming tour. Sydney Smith’s gleeful illustrations capture all the joy that comes from making music in all its forms!

The Picky Eater book
#9
The Picky Eater
Written by Betsy Parkinson and illustrated by Shane Clester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Piper the piglet is a very picky eater, who will only eat food beginning with the letter "P"--and somehow her parents must break her of this strange quirk, and get her to eat other good foods.

I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) book
#10
I Hate My Cats (A Love Story)
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Anna Pirolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Ginger is the weird one. She plays with peas, purrs at artichokes, and has a strange fondness for chicken (but only the neighbor's chicken). Then there's Fred. His greatest talent? Sleeping. Oh, and hiding. And when he's not hiding, he's conspiring with Ginger to destroy the house! Such is life with cats. . . can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em—if you love them, that is. And yet the question remains: Why are these captivating creatures so marvelously maddening?! From internationally bestselling author Davide Cali, this humorous picture book about a cat owner and his beguiling felines celebrates quirky cat companions, impurrfections and all.

The Crocodile and the Dentist book
#11
The Crocodile and the Dentist
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Oh, it's time to go to the dentist! Crocodile has a toothache, but he's afraid of the dentist. The dentist wants to help, but he's afraid of Crocodile. Never fear! Bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi cleverly and humorously presents both sides of the story, as the crocodile and the dentist learn to be brave and face their fears—of what might happen in that dentist's chair and of each other!

Everything & Everywhere book
#12
Everything & Everywhere
Written and illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From Hong Kong to Reykjavík, Ulaanbaatar to New York City, enjoy a lush and unexpected journey around the world to discover what makes each place unique. Sleepy sloths, colorful cows, staggering skylines, terrible traffic—countless surprises await! All you need is a good guide and a little curiosity . . . so, what are you waiting for? Let's go! From award-winning author and illustrator Marc Martin comes a quirky, fact-filled adventure for curious globe-trotters, young and old.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!