february 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Feb. 17, 2019
The Bug Girl book
#1
The Bug Girl
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrated by Filippo Vanzo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil--and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn't stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths--discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.

Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl book
#2
Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl
Written by Susin Nielsen and illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What's a pampered cat to do now that she has to compete for attention with an ill-mannered puppy? Award-winning author Susin Nielsen delights in this laugh-a-minute twist on the classic sibling rivalry story. Princess Puffybottom has the perfect life -- her subjects serve her delicious meals, clean up her ""delicate matters"" and wait on her hand and foot. Life is good . . . until Darryl arrives. Princess Puffybottom thinks he's disgusting, horrid and a true animal. Though she tries everything in her power to banish him (including hypnosis, trickery and even sabotage), it looks like this puppy is here to stay. Can Princess P. and Darryl find a way to co-exist? A hilarious picture book from acclaimed author Susin Nielsen, with adorable illustrations by Olivia Chin Mueller, Princess Puffybottom . . . and Darryl is perfect for not only warring siblings, but also anyone who loves cute pets (and some toilet humor).

I Am Billie Jean King book
#3
I Am Billie Jean King
Written and illustrated by Brad Meltzer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Billie Jean King is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Read about this amazing woman athlete in the seventeenth picture book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Billie Jean King, the world champion tennis player who fought successfully for women's rights.

Eric Carle's Book of Many Things book
#4
Eric Carle's Book of Many Things
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Learn over 200 words with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other favorite friends from the World of Eric Carle. Children will have hours of fun learning first words and first concepts in this beautiful book from the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From things in the garden to things you can eat, from numbers to shapes, from colors to feelings, this is the perfect way for little ones to learn what they need to navigate their busy worlds.

The New Neighbors book
#5
The New Neighbors
Written and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

New neighbors have moved into the ground floor of a bustling apartment building. The bunnies upstairs are excited, but what will the other residents think? Sarah McIntyre's funny, light-hearted tale reveals there's no room for prejudice. The bunnies upstairs are thrilled to find out that rats have moved into the first-floor apartment. But when other neighbors discover the news, excitement soon turns to jitters, panic, and worse! As the residents descend the stairs to investigate, the rats prepare a yummy dessert. Will all of the animals make the rats leave, or can fear be conquered with delicious, homemade cake?

Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#6
Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This gorgeous little gift book from The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect way to say "Happy Birthday!" Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of everyone's special day. This beautiful book features Eric Carle's bright, colorful artwork of birthday surprises--from presents to balloons, and of course, cake--with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This book is the perfect birthday gift for readers young and old.

My Perfect Pet book
#7
My Perfect Pet
Written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The irresistible new series by the author-illustrator of Mr. Men Little Miss. Molly wants a pet. A big pet. But with Molly, mischief is never far away! In this first book of a new series, Molly decides that an elephant would be a perfect pet. When she brings one home, she quickly learns that "perfect" isn't quite the right word. Elephants are big. Tigers are fierce. Giraffes are tall. Will Molly ever find the perfect pet? A laugh-out-loud story for sharing, with bold, fun illustrations, this book celebrates a larger-than-life little girl learning a valuable lesson in appreciating what you've already got (unless he's your younger brother!).

Saves the World! book
#8
Saves the World!
Written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The irresistible new series by the author-illustrator of Mr. Men Little Miss. Molly knows what she wants to be when she grows up: a superhero. It's a great plan. She could save the world. But with Molly, mischief is never far away! In this second book of a new series, Molly wants to be a superhero, but before she can start her new job she has to answer some important questions. What powers will she have? Who are her enemies? What's her costume like? While Molly has a great imagination, and anything is possible, one thing is for sure: this will definitely end in mischief. A laugh-out-loud story for sharing, with bold, fun illustrations, this book celebrates a larger-than-life little girl learning a valuable lesson in appreciating what you've already got (unless he's your younger brother!).

Pancakes to Parathas book
#9
Pancakes to Parathas
Written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Breakfast varies from country to country, but it's how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee--with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.

Emma and Starfire book
#10
Emma and Starfire
Written by Lauren Marie and illustrated by Jenna Leigh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Emma is a girl with one dream: to have a horse of her own. Her dream seems out of reach, and she only has an unwilling cow to ride. At school, Jane, who rides racehorses, bullies Emma about not being worthy enough to ride a horse. That night, Emma gazes at the sky and wonders why Jane is so mean. A white light streaks across the sky. The magical Duchess of the Stars appears and entrusts Emma with Starfire, a buckskin colt--the offspring of the Star Horses who rule the stars and the sun. With Starfire by her side, Emma gains the confidence to stand up to her bully.

The Flying Light book
#11
The Flying Light
Written and illustrated by Yuanhao Yang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Enter a mystical world where a man and his strange pet lizard attempt to lure luminous flying creatures to their town. Through innovative wordless storytelling and wonderfully detailed panel illustrations that invite children to use their imagination, this story will light up the lives of those in search of direction and allow each reader to interpret it according to their own unique vision of the world.

What If? book
#12
What If?
Written and illustrated by Sandra Magsamen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

You see, being different is special and can give your spirit a lift! Being different is beautiful and magnificent. It's what makes life a gift! We are all one of a kind. Just show the world who you are -let your you-ness shine! With a warm, inspiring message, this book will give children courage to embrace their individuality and accept others for who they are.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.