january 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Apr. 24, 2019
My Heart book
#1
My Heart
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt book
#2
Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones. In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing! The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy. Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

There Are No Bears in This Bakery book
#3
There Are No Bears in This Bakery
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The creator of the "New York Times"-bestselling "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich" delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré book
#4
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

What Pet Should I Get? book
#5
What Pet Should I Get?
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The #1 "New York Times" bestseller is now available in the Beginner Book format! When the brother and sister from "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" visit a pet store to pick a pet, naturally, they can't pick just one. How will they decide? Full color.

Tomorrow Is Waiting book
#6
Tomorrow Is Waiting
Written by Kiley Frank and illustrated by Aaron Meshon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A touching, timeless book about a parent's everlasting love for their child--and all of the potential their child has within. Tonight as you sleep A new day stirs Each kiss goodnight Is a wish for tomorrow... As her baby dreams, a mother imagines everything her child will someday be: independent and imaginative, kind and courageous, a listener and a leader. And each hopeful, heartfelt wish is paired with a kiss, and a promise of her love. Tender and moving, Kisses are Wishes is a modern celebration of the dreams we have for our children for finding their place in the world, and for how they will make it a better world. A perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation, it's a book that will be treasured, passed down, read and loved--again, and again, and again.

Hands Up! book
#7
Hands Up!
Written by Breanna J McDaniel and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This triumphant picture book recasts a charged phrase as part of a black girl’s everyday life–hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five–before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march. A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets a little older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they lift their hands up together in resistance and strength

I'll Love You for Always book
#8
I'll Love You for Always
Written by Peter Hinckley and illustrated by Lu Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Nothing can stop your love from reaching your child, and in I’ll Love You for Always, that love is always on hand in the form of six beautiful notes that you can write straight in the book! As a young child travels through life’s peaks and valleys, sunshine and shadow, colorful love birds appear carrying six different notes of love and reassurance. Some notes fold out from the pages, some are tucked in envelopes, and all of them include simple prompts that invite parents to write heartfelt expressions that will be treasured for years to come. The perfect I-love-you book for bedtime, birthdays, celebrations, and even grown-up graduations, I’ll Love You for Always is a timeless gift your children will cherish long past childhood.

Pout-Pout Fish: Lucky Leprechaun book
#9
Pout-Pout Fish: Lucky Leprechaun
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Pout-Pout Fish in The Pout-Pout Fish: Lucky Leprechaun! Will Mr. Fish and his friends find their pot of gold? At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

Adi's Perfect Patterns and Loops book
#10
Adi's Perfect Patterns and Loops
Written by Caroline Karanja and illustrated by Ben William Whitehouse
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Best friends Adi and Gabi love to play with Adi's toy train. Round and round it goes-choo choo! Watching it loop the track gives the girls an idea. These scientific thinkers use their computer coding knowledge to put the train to work!

What Is Given from the Heart book
#11
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

During the Depression, three young sisters get one baby doll for Christmas and must find a way to learn how to share it.

The Little Red Stroller book
#12
The Little Red Stroller
Written by Joshua Furst and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Luna outgrows her stroller just as Ernie needs one, and when he outgrows it he passes it along to Gigi, and soon many different families have received and shared the gift.

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