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july 2019 Best Picture Books

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! book
#1
Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring.

Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Bunny in the Middle book
#2
Bunny in the Middle
Written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Christopher Denise
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When you’re in the middle . . . you’re not the oldest, and you’re not the youngest. You are right in-between. There’s someone bigger who helps you. And someone smaller who needs you. From the middle, you can see both sides. But being in the middle isn’t always easy—sometimes it’s hard to know what makes you special, or how to follow a path that’s just your own. But that’s okay. As one middle bunny knows, being in the middle means you are loved ALL around.

This classic picture book celebrates the remarkable empathy of middles and the joys of self-acceptance, glowingly illustrated by New York Times–bestselling artist Christopher Denise. Perfect for fans of Little Elliot.

Pick a Pumpkin book
#3
Pick a Pumpkin
Written by Patricia Toht and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The creators of Pick a Pine Tree are back with a joyful, energetic celebration of a Halloween tradition. Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Tall and lean or short and fat. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right. Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, author Patricia Toht and illustrator Jarvis capture all the excitement and familial feeling of a favorite holiday tradition. Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside — savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.

It's a Field Trip, Busy Bus! book
#4
It's a Field Trip, Busy Bus!
Written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Claire Messer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Today is Busy Bus’s very first field trip! He takes the children to a fire house, where they meet Engine Four, a big, shiny, red firetruck. Engine Four has a hose to put out fires, a ladder to reach tall buildings, and a loud and impressive siren. Busy Bus has none of these things. Will the children still like him? This darling picture book offers a gentle exploration of jealousy and a reminder that we each have our own unique talents that make us special.

Little Juniper Makes It BIG book
#5
Little Juniper Makes It BIG
Written and illustrated by Aidan Cassie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What Juniper lacks in size, she makes up for in heart. And her heart is dead-set on growing up and getting taller. She’s tired of having to reach for the cookie jar or use a stepping stool for the toilet. Everything in Juniper’s world seems to be made for adults. Ugh! Juniper is industrious, however, and builds several silly contraptions to help reach her goals. But it isn’t until she makes a fun new friend at school, Clove, who is even smaller than Juniper, that she is able to see her world from a new perspective — and appreciate all sizes, big or small. Aidan Cassie, the creator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever, employs her pitch-perfect humor and heartwarming illustrations here again to help little ones love themselves at any size.

  1. The Right One for Roderic - What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.

  2. Preschool, Here I Come! - Get ready for a year full of firsts by the author of Kindergarten, Here I Come! From saying goodbye to parents on the very first day of school to learning classroom rules, D. J. Steinberg brings to life all the details of preschool in his fun, silly poems. Because preschool is full of firsts! Get ready for all those moments with poems that celebrate the joy of making friends, bring to life the challenges of learning, and even depict the frustration that we all sometimes feel. With poems on so many moments, this is a must-have for kids getting ready for their first day of preschool.

  3. Bauhaus Ballet - Watch the dancers as they leap, spin, and kick their way through this beautiful pop-up book. Inspired by the eccentric and innovative Bauhaus Triadic Ballet, this gorgeous book explores colours, shapes, patterns, and movements in a visually stunning and enthralling way. With bold artwork rendered in Lesley Barnes’ striking style and playful text by Gabby Dawnay, this special pop-up book will appeal to all ages.

  4. Give Me Back My Bones! - A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves. Cast a spyglass ‘round here while breakers curl and pound here. There’s treasure to be found here — I feel it in my bones! A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula — could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.

The King of Kindergarten book
#10
The King of Kindergarten
Written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A New York Times betseller!

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.

The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head—like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone—and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements—and then wake up to start another day.

Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes’s empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations exude joy.

What Does an Anteater Eat? book
#11
What Does an Anteater Eat?
Written and illustrated by Ross Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Anteater is hungry, but he has completely forgotten what anteaters eat. Baffled, and with his tummy rumbling, he consults the other animals. Sloth is too busy, Toucan is clueless, and Crocodile has his own mouth full. Whatever will Anteater do? It isn’t until the ants all run for their lives that Anteater remembers what he should be eating . . . and it’s not what you think! A delightfully silly tale that little ones will return to again and again.

Small World book
#12
Small World
Written by Ishta Mercurio and illustrated by Jen Corace
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother’s arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda’s wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda’s studies lead her to become an astronaut and see the small, round shape of Earth far away. A geometric meditation on wonder, Small World is a modern classic that expresses our big and small place in the vast universe.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!