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march 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Jul. 15, 2019
Strega Nona's Magic Lessons book
#1
Strega Nona's Magic Lessons
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This delightful new edition of Tomie dePaola’s beloved classic stars Strega Nona at her trickiest—and bumbling Big Anthony at his silliest! Bambolona is tired of working in her Papa’s bakery. There is far too much to do! So she decides to go to wise Strega Nona and learn a little magic, instead. But here comes Big Anthony. He wants to learn, too…if he doesn’t make a big mess of things first!

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug book
#2
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug
Written by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure—a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts. Introducing an unforgettable character on the picture book scene, Tiny T. Rex will stomp into the hearts of readers in this winning new series.

Chicks Rule book
#3
Chicks Rule
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Renee Kurilla
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nerdy Chick has been waiting all day for the Rocket Club meeting. But when she gets there, she finds a disturbing sign tacked to the door: “NO CHICKS ALLOWED!!!” Puzzled, then baffled, then just plain mad, Nerdy Chick sets out to change the rules. Along the way, she meets other chicks who are just like her: passionate and determined. From Soccer Chick to Science Chick and Wordy Chick to Yoga Chick, these chicks aren’t willing to take “NO” for an answer. They rally together, march to the barn at the center of town, and—when they hear “NO” once again—chart their own path forward (or, rather, up, up, and away!). A celebration of girl power and community action, Chicks Rule! is the playful, diverse, victorious anthem chicks everywhere will love.

Alphabet Kingdom book
#4
Alphabet Kingdom
Written and illustrated by Starla Michelle Halfmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

In this large-format alphabet book, the letters of the English language come alive through the artwork of Austin-based fine artist Starla Michelle Halfmann. Children will learn and marvel as their ABCs become members of the animal kingdom, and adults will appreciate the beauty of this gorgeously rendered wordless picture book.

The Bear and the Piano book
#5
The Bear and the Piano
Written by David Litchfield and illustrated by Frances Lincoln Ltd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

One day, a bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. When he touches the keys, they make a horrible noise. Yet he is drawn back again and again. Eventually, he learns to play beautiful sounds, delighting his woodland friends. Then the bear is invited to share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be very sad . . . This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.

I Can Only Draw Worms book
#6
I Can Only Draw Worms
Written and illustrated by Will Mabbitt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A hilarious picture book in Day-Glo colors all about worms that is perfect for fans of The Book With No Pictures and The Day the Crayons Quit. This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.

You Are New book
#7
You Are New
Written and illustrated by Lucy Knisley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A world of being new is waiting for little ones and the grown-ups who love them in this warm and funny book perfect for baby showers. From napping to crying, cuddling to playing, this book introduces the world with humor, honesty, and unmitigated sweetness. Award-winning author and artist Lucy Knisley celebrates the joys of having—and being!—a baby in this timeless celebration of new beginnings and the transformative power of love.

Marie Curie book
#8
Marie Curie
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

At a time when women weren't welcome in the world of science, Marie Curie made her mark on history. She was the first woman to become a professor of physics in the Sorbonne and even won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields. This fascinating biography explains how Curie and her husband discovered both polonium and radium, and why their pioneering research on radioactivity was so important.

Fantastic Toys book
#9
Fantastic Toys
Written and illustrated by Monika Beisner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Reminiscent of Marjorie Winslow's Mud Pies and Other Recipes, Fantastic Toys is a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

Oh, Bear book
#10
Oh, Bear
Written by Melissa Nelson Greenberg and illustrated by Ruth Hengeveld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear receives a bright yellow kite for his birthday and flies it until . . . it gets stuck in a tree and rips. Oh, Bear. Lucky for Bear, Bird is busy building a nest and flies his broken kite home, where an even better surprise awaits him. A story about nature, renewal, and friendship—the best gift of all.

Little Tiger book
#11
Little Tiger
Written by Julie Abery and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little Tiger goes on an adventure in the jungle, but mama is always close by her cub. Short rhyming lines in this illustrated board book tell a sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love.

Flora Forager ABC book
#12
Flora Forager ABC
Written and illustrated by Bridget Beth Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Botanical artist and Instagram sensation Flora Forager makes her children's picture book debut with this imaginative alphabet book featuring real and imaginary animals created with natural materials gathered from her botanical foraging in wild places and from her garden. Bridget Beth Collins, known as Flora Forager on Instagram, has created her beautiful children's book debut from natural materials gathered from her botanical foraging where she makes her home in the Pacific Northwest. Children will be fascinated by her amazing botanical creations, from angel fish to zebra, and inspired to learn their ABCs.

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