march 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 27, 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!

Alphabet Kingdom book
#2
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
#3
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.

Oh, Bear book
#4
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.

Baby Goes to Market book
#5
Baby Goes to Market
Written by Atinuke and illustrated by Angela Brooksbank, Atinuke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Join Baby and his doting mama at a bustling southwest Nigerian marketplace for a bright, bouncy read-aloud offering a gentle introduction to numbers. Market is very crowded. Mama is very busy. Baby is very curious. When Baby and Mama go to the market, Baby is so adorable that the banana seller gives him six bananas. Baby eats one and puts five in the basket, but Mama doesn't notice. As Mama and Baby wend their way through the stalls, cheeky Baby collects five oranges, four biscuits, three ears of sweet corn, two pieces of coconut . . . until Mama notices that her basket is getting very heavy! Poor Baby, she thinks, he must be very hungry by now! Rhythmic language, visual humor, and a bounty of delectable food make this a tale that is sure to whet little appetites for story time.

Poetree book
#6
Poetree
Written by Shauna Lavoy Reynolds and illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry. The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter's end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn't count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence...as well as an unexpected new friendship. Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

Not Your Nest! book
#7
Not Your Nest!
Written by Gideon Sterer and illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A hilarious and oh-so-honest look at the art of sharing, from two rising picture-book stars. Bird is just about to put the finishing touches on his new home when he suddenly finds that his nest is already full--of someone else. So he reluctantly builds another nest. But Fox finds this new nest quite comfy, and Brush Hog loves the view from Bird's next attempt. Soon the Acacia tree is bursting with happily nested animals of all shapes and stripes--everyone except bird! But when Bird finally finds a way to evict his unwelcome guests, the animals realize their mistake and build a nest that's big enough for all of them. Well, almost...

Raise Your Hand book
#8
Raise Your Hand
Written by Alice Paul Tapper and illustrated by Marta Kissi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

11-year-old Alice Paul Tapper–daughter of CNN’s Jake Tapper–is challenging girls everywhere to speak up! When Alice Tapper noticed that the girls in her class weren’t participating as much as the boys, she knew she had to do something about it. With help from her Girl Scout troop and her parents, she came up with a patch that other girls could earn if they took a pledge to be more confident in school. Alice even wrote an op-ed about the experience for the New York Times! Inspired by that piece, this picture book illustrates her determination, bravery, and unwillingness to accept the status quo. With Marta Kissi’s delightful illustrations depicting Alice’s story, young readers everywhere will want to follow Alice’s lead and raise their hand!

Ernestine's Milky Way book
#9
Ernestine's Milky Way
Written and illustrated by Kerry Madden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In Maggie Valley, North Carolina, in the 1940s, Ernestine, who is five years old and a big girl, carries fresh milk to needy neighbors through thickets, down paths, and over a barbed-wire fence, despite her fears.

Music for Mister Moon book
#10
Music for Mister Moon
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After shy cello player Harriet Henry accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky, the moon becomes her friend, and Harriet gains the courage to share her music.

How To Two book
#11
How To Two
Written and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

So much more than a counting book, this heartfelt and timeless story is about inclusivity and the joys of making new friends, from the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series A child’s solitary day at the playground turns into a boisterous park-wide adventure as one boy on the slide becomes two kids on the see-saw, then three jumping rope. Before long, ten new friends are playing like they’ve known one another forever. With its deceptively simple text and a rich visual narrative, How to Two is a playful counting and reverse-counting concept book as well as an exuberant celebration of inclusive play, friendship, and community.

Hey, Water! book
#12
Hey, Water!
Written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splash! A spunky little girl plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, in this gorgeously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

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