march 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Mar. 25, 2019
Bach to the Rescue!!! book
#13
Bach to the Rescue!!!
Written by Tom Angleberger and illustrated by Elio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Every famous piece of art has an origin story--even Bach's Goldberg Variations! When the richest dude in town can't sleep, he hires a much-less-rich dude named Johann Gottlieb Goldberg to play him lullabies on the harpsichord. Goldberg does an OK job, but as the Rich Dude hollers for Goldberg each night, he wakes up the whole town in the process. As the town gets sleepier and sleepier and grumpier and grumpier, Goldberg worries he may be out of a job soon. But then, the one and only Bach enters the scene with a series of lullabies composed specifically for the Rich Dude. And, thus, the Goldberg Variations are born! This zany, nontraditional nonfiction picture book comes from the inimitable Tom Angleberger, author of the bestselling Origami Yoda series.

Butterflies in Room 6 book
#14
Butterflies in Room 6
Written and illustrated by Caroline Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children's wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree book
#15
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan and illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

Hey, Water! book
#16
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.

Dancing Through Fields of Color book
#17
Dancing Through Fields of Color
Written by Elizabeth Brown and illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthaler became an originator of the influential "Color Field" style of abstract expressionist painting with her "soak stain" technique, and her artwork continues to electrify new generations of artists today. Dancing Through Fields of Color discusses Frankenthaler's early life, how she used colors to express emotion, and how she overcame the male-dominated art world of the 1950s.

Just Read! book
#18
Just Read!
Written by Lori Degman and illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

These kids all love to read--and every time they open a book, they open up a whole new world! This exuberant story celebrates reading as it follows a diverse group of children who read wherever and whenever they can. Sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they've built. Victoria Tentler-Krylov's fanciful art and Lori Degman's rollicking text will get every child excited about reading!

Two Kings book
#19
Two Kings
Written and illustrated by Emma Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When the old king dies, a Duke and Earl find themselves in competition for the Kingdom. Their vanity and greed see them locked in a futile battle, which impacts the lives of the people who live in the Kingdom. But what do the people want? And will anyone listen? In this moralistic tale about the dangers of vanity and power-hungry leaders, Emma Lewis's distinctive collage style--inspired by the famous Bayeux Tapestry--lends a unique approach to a contemporary folktale.

Anya’s Secret Society  book
#20
Anya’s Secret Society
Written and illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In Russia, right-handedness is demanded--it is the right way. This cultural expectation stifles young Anya's creativity and artistic spirit as she draws the world around her in secret. Hiding away from family, teachers, and neighbors, Anya imagines a secret society of famous left-handed artists drawing alongside her. But once her family emigrates from Russia to America, her life becomes less clandestine, and she no longer feels she needs to conceal a piece of her identity.

Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry) book
#21
Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Ed Young
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist take a creative look at the early life of comedic genius Charlie Chaplin. Once there was a little slip of a boy who roamed the streets of London, hungry for life (and maybe a bit of bread). His dad long gone and his actress mother ailing, five-year-old Charlie found himself onstage one day taking his mum’s place, singing and drawing laughs amid a shower of coins. There were times in the poorhouse and times spent sitting in the window at home with Mum, making up funny stories about passersby. And when Charlie described a wobbly old man he saw in baggy clothes, with turned-out feet and a crooked cane, his mother found it sad, but Charlie knew that funny and sad go hand in hand. With a lyrical text and exquisite collage imagery, Gary Golio and Ed Young interpret Charlie Chaplin’s path from his childhood through his beginnings in silent film and the creation of his iconic Little Tramp. Keen-eyed readers will notice a silhouette of the Little Tramp throughout the book that becomes animated with a flip of the pages. An Afterword fills in facts about the beloved performer who became one of the most famous entertainers of all time.

Just Like Rube Goldberg book
#22
Just Like Rube Goldberg
Written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Discover how Rube Goldberg followed his dreams to become an award-winning cartoonist, inventor, and even an adjective in the dictionary in this inspiring and funny biographical picture book. Want to become an award-winning cartoonist and inventor? Follow your dreams, just like Rube Goldberg! From a young age, Rube Goldberg had a talent for art. But his father, a German immigrant, wanted Rube to have a secure job. So, Rube went to college and became an engineer. But Rube didn’t want to spend his life mapping sewer pipes. He wanted to follow his passion, so Rube got a low-level job at a newspaper, and from there, he worked his way up, creating cartoons that made people laugh and tickled the imagination. He became known for his fantastic Rube Goldberg machines—complicated contraptions with many parts that performed a simple task in an elaborate and farfetched way. Eventually, his cartoons earned him a Pulitzer Prize and his own adjective in the dictionary. This moving biography is sure to encourage young artists and inventors to pursue their passions.

Along Came Coco book
#23
Along Came Coco
Written and illustrated by Eva Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a time when children were meant to be seen and not heard, along came Coco, a small French orphan with an eye for style, a talent for sewing, and a big imagination. Coco grew up in an orphanage run by very strict nuns, but she wasn't very good at following rules. At a time when girls were told to brush their hair 100 times until their arms were sore, Coco promised herself that one day she would snip away her locks so that she wouldn't have to be so fussy--girls needed time for other things, and they needed some of the comforts that boys enjoyed. Why shouldn't girls have pockets? And why did they have to wear corsets all the time? An exploration of Coco's early life and a celebration of her creativity, Along Came Coco ​shows the ways in which Coco Chanel's imaginative spirit led her to grow into one of the world's most beloved fashion icons.

Martin and Anne book
#24
Martin and Anne
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born the same year a world apart. Both faced ugly prejudices and violence, which both answered with words of love and faith in humanity. This is the story of their parallel journeys to find hope in darkness and to follow their dreams.

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