march 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 21, 2019
Holy Squawkamole! book
#49
Holy Squawkamole!
Written by Susan Wood and illustrated by Laura González
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

This tasty takeonthe classic Little Red Hen story has a deliciously spicy twist! Yum, guacamole! That's what Little Red Hen craves, and she could use some help gathering and mashing the ingredients. So she asks her friends, including an armadillo, snake, and iguana, to lend a hand. Every one just says "no." But after Little Red Hen works hard to make the scrumptious fresh guac, all the animals want a taste. In a fun departure from the original tale, Little Red Hen cooks up a comeuppance for the slackers that they'll never forget!

Mountain Chef book
#50
Mountain Chef
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Rich Lo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of a Chinese American mountain man who fed thirty people for ten days in the wilderness--and helped inspire the creation of the National Park Service. Tie Sing was born in the mountains. The mountains were in his blood. But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing's prospects were limited. But he had bigger plans. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California. When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men--writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star--to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook. Tie Sing planned diligently. He understood the importance of this trip. But when disaster struck--twice!--and Tie Sing's supplies were lost, it was his creative spirit and quick mind that saved the day. His sumptuous menus had to be struck and Tie Sing had to start over in order to feed the thirty people in the group for ten whole days. His skills were tested and Tie Sing rose to the challenge. On the last night, he fed not just the campers' bodies, but also their minds, reminding them to remember and protect the mountains. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created by Congress on August 25, 1916. Today, you can hike to Sing Peak, named for Tie Sing, in Yosemite National Park.

The Magic Boat book
#51
The Magic Boat
Written by Kit Pearson, Katherine Farris and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every summer morning, Ellie and her Nonna go to the beach. They swim and build sandcastles, and while Nonna reads, Ellie watches the other children play. One day Ellie builds up the courage to approach an older girl playing on her own in a beached rowboat. Piper has a gift, an imagination so great that she whisks Ellie off on grand adventures, going high in the air, deep below the ocean and everywhere in between in their little blue boat, their magic boat. When Piper has to leave, Ellie discovers she has her own vivid imagination.

Stephen Hawking book
#52
Stephen Hawking
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Known for both his bestselling books and his work on black holes, physicist Stephen Hawking beat the odds and lived with ALS for longer than doctors ever expected. This engrossing biography shows why Hawking is an inspiring example of someone who pursued his dreams in spite of his disability. Follow his path to fame as he formulates his groundbreaking theory, expands our ideas about the universe, and becomes an admired "rock-star scientist."

Leaf Man book
#53
Leaf Man
Written by Patricia J. Miranda and illustrated by Chris O'Leary
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While wandering through a field of stumps that was once a forest, a boy collects twigs and sticks and leaves that remain and decides to create something new. He makes a figure—a leaf man—who inspires him to dream and invent, to plant the seed for a better world. Based on the ancient folklore of the “green man” as a symbol of renewal, lyrical text and immersive visual storytelling fills this uplifting picture book with optimism for the future.

Beatrice More and the Perfect Party book
#54
Beatrice More and the Perfect Party
Written by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Helen Flook
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Hyperorganized perfectionist Beatrice More is determined to plan a spectacularly professional birthday party for her little sister, Sophie. But she is foiled at every turn: her mother insists on making a homemade cake (disaster!), her father offers up discount mismatched decorations (debacle!), guests are hard to find in their new neighborhood (dire!), and no gift seems remotely special enough (defeated!). Will Beatrice’s organizational skills be enough to turn this party around, or will she need a little help from her friends and maybe even from Sophie herself?

Picture the Sky book
#55
Picture the Sky
Written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The sky can often tell different stories: in the clouds having a parade, in the stars blanketing the night, and in our imagination. Every hour, every day, in every season, the sky is different. In this companion to Picture a Tree, award-winning creator Barbara Reid offers a lyrical story using plasticine relief illustrations to explore the wondrous and ever-changing sky.

Birds Make Nests book
#56
Birds Make Nests
Written and illustrated by Michael Garland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Birds make many kinds of nests in many kinds of places--to keep their eggs safe and to keep chicks safe. In this exquisitely illustrated picture book, created with both traditional woodcut and digital tools, acclaimed artist Michael Garland celebrates animals that are both beautiful and resourceful.

Like a Lizard book
#57
Like a Lizard
Written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The attributes of 28 different lizards are revealed in this STEM nonfiction picture book, while the story provides a subtle message encouraging children to be true to their own nature. The actions of 28 lizard species--the flying dragon that swoops through the air, the shingleback that sticks out its blue tongue to scare predators, the basilisk that can race across the surface of water--invite readers to act like a lizard themselves. The text by noted author April Pulley Sayre asks: "Can you run like a lizard? Sun like a lizard? Bob your head like a lizard?" Featuring brilliantly colorful, textured artwork by illustrator Stephanie Laberis, the book also includes extensive back matter with further information about the featured lizard species--their size, geographical range, why they perform the various actions introduced in the text--as well as details about lizards in general.

The Earth Gives More book
#58
The Earth Gives More
Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Christiane Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From leaves falling and becoming fertilizer to raindrops bringing plants to life in the spring, the cycle of every season has something to enjoy. While delighting in all nature offers, we need to remember to respect and treasure the world around us. This sweet rhyming story follows the change in seasons and illustrates how we can all be stewards of the Earth.

Along Came Coco book
#59
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
#60
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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