may 2018 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 24, 2019
Great Dog book
#1
Great Dog
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Miguel Tanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The age-old question of "what will I be when I grow up" gets a hilarious twist in this stylish and clever story. A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all? No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

Dad By My Side book
#2
Dad By My Side
Written and illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they're playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

Sheep on a Ship book
#3
Sheep on a Ship
Written by Nancy E Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Captain Small goes sailing, fishes from his boat, goes for an unexpected swim, and braves a storm on the way home.

Grumpy Monkey book
#4
Grumpy Monkey
Written by Suzanne Lang and illustrated by Max Lang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A hilarious picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them! Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it—how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy? Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).

Crunch, The Shy Dinosaur book
#5
Crunch, The Shy Dinosaur
Written by Cirocco Dunlap and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Crunch is a lovely and quiet brontosaurus who has hidden himself in some shubbery and is rather shy. He would like to play, but it will require some gentle coaxing from you! If you are patient and encouraging, you will find yourself with a new friend! This picture book is a warm, funny example of how to engage with someone new, who is perhaps a bit different from you. Lessons in friend-making (such as minding personal space and demonstrating interest in another’s hobbies) are delivered so subtly that children will absorb them unconsciously as they delight in Crunch’s silly hat and dance moves!

The Hugely-Wugely Spider book
#6
The Hugely-Wugely Spider
Written by Ethan T. Berlin and illustrated by Karl Newsom Edwards
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This funny and clever picture book, great for spring displays, is a twist on the classic Itsy-Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme.

The Honeybee book
#7
The Honeybee
Written by Kirsten Hall and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault. Bzzz… What’s that? Do you hear it? You’re near it. It’s closer, it’s coming, it’s buzzing, it’s humming… A BEE! With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy, beautiful illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, this celebration of the critically important honeybee is a honey-sweet treasure of a picture book.

How to Code a Sandcastle book
#8
How to Code a Sandcastle
Written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever! With renowned computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk and Sara Palacios use humor, relatable situations, and bright artwork to introduce kids to the fun of coding.

Spot Plays Soccer book
#9
Spot Plays Soccer
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Spot as he plays the world's most popular sport! Everyone's favorite puppy is all ready for a game of soccer with his friends. Spot is captain of the red team, and Helen is captain of the blue team. But at the end, who will win the game? Avid watchers of the World Cup and faithful fans of Spot will enjoy this spirited sports tale.

Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children book
#10
Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children
Written and illustrated by Sylvia Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Sylvia Long has been creating bestselling children's books for more than 25 years. Her edition of Mother Goose rhymes is a modern classic, and Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children, her latest compendium, is destined to become another nursery staple. From beloved stories like "The Three Little Pigs" and important early childhood concepts (colors, counting, ABCs) to her own family's favorite recipes and lullabies, this warm, joyous, and comprehensive collection is the perfect start to every child's library.

The Other Dog book
#11
The Other Dog
Written by Madeleine L’Engle and illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Reissued in hardcover to coincide with the movie release of A Wrinkle in Time, here is a true tale of dog-meets-baby from Newbery Medal–winning author Madeleine L'Engle! Based on Madeleine L'Engle's own poodle's experience coping with a new baby in the house, this sprightly picture book presents a familiar domestic drama with an utterly charming new twist. Tongue-in-cheek wit, endearing illustrations, and a revealing author's note make this a publishing event to celebrate!

A House in the Sky book
#12
A House in the Sky
Written by Steve Jenkins and illustrated by Robbin Gourley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Some animals build nests, some live in holes in the ground, and some even live in books! Turtles, birds, fish, beavers, and kangaroos are just like people—they need homes, and take up residence in unusual places. Readers get a glimpse of the similarities between human and animal homes with sidebars that detail the unique qualities of each animal and its home. Robbin Gourley's stylized yet realistic watercolor illustrations prove that nonfiction can be accurate and elegant. Backmatter includes more information about each animal—their habits and their habitats.

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