may 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 20, 2019
Gently Bentley book
#1
Gently Bentley
Written and illustrated by Caragh Buxton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A little rhino charges around his house and school. Everyone reminds him to be more careful, but his clumsiness continues. Will he remember to be gentle when it's most important? This lovely story will inspire discussions about appropriate ways of expressing oneself, and can be used to help children develop impulse control and self-regulation.

The Cook and the King book
#2
The Cook and the King
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The king searches his kingdom far and wide for the perfect cook. He’s very particular, and none of the cooks can get the job done just right. Until the king meets Wobbly Bob. The king thinks Wobbly Bob might be the perfect fit, but there’s just one small hitch—Wobbly Bob is afraid of everything. He’s afraid that he’ll nick himself with the sharp kitchen knives, and he’s afraid he’ll get dirt from the vegetable garden on his new apron. Wobbly Bob needs a companion to help him feel brave, so the king himself tags along every step of the way. This tale of unlikely friendship is a fun and hilarious romp from a bestselling team.

King Leonard's Teddy book
#3
King Leonard's Teddy
Written and illustrated by Phoebe Swan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

King Leonard enjoys a decadent lifestyle and whenever something he owns breaks, he discards it and buys a new replacement. Soon, he has a large pile of discarded objects outside his castle. One evening, his favourite teddy falls apart and he has no choice but to search the town for someone who can mend it. Unfortunately, like Leonard, the townspeople are in the habit of throwing away broken things and no one is able to help. Will Leonard find a way to fix his friend, or will he have to add his teddy to the heap of rubbish by the castle?

Hide and Seek book
#4
Hide and Seek
Written and illustrated by Polly Noakes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A meadow is the perfect place to play hide and seek - there are bridges to creep under and masses of wildflowers to use for cover. In grass high enough to conceal a bear, the protagonist must use all of her senses to track her animal companions! She can smell them, and hear them, but she can’t quite find them. Can you spot the stealthy wolf on each spread? Will the girl find her friends, or will the wolf find her first?|Readers can join in the game of hide and seek by searching for the wolf on each spread.|The protagonist uses her senses to determine where her friends are hiding. The book can be used to promote the benefits of focusing on the sounds and sights around you.

Bendy Wendy and the Fire Truck book
#5
Bendy Wendy and the Fire Truck
Written by Pat Chapman and illustrated by Richard Hoit
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It's night-time in the warehouse, but Pallet Jack can't sleep. Something is wrong. He discovers a fire and sets out to wake the others. Together, the forklifts get everybody out safely, and Bendy Wendy even manages to call the fire brigade!

A Book about Whales book
#6
A Book about Whales
Written and illustrated by Andrea Antinori
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Acting as a first book of whales, A Book About Whales teaches young readers everything they need to know about the largest mammals on earth: how they have evolved over millions of years, what and how they eat, their migration patterns, and more! Andrea Antinori's whimsical black-and-white illustrations bring their underwater world to life. The book discusses a variety of whales one by one so readers learn to tell the differences between a blue whale and a humpback whale, among others, and what makes each of these whales unique. Packed with facts and playful in tone, this book is a must-have for young and curious nature lovers. It includes a bibliography and index.

Whoosh! book
#7
Whoosh!
Written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A cool idea with a big splash You know the Super Soaker. It's one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson's life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

A Visit to Fairyland book
#8
A Visit to Fairyland
Written and illustrated by Shirley Barber
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Are there fairies at the bottom of the garden? Laura thinks so--she has seen a little green door at the base of the willow tree, and thinks fairies might live on the other side. So she and her brother Daniel wait by the door, and sure enough, some fairies come out to greet them. Then they take them through to the other side, and so being Laura and Daniel's adventures in Fairyland. Exquisitely detailed illustrations and an engaging story will delight children for hours on end.

When Sue Found Sue book
#9
When Sue Found Sue
Written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Diana Sudyka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed. Named in Sue's honor, Sue the T. rex would be placed on permanent exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. When Sue Found Sue inspires readers to take a closer look at the world around them and to never lose their brave, adventurous spirits.

Bush Tracks book
#10
Bush Tracks
Written by Ros Moriarty and illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What can you see? Follow the clues that landscape, seasons, weather, the stars, the moon and the sun give to navigate bush tracks and find the Australian animal. A lyrical, fun story about tracking animals in the bush featuring vibrant illustrations by Balarinji, Australia's leading Indigenous design studio.

Never Trumpet with a Crumpet book
#11
Never Trumpet with a Crumpet
Written by Amy Gibson and illustrated by Jenn Harney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek picture book about manners, zoo animals attempt to follow proper etiquette when they are accidentally invited to tea with the queen. "Sit up straight. Don't slump. Don't slouch. Lay your napkin on your pouch." Amy Gibson's playful, rhyming text offers etiquette advice to zoo animals who scrupulously try, then marvelously fail, to mind their manners at the queen's tea party (much to the queen's dismay and the young prince's delight). Meanwhile, Jenn Harney's illustrations contrast humorously with the rules spelled out in the narrative: the animals lick their paws, gobble their food, swing from the chandelier, and trumpet while nibbling on a crumpet, in scenes that grow increasingly chaotic as they build to an uproarious finale. This original, ingenious book is unique in its wild sense of wit and its sly, subtle lesson on proper behavior.

Sherlock Chick's First Case book
#12
Sherlock Chick's First Case
Written and illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Look out Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Chick hatched from his egg with a detective’s hat and magnifying glass, and he’s on the case in this adorable, easy-to-follow mystery from Robert Quackenbush. Within moments of his birth, Sherlock Chick lived up to the name he’d just been given. His parents pointed out the fact that their feed bin was empty and they didn’t know who might have taken their corn. Sherlock follows the trail of corn, questioning animals along the way, until he finds the corn and the culprits. Will Sherlock Chick be able to get that corn back where it belongs?

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