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may 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Jul. 23, 2019
Flora's Tree House book
#13
Flora's Tree House
Written and illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Flora entertains herself by drawing and painting. Will leaps from trees and swings branches like they're swords. The two siblings have always played separately, until Will is curious about what exactly Flora is putting in her sketchbook. Flora reveals that she has been drawing—and enhancing—all of Will's imaginary adventures, and making up some of her own. In one joyful afternoon, brother and sister discover that playing together is always more fun. This irresistible and thoughtful story about siblings has expressive, vibrant art as stunning as the adventures the children go on. It is perfect for fans of Jonathan D. Voss's Brave Enough for Two and Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers.

Under the Water book
#14
Under the Water
Written and illustrated by Carles Porta
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Summer has finally arrived in the fourth book of Carle's Porta's Tales From The Hidden Valley series! Beloved characters return in the final book of this whimsical series for fans of Tove Jansson's Moomins. Hidden in a remote place surrounded by high mountains, there lies a secret valley. There is an entrance, but you could pass by it a hundred times and still not see it. It's finally summer, and our friends from the hidden valley are gearing up for a dreamy summer afternoon! When a new, watery friend appears, Ticky, Mister Cold and the rest of the pals explore an exciting new undewater world. But a great monster lurks beneath the surface, and our joyous friends sure are causing quite a fuss! Will they be able to escape its terrible jaws?

Girls with Guts! book
#15
Girls with Guts!
Written by Debbie Gonzales and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

No chasing! No stretching or straining! And never, ever sweat. These were the rules girls were forced to play by until Title IX passed in 1972. And it was a game-changer. A celebration of the strength, endurance, and athleticism of women and girls throughout the ages, Play Like a Girl keeps score with examples of women athletes from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, sharing how women refused to take no for an answer, and how finally, they pushed for a law to protect their right to play, compete, and be athletes.

Cyril and Pat book
#16
Cyril and Pat
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From author-illustrator Emily Gravett comes a warm and funny picture book about friendship and loving someone different from yourself. Cyril is a squirrel. Pat is a rat. They have a lot of adventures and fun together. But no one else thinks they should be friends. In Emily Gravett’s brilliantly funny story, two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same, or following others.

Gently Bentley book
#17
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.

Paper Mice book
#18
Paper Mice
Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Phoebe Wahl
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s the middle of the night, and two paper mice find adventure—and each other—as they explore their new home in this beautifully written, stunningly illustrated story of friendship. With a snip and a clip, two paper mice are made. They are given names: Della and Ralph. Each alone, they explore their new house in the dark. Della dashes up the stairs; Ralph skitters through the dining room. There is so much to see and so much to discover! But a big, dark house can be scary for those so small, until they find…each other. Beautiful, cut-paper illustrations bring to life this lyrical story of adventure and friendship.

Goodnight Lagoon book
#19
Goodnight Lagoon
Written by Lisa Ann Scott and illustrated by Paco Sordo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Read along to this sweet, playful parody of Goodnight Moon, featuring pirates, a narwhal, a sleepy mermaid, and creatures of the ocean! In the great green lagoon There was a jellyfish And a gold doubloon And a shadow of--- A pirate searching on the dune Join the mermaid as she says goodnight to the lagoon--to the pirate and the dune, to the whales and sails, to the seashells and the ship bells. To each, the little mermaid says goodnight. Children will love this endearing, whimsical parody that's full of lovable sea creatures. With its rhyming text and sweet, soothing illustrations, this a perfect book for saying goodnight.

Happy Hatchday book
#20
Happy Hatchday
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The first series from the bestselling and award-winning picture book genius Rob Biddulph! A brand new, creatively cretaceous story from the bestselling Rob Biddulph – and the first book in his first ever series! Meet Otto, Winnie, Greg(osaurus) and all the other dinosaur juniors, as they traverse life’s first ups and downs – all in Rob’s trademark rhyme filled with warmth and humour. This first book is perfect for Rob’s youngest fans, with colourful, detailed artwork and a simple rhyming text perfect for reading aloud.

Pencil's Perfect Picture book
#21
Pencil's Perfect Picture
Written by Jodi McKay and illustrated by Juliana Motzko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Pencil is trying to draw the perfect picture for his dad. So, he asks his friends Brush, Pastel, Marker, Crayon, and Chalk what makes their art perfect. But they each have a different answer. How will Pencil be able to create his own perfect picture?

Our Flag Was Still There book
#22
Our Flag Was Still There
Written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“So much to like about this, including the folk art–style artwork with childlike appeal, the emphasis on the women who constructed the flag, and the important ways a symbol can influence a country for generations.” —Booklist (starred review) From beloved author-illustrator Jessie Hartland comes a whimsical nonfiction picture book that tells the story of the American flag that inspired the poem and our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” If you go to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, you can see a massive American flag: thirty feet tall and forty-two feet long. That’s huge! But how did it get there? And where did it come from? Well… The story of this giant flag begins in 1812 and stars a major on the eve of battle, a seamstress and her mighty helpers, and a poet named Francis Scott Key. This isn’t just the story of one flag. It’s the story of “The Star Spangled-Banner,” a poem that became our national anthem, too. Dynamically told and stunningly illustrated, Jessie Hartland brings this fascinating and true story to life.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself book
#23
It Feels Good to Be Yourself
Written by Theresa Thorn and illustrated by Noah Grigni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

Butterflies on the First Day of School book
#24
Butterflies on the First Day of School
Written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Dream Chen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Rosie's excited to start kindergarten--she's had her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie's mom reassures her that it's just butterflies in her belly. Much to Rosie's surprise, when she greets a new friend, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! Soon, Rosie frees all her butterflies . . . and helps another shy student release hers, too.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!