may 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 20, 2019
The Sun book
#37
The Sun
Written and illustrated by Gemma McMullen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

This series explores the four key elements of our Solar System: the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Stars. With each title including fascinating facts and photographic images, young readers will enjoy discovering what lies in the darkness beyond.

Let's Go ABC! book
#38
Let's Go ABC!
Written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The alphabet comes to zooming, vrooming life with vehicles for every letter, A to Z! A big, boxy bus drives up for letter B, a kayak floats by for letter K, and a rocket blasts off for letter R. A fun and thrilling range of planes, trains, automobiles, and more take readers on a ride through this charming early-learning book. Beloved picture book author Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrator Daniel Kirk join forces for another classic rhyming story for every fan of things that go!

If Animals Went to School book
#39
If Animals Went to School
Written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

If animals went to school, what would they do? Fox would head to the story nook, Lemur would climb the jungle gym at recess, and Ms. Cheetah would teach them shapes and letters. Beaver wouldn't want to go at first . . . but then he wouldn't want to leave! In this next installment in Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker's successful series, following If Animals Kissed Good Night and If Animals Said I Love You, little readers can imagine how animals would spend a day in the classroom.

1, 2, 3, Jump! book
#40
1, 2, 3, Jump!
Written by Lisl Detlefsen and illustrated by Madeline Valentine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

First swimming lessons can be exciting and terrifying, but this joyful and imaginative guide shows young readers how to conquer the pool. From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), 3, 2, 1 Jump! covers the what if’s and how to’s of getting in the pool for the first time. There’s a lot to worry about (Can I be sucked into the filter?) and even more to be excited about (When can I wear flippers?), and our narrator has thought of everything. By the time she’s ready, you to will want to jump in!

Ogilvy book
#41
Ogilvy
Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by T. L. McBeth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The clothes don't make the bunny in this new picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Underwood, illustrated by T. L. McBeth. When Ogilvy moves to a new town, the possibilities feel endless. There are so many new bunny friends and fun things to do together! But in this town, bunnies in dresses play ball and knit socks, and bunnies in sweaters make art and climb rocks. Ogilvy wants to do everything—and won't let a sweater or a dress get in the way.

Grandpa Cacao book
#42
Grandpa Cacao
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This beautifully illustrated story connects past and present as a girl bakes a chocolate cake with her father and learns about her grandfather harvesting cacao beans in West Africa. Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere! As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. "Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao," Daddy says. "We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him." Once the cake is baked, it's ready to eat, but this isn't her only birthday present. There's a special surprise waiting at the front door . . .

Girls with Guts! book
#43
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.

When Pencil Met Eraser book
#44
When Pencil Met Eraser
Written by Karen Kilpatrick, Luis O. Ramos, Jr. and illustrated by German Blanco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Ever wonder why there’s a little pink eraser on every pencil? Find out in this funny, clever picture book that tells the true story of how Pencil and Eraser became the best of friends. When Pencil draws on the pages of this book, Eraser erases parts of Pencil’s work, and the book itself becomes a canvas for their different takes on creativity—until the two discover their artwork is even better when they work together. From Karen Kilpatrick, Luis O. Ramos, and illustrator Germán Blanco, When Pencil Met Eraser brings to life something kids use every day at school and at home. Engaging art, adorable characters, and a clever ending create a memorable message about friendship and creativity.

What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo book
#45
What the Ladybug Heard at the Zoo
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Ladybug is ready for a vacation! When she flies into the city, the last thing she expects is to run into those no-good robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len. This time, the dastardly duo have their sights set on Monkey Joe, resident of the local zoo—with his help, they hope to break into the Queen’s palace! It will take all the animals, including the Queen’s famous corgis, to put an end to this royal mischief. Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks have done it again in this latest laugh-out-loud romp!

The Last Peach book
#46
The Last Peach
Written and illustrated by Gus Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gus Gordon's The Last Peach is the story of two indecisive bugs contemplating eating the last peach of the summer in a hilarious picture book about anticipation and expectation. Summer’s almost over, and there’s one peach left. There’s also one big question in the air: Should someone eat it? What if it’s rotten inside? But what if it’s juicy? Should the bug who saw it first get to eat it? Should both bugs share it with their friends? Will anyone eat the peach?! EVER?!? Find out in this charming, juicy tale by acclaimed picture book artist Gus Gordon.

Owl book
#47
Owl
Written and illustrated by Alex Brinded
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Here children can explore some of the most interesting and important life cycles in the animal kingdom. With engaging language and an innovative use of design, this series makes the science behind life cycles accessible to reluctant and confident readers alike.

The Feather book
#48
The Feather
Written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognize its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and color. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.

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