may 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated May. 20, 2019
Summer book
#49
Summer
Written by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by Yu Rong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

During a hot summer day in the grasslands, the animals race to claim the single spot of shade on the safari. The selfish elephant triumphs over the rest. The animals fight until they are inspired by a selfless act of love to offer shade to one another. With lyrical text, bright and delicate art, and a die-cut surprise, Summer is an introduction to animals and a testament to the power of kindness.

Pout-Pout Fish: Back to School book
#50
Pout-Pout Fish: Back to School
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Get ready to go back to school with the Pout-Pout Fish! Mr. Fish is going back to school to be a substitute teacher, and he's nervous—until he meets a little guppy who can help him! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

Saving Emma the Pig book
#51
Saving Emma the Pig
Written by John Chester and illustrated by Jennifer Meyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Welcome to Apricot Lane Farm, a unique world full of true stories about heartwarming animals’ relationships and the special people who care for them. When Emma the pig arrives at the Apricot Lane Farm, she is about to give birth to piglets. But she is also sick, and after her seventeen babies arrive, Emma is unable to care for them. Taking care of seventeen piglets and a sick mama pig are a challenge for Farmer John and his team. But the cure for Emma reminds them what is most important—for pigs and for humans: love and friendship.

The Stars book
#52
The Stars
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.

Tomie Depaola's the Quicksand Book book
#53
Tomie Depaola's the Quicksand Book
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Funny and informative--and on a really cool topic. This is TOMIE DEPAOLA nonfiction at its best. A match of humor and information in which Jungle Girl lands in the quicksand and Jungle Boy offers advice and information about quicksand, rather than rescue her. This being DEPAOLA, the tables are turned until Jungle Boy has to take his own practical advice about quicksand while Jungle Girl gets her revenge.

Felix Eats Up book
#54
Felix Eats Up
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When picky eater Felix finds himself in a pickle, his best friend, Fiona, gently helps him widen his culinary horizons. Felix brings the same lunch to school every day: sprouts on buttered oat bread. He will also eat pasta with butter. And he loves macaroni and cheese. No need to try anything new. But on the night of his friend Fiona's half-birthday celebration, Felix finds himself facing down an unfamiliar -- and anxiety-provoking -- menu. Will he leave the restaurant hungry, or can Fiona convince him to give new tastes a try? With singular compassion and humor, Rosemary Wells once again shows how the balm of friendship can help buffer a familiar moment of childhood angst.

Maya and the Lost Cat book
#55
Maya and the Lost Cat
Written and illustrated by Caroline Magerl
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Where does Cat live, and who can lead the way there? A lyrical, charmingly offbeat tale about wanderlust and family, rescue and finding home. On a roof, as wet as a seal, as gray as a puddle, Cat was rumbling, a rumbly purr. What will lure Cat down? Feather boas? Pretty pink shoelaces? A boatful of fish under a tiny tin sail? Maya finally succeeds, only to watch Cat jump on the roof again, above a thousand lit windows, one of which must be Cat's own. As the rain keeps coming down, how can Maya help Cat find its home? With whimsical watercolors both fluid and full of expression, Caroline Magerl portrays a child on a mission and an adventurous cat who keeps its mysteries as quiet as its paws in a story that follows a kindly impulse to an unexpected conclusion.

Sea Glass Summer book
#56
Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Author Michelle Houts and illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline explore the magic of one of the seaside's greatest wonders and the bonds that link us through time. One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea's secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.

Flora's Tree House book
#57
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.

Llama Destroys the World book
#58
Llama Destroys the World
Written by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Heather Fox
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Llama, the next great picture-book megastar, who has most definitely driven a bus and who loves tacos way more than you. He also loves cake, and that’s where our story begins. On Monday, Llama discovers a pile of cake, which he promptly eats. On Tuesday, Llama squeezes into his dancing pants, which he promptly rips. The force of the rip creates a black hole (naturally). By Friday, Llama will (indirectly) destroy the world. In their debut picture book, author/illustrator team Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox introduce young readers to the comical, the studious, the oblivious Llama, a picture-book hero for the ages. So grab some cake and your dancing pants and prepare for Llama Destroys the World... because THE TIME FOR LLAMA IS NIGH!

Juana and Lucas - Big Problemas book
#59
Juana and Lucas - Big Problemas
Written and illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas. Juana's life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can't help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change -- like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina's own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself book
#60
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.

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