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may 2019 Best Picture Books

Updated Jul. 23, 2019
The Feather book
#49
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.

Llama Destroys the World book
#50
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!

Martina & Chrissie book
#51
Martina & Chrissie
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Brett Helquist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title -- and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.

Jasper & Ollie book
#52
Jasper & Ollie
Written and illustrated by Alex Willan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Jasper, an impatient fox, and Ollie, a slow-moving sloth, head to the pool on a summer day, each taking their own unique path.

Big Mouth Elizabeth book
#53
Big Mouth Elizabeth
Written by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Paige Keiser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Second-grader Elizabeth longs to be a member of the Big Mouth club, which is made up of kids who have lost at least one baby tooth. Elizabeth is WAY behind on losing her baby teeth, and so is Cali, a quiet girl who is also left out of the Big Mouth Club. Elizabeth thinks Cali is so much more babyish than she is—in fact, Elizabeth SHOULD be in the Big Mouth Club because she's NOT babyish. But when she understands how bad it feels to be left out, Elizabeth's attitude shifts. Here is a story about fitting in in unexpected ways. With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this second book in Rachel Vail's Elizabeth series is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

Why Worry? book
#54
Why Worry?
Written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Aiko Ikegami
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Told through soft, gorgeous color illustrations, Why Worry is a gentle story of two friends swept into the unpredictable wilderness and how, despite feeling anxiety and worries, they find peace and calmness together. Once upon a time there were two good friends, Cricket and Grasshopper. Cricket always worried. Grasshopper never did. Cricket and Grasshopper go on a high-flying, wild adventure and encounter a large crow, a hungry fish, powerful winds, and more. But while Grasshopper is having the time of her life, Cricket can't help but worry if they'll be safe, where they're going, and how they'll return home. Though the two have differing perspectives, Grasshopper and Cricket find support in each other through acceptance and patience. Originally published in 1979, Why Worry? is a soothing tale that teaches understanding and empathy of people who experience anxiety, and how to support and alleviate those worries.

A Is for Elizabeth book
#55
A Is for Elizabeth
Written by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Paige Keiser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Elizabeth is in second grade. Class 2B! It's great! Friends, recess, homework! Even a big project: Make a poster of your name. Yayyy! Hang on. The name Elizabeth has a bajillion letters in it! The name Anna has only four letters. Plus, Anna's first letter is A, which is also the first letter of Alphabetical Order. But Anna can't always be first! That's not fair! In A is for Elizabeth, Elizabeth makes more than a poster. She also makes some important choices—about fairness, rules, speaking up, and glue. But the most important thing she makes is...a friend! With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this first book in a new series—spun off from Vail's beloved Justin Case series—is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

The Planets book
#56
The Planets
Written and illustrated by Gemma McMullen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Nelly Takes New York book
#57
Nelly Takes New York
Written by Allison Pataki, Marya Myers and illustrated by Kristi Valiant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Big Apple may be hiding in the place you least expect it in this spunky introduction to the best parts of New York. Nelly lives in New York, the greatest city in the world. Every morning, she wakes up to the rumble of the subways and the honking of cars. Every morning, she can smell the food cart downstairs and hear the rat-a-tat-tat of the street musicians outside. Every morning, she goes outside to be in the city she knows like the back of her hand—or does she? One morning, Nelly and her dog Bagel decide to find out what New York is really about—or more specifically, why a city that has nothing to do with apples is the Biggest Apple of them all. Could there really be a giant apple somewhere in New York? And where is it hiding?

The Truth About Crocodiles book
#58
The Truth About Crocodiles
Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From writer/illustrator Maxwell Eaton III, The Truth About Crocodiles is the fifth installment in his hilarous series offering another lighthearted look filled with useful facts about crocodiles that will make you laugh so hard, you won't even realize you're learning something! Did you know that crocs often keep rocks in their stomachs in order to stay underwater longer? Did you know that baby crocs make sounds similar to kittens when they hatch? Did you know that crocs have a lot of teeth, but don’t actually chew their food? Discover these facts and more in this new addition to the popular series that combines raucous amounts of humor with a surprising amount of information on beloved animal friends.

The Sun book
#59
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.

Who's Hiding at the Beach? book
#60
Who's Hiding at the Beach?
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Katharine McEwen, Nosy Crow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

There are lots of creatures at the beach. Where are they hiding and what are they doing? In this innovative lift-the-flap book, little ones can pore over the beautiful collaged pages and explore under rocks, shells, and seaweed to find out lots of interesting facts about seaside wildlife. This is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

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