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The 2024 List of 100 Picture Books

It’s here! The 10th annual 100 Picture Books List!

The first year I did it, I’d been working through the Caldecott winners and honors with my girls but so many of those books were too long, hard to find, and . . . not that fun to read.

I decided instead to make my own list of 100 really terrific, fun, engaging picture books to work through and it was such a hit that I’ve been making a list every year since!

All year long, I keep an eye out for new (or new-to-me!) picture books to see which ones will make the cut and vet them with my own children (and we’re picky!).

childrens picture books

As usual, this year’s list of children’s picture books includes fiction and non-fiction titles, funny and tear-jerking ones, bright colorful ones and subdued, sweet ones.

I hope it helps you discover new favorite titles and authors and illustrators!

Pop in your email address and I’ll send you a PDF version with all the titles and all the covers of these picture books for kids so you can print it out and take it along to your library or bookstore or check them off as you read them this summer!

Happy reading!

childrens picture books

The 2024 List of 100 Picture Books

Bear with Me by Kerascoet
When a little girl goes off to school, she is devastated to leave her stuffed bear behind. I love this book because the only text in the entire book is “bear with me” and it fits perfectly as she is trying to cope with life without her bear.


We Are Going to Be Pals! by Mark Teague
This sweet, yet hilarious book follows the friendship of a very chatty and friendly egret and his new friend rhino.


Sleepy Sheepy by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Even though it’s bedtime, little sheepy is not sleepy! With droopy eyelids and massive yawns…don’t worry, he is still not sleepy, and he will do anything to keep himself awake. Will he ever make it to sleep?


One Chicken Nugget by Tadgh Bentley
Frank the Monster LOVES chicken nuggets, and he specifically loves Celeste’s nuggets. But when Celeste starts to grow tired of Frank’s presence at her food truck (he’s not great for business and he keeps eating all of her nuggets) she devises a plan to get rid of him once and for all.

wild blueWild Blue by Dashka Slater
In this playful story, the time has come for Kayla to learn how to ride a big-kid bike, but she is a little bit apprehensive about the whole idea of it all. She calls her new bike Wild Blue, a horse she needs to tame as she takes the reigns.

stanley's secretStanley’s Secret by John Sullivan
Stanley has a secret talent that he has not shared with anyone, except for his mice Squeakers and Nibbles. When he is convinced to enter the school’s talent show, will he be able to overcome his nerves?

make more smoresMake More S’mores by Cathy Ballou Mealey
What happens when a little racoon starts making s’mores in the woods? All the other woodland animals want some too, of course!



the boy who tried to shrink his nameThe Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran
It’s the first day of school and Zimdalamashkermishkada is worried about having to introduce himself because he knows he has such a long name. After he comes up with an abbreviated nickname, Zim, to make things easier, he feels less and less like his true self.


The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons by Leanne Hatch
After Violet gets a pack of 84 brand-new, never-used crayons, she doesn’t want to use them because she doesn’t want to ruin them. When her little sister decides to use the new crayons to make Violet a picture, she learns that sometimes life is more colorful when you use the things you have.

spicy spicy hotSpicy Spicy Hot! by Lenny Wen
Nenek, Lintang’s grandmother, always makes sambal, but it is TOO spicy for Lintang to handle. She is determined to show Nenek that she can eat her delicious sambal, even if it means finding just the right amount of spice. 


a tulip in winterA Tulip in Winter: A Story About Folk Artist Maud Lewis by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Lauren Soloy
I had never heard of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis, but this colorful and artistic book shares how even though Maud suffered through major hardships, she lived her life and shared the beauty of art despite what she faced.

stormyStormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home by Guojing
Never did I think a wordless book could bring me close to tears, but this one packs so much emotion into its stunning illustrations. When a girl finds a lost little dog at the park, she tries to coax him out with a ball. After several  days of persistence the little dog finally follows her home, but with a looming storm, will the little dog ever make it? 

the wishing machineThe Wishing Machine by Jonathan Hillman, illustrated by Nadia Alam
Every Sunday, Sam and his mom go to the laundromat to wash their clothes and chat with the friends they’ve made. But this Sunday was different. Sam and his mom are moving, which means they won’t be coming to this laundromat anymore. With sadness and hope, he decides to make a wish on the washing machine after his mother drops in the coins. 

ploofPloof by Ben Clanton
We LOVE Ben Clanton at our house – Narwhal and Jelly anyone? In this fun and interactive picture book, you get to play with Ploof the cloud. High fives, hide-and-seek, and even making silly faces, this one will be a hit for little ones who like interactive books.

bibiBibi by Jo Weaver
This heartfelt book is all about Bibi, an old flamingo, who has at some point helped all the flamingos in the flock. As she starts aging, the flock gives back with kindness and support, and helps her continue to fly. The illustrations are gorgeous using just black, white, and pink as the color scheme.

wake me up in 20 coconutsWake Me Up in 20 Coconuts! by Laurie Keller
A neighbor asked to be woken up in 20 coconuts. But will the main character be able to wake up the neighbor at the correct time? I loved the message in this silly laugh-out-loud book: that it is okay to not know everything, and to ask if you don’t know.


a walk in the woods nikki grimesA Walk in the Woods by Nikki Grimes
After the death of his father, a boy journeys out into the woods they used to walk in together. His father left him a map…a map with a big red “X” marked on it. Once he finds what his father left behind, he will realize that even though his father is gone physically, they will have a connection in nature, he never knew existed.


the night tentThe Night Tent by Landis Blair
When Watson can’t fall asleep at night, he enters a magical world under his covers that takes him on an exciting adventure. It might be just the thing he needs to help him fall asleep.



just snow alreadyJust Snow Already! by Howard McWilliam
There is nothing more fun than snow! When a little boy starts anticipating a fun snow day, he keeps looking out his window checking to see if any flakes have fallen, but nothing is happening…besides the hoard of monkeys running through the street, the fire trucks, and members of the circus roaming around.

masala chai fast and slowMasala Chai, Fast and Slow by Rajani LaRocca
Aarav is FAST, and Thatha, his grandfather, is SLOW. Thatha always says that the one thing that cannot be rushed is making masala chai. When Thatha gets hurt and can’t make the daily masala chai, will Aarav be able to slow down enough to make it great? (There is also a recipe for masala chai included at the back of the book.)

stranded a mostly true story from icelandStranded! A Mostly True Story from Iceland by Ævar Þór Benediktsson
Sometimes nonfiction picture books are challenging to find, but this one about a scientist who ends up stranded on a volcanic island is a real treat! It is really engaging, some unbelievable things happen, and there is only one detail in the entire story that isn’t true – which you also won’t believe!

luigi the spider who wanted to be a kittenLuigi: The Spider Who Wanted to Be a Kitten by Michelle Knudsen
Why do kittens get to have all the fun and cuddles? Why don’t we treat spiders like kittens? When an old lady takes in Luigi, the spider, and treats him like a kitten…he realizes he LOVES it!


log lifeLog Life by Amy Hevron
In this nonfiction picture book, a tree falls to the forest floor, but life is just beginning – life as a nurse log. For centuries the nurse log will decompose and create an incredible life for many different species of animals, plants, and fungi.



Willis Watson Is a Wannabe by Carmen Bogan
I love a story that dares young ones to dream outside of the confines of their immediate neighborhood. And in this one, Willis might just dream to become a real everyday hero. The special bond that Willis and his grandfather share is also very sweet and endearing.


mr sMr. S by Monica Arnaldo
When the students of 2B show up for their first day of school, their teacher seems to be MIA. Or, is it possible that their teacher is the sandwich sitting at the front of the room? Is Mr. S…Mr. Sandwich? This book is laugh-out-loud funny!


grandpa is hereGrandpa Is Here! by Tanya Rosie
This sweet book told in rhyme shares the joys and excitement about when a grandfather comes for a visit from his home country. It truly shows the bond that family has, even when they are spread across the world. 


sleepy sheepy and the sheepoverSleepy Sheepy and the Sheepover by Lucy Ruth Cummins, illustrated by Pete Oswald
If you had fans of Sleepy Sheepy, this is the next installment about Sleepy Sheepy’s first sleepover at his Grammy and Grampy Sheep’s house. Will he be able to sleep away from home?

where is poppyWhere is Poppy? by Caroline Kusin Pritchard
It is Passover and this is the first year that Poppy is gone for it. Everyone keeps saying he is there, but a little girl keeps searching everywhere and she still can’t find him. Until she realizes that even though he is physically not there, he is there in all the traditions and people that he loved so much.

love makes a garden growLove Makes a Garden Grow by Taeeun Yoo
In this sweet book, a little girl and her grandfather bond over gardening together in his big garden. She grows learning about plants from him, and even when they both move off to smaller apartments and she has a daughter of her own, they still come together and share their love of gardening.

jump for joyJump for Joy by Karen Gray Ruelle, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
We don’t have any pets, nor any desire to, but I couldn’t get over the sweet encounter of a little girl and a dog that were just meant for each other. Joy loves dogs, and her only dream in life is to have a dog. Jump loves kids, and his only dream in life is to have a kid. Trust me when I say, you’ll be jumping for joy when their dreams come true.

lolos sari sari storeLolo’s Sari-Sari Store by Sophia N. Lee
A little girl used to always help her grandfather, Lolo in his shop. He always had a way of knowing what people needed and always stepped in to help the community. After she moves away to America, she misses helping Lolo and the feeling of home she had in the Philippines. Until one day, she decides to be like Lolo and find a way to help out in her new community – it makes all the difference in turning a strange new place into home.

what if one dayWhat If One Day . . . by Bruce Handy, illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin
This book has you imagining all of the “what if…” questions about the world, with a few silly answers, and whole lot of celebration for all the things we do have, and all of the future possibilities.


my mother was a nannyMy Mother Was a Nanny by Laura James
Talk about a tribute book for mothers! Her mother is busy being a nanny, a cook, an artist, and all the things mothers take on. And even when she thinks her mother is too busy for her…it turns out moms are always thinking of their children.

the biggest mistakeThe Biggest Mistake by Camilla Pintonato
When little lion is tasked the big job of catching his first gazelle, he makes A LOT of mistakes along the way. This book is so fun and has a really great ending!



brave baby hummingbirdBrave Baby Hummingbird by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Tiffany Bozic
I had no idea how different hummingbirds were from other birds. This nonfiction picture book tells a sweet story based on a true encounter with orphaned hummingbirds. There are also helpful resources about what to do if you find an abandoned or injured hummingbird.


summer is hereSummer Is Here by Renee Watson
If you are looking for a great end of the school year picture book, this is the ONE! It is all about celebrating summer by taking you through the perfect summer day from waking-up to bedtime.


ahoyAhoy! by Sophie Blackall
This fun book is all about imagination as a little boy embarks on an adventure on his ship – a giant raging storm and sharks included! The adventure becomes even more fun when dad joins in, but will mom?


my lost freedomMy Lost Freedom: A Japanese American World War II Story by George Takei, illustrated by Michelle Lee
Not all WWII Japanese internment camp stories are always geared for younger kids, but I really love how this book is accessible and appropriately told for a younger audience (6-9 years). The author played the character Zulu in Star Trek, but he tells about his family’s experience of being interred during WWII, as well as life as a Japanese American during this time and after interment.

buffalo fluffaloBuffalo Fluffalo by Bess Kalb, illustrated by Erin Kraan
Meet a buffalo who is grumpy for no apparent reason, and scares away all the other animals who try to cheer him up. After a big rain, he loses all his fluff and no longer appears big and tuffalo. This makes him realize that even grumps deserve to be happy. I absolutely loved this sweet and silly rhyming book.

the last zookeeperThe Last Zookeeper by Aaron Becker
Aaron Becker is the king of wordless picture books – his work is stunning! In this futuristic retelling of Noah’s Ark a machine called NOA finds the remnants of a human zoo. NOA creates a ship from the wreckage to carry the animals to safety where he recreates his version of a zoo. This one really makes you think about our future…

not my catNot My Cat by Stacey Patton, illustrated by Acamy Shchleikorn
What could possibly happen when a single women absolutely DOES NOT want a cat? A cat decides to adopt her instead! This silly and heartwarming story is based on the author’s real life experience.

the boy who said wowThe Boy Who Said Wow by Todd Boss
To say this book almost brought me to tears is an understatement. Born nonverbal, Ronan’s grandfather takes him to hear his first Mozart concert. After the performance he utters his first word – “WOW”. Inspired by a true story, this one is truly delightful!


the heart never forgetsThe Heart Never Forgets by Ana Ot, illustrated by Hayden Goodman
It is time for the masquerade festival, and it’s the first year without grandpa. A little girl and her family share memories of their beloved grandfather, and all pay tribute to him by donning something that was once his. Except for the little girl, she has something extra special to share.

go and get with rexGo and Get with Rex by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
From the author of the beloved early reader See the Cat, David LaRochelle is back with a funny picture book where three animal friends play a game called Go and Get. One friend calls out a letter of the alphabet and the other two must find an object that begins with the letter. But what will happen when Rex keeps bringing the wrong objects?

tomfooleryTomfoolery! by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Barbara McClintock
If you have been here for a while, you’ll know I LOVE the Caldecott Medal awards, and this fun and educational book shares a profile on the man behind the medal – Randolph Caldecott. It also includes plenty of his artwork.


rainbow shoppingRainbow Shopping by Qing Zhuang
There is nothing I love more than spending a day-off with my girls, and in this gorgeous book, a Chinese-American mother and daughter go shopping in NYC’s Chinatown for favorite ingredients to cook family dinner that night.


go forth and tellGo Forth and Tell by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by April Harrison
As someone who worked as a school librarian, I loved this picture book biography about librarian and storyteller Augusta Braxton Baker, the first Black coordinator of children’s services at all branches of the New York Public Library.
She is one inspirational lady!


bunny should be sleeping

Bunny Should Be Sleeping by Amy Hest, illustrated by Renata Liwska. Bunny can’t go to sleep until his dad comes to check on him. After waiting, waiting, and waiting some more, he finally goes to check on dad who is sleeping! So Bunny does all the things that dad would normally do for him.


the unstoppable jamieThe Unstoppable Jamie by Joy Givens, illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Jamie gets to head to NYC with his family to participate in the Buddy Walk. Although parts of the trip are very overwhelming for him, Jamie doesn’t let his Down Syndrome hold him back, and he overcomes these obstacles with his family by his side and his biggest superpower of all – perseverance.  


children's picture books

the truth about dragonsThe Truth About Dragons by Julie Leung
It won a Caldecott Honor medal (hello gorgeous illustrations!), the Asian Pacific American Awards for Literature, and since it is the Year of the Dragon, I think this book is an all around win! A young child grows up listening to the different tales about dragons from his grandmothers – the Eastern and Western mythologies. I love how this book celebrates mixed cultural identify. 

determined dreamerDetermined Dreamer: The Story of Marie Curie by Deborah Hopkinson
Wondering about Marie Curie? Or want to share the concept of radioactivity in an accessible way to children? This nonfiction biographical picture book about the incredible scientist is a fascinating place to start.



if you spot a shellIf You Spot a Shell by Amy Sicuro
My kids love spot it books and books filled with imagination and this one has both! Follow a little girl as she spends the day at the beach finding shells and turning them into things you would never imagine! Full of such creativity and beautiful illustrations.

you're so amazingYou’re So Amazing by James & Lucy Catchpole, illustrated by Karen George
Joe isn’t like the other kids, but he doesn’t want people telling him he is amazing just because he is different. A book featuring a disability, packed with charming pictures and a bit of humor.


one day this tree will fallOne Day This Tree Will Fall by Leslie Barnard Booth, illustrated by Stephanie Coleman
This one is a must-read for curious nature lovers, about how a small seed becomes the entire universe to so many creatures, even after it falls.


henry, like alwaysHenry, Like Always by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song
Henry enjoys school because he knows what he can expect. However, this week the schedule is getting changed for a class parade, which means other events will have to be moved and the parade day will be so loud! This book is a great inclusive book for those with autism and for those learning about autism.


sourgrassSourgrass by Hope Lim, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani
Sofia and May are best friends that love playing in the sourgrass filed beyond their yard. But when May has to move away, the girls decide they will do whatever it takes to keep their friendship going.

todayToday by Gabi Snyder, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
It can be difficult to not get caught up in all of the things keeping us busy each day, but this book reminds us to enjoy the little special memories and surprises that we get to enjoy day to day.


on a summer nightOn a Summer Night by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Kenard Pack
Is there anything better than a warm summer night? When a little girl wakes up in the middle of a summer night, she gets to experience all of the wonderful things that are still happening while everyone is still asleep. A perfect bedtime story.


do you know them families lost and found after the civil warDo You Know Them? Families Lost and Found After the Civil War by Shana Keller and Laura Freeman
This book is full of history and substance that will definitely start some conversations with your little ones. Lettie’s family had been sold and after the Civil War she does everything in her power to find them.

may's brave dayMay’s Brave Day by Lucy Morris
If you have a little one nervous about the first day of school or starting something new, this picture book is for you. May is very worried about what the first day of school will bring and she is doing everything she can to remember a time when she had a really brave day and to capture that brave feeling again.

chloe and maudeChloe and Maude by Sandra Boynton
While it’s not exactly a brand new book (it was first published in 1985), you can never go wrong with a redesigned Sandra Boynton classic. It features three stories about two young cats and their adventurous friendship.



because barbaraBecause Barbara by Sarah Mackenzie, illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
You might have read several books with illustrations by Barbara Cooney (she’s even a Caldecott Award Winner). In this picture book biography, Barbara travels all around the world setting her mind to some incredible feats, including creating some of the most magnificent books for children ever published.

granny smith was not an appleGranny Smith Was NOT an Apple by Sarah Glenn Fortson
Granny Smith apples are always my apple of choice when making an apple pie, but I have never stopped to think about how the apple was named. This informative book teaches all about the origin of the Granny Smith apple as well as grafting and apple trees.

tiny wondersTiny Wonders by Sally Soweol Han
If there is a book that can remind us to take a minute to see the small wonders that surround us everyday, it’s this one! In this sweet story, a little girl wants to do something to spread happiness through her city – so she plants dandelion seeds. Will this small act make a difference?


call your motherCall Your Mother by Tracy Gold, illustrated by Vivian Mineker
Moms are the best! I really love how this book shares the journey of motherhood, not just while our children our little, but also as our children grow into adults. And as a subtle reminder: even though we are adults, we can still call our mothers.


my tiny life by ruby t hummingbirdMy Tiny Life by Ruby T. Hummingbird by Paul Meisel
This is actually the 4th book in Meisel’s Nature Diary series about the ruby throated hummingbird. It may be small, but it leads one mighty fascinating life!



like soLike So by Ruth Forman, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
The artwork alone is gorgeous, and with few words, this picture book shares the beautiful relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild.


too much my great big native familyToo Much: My Great Big Native Family by Laurel Goodluck, illustrated by Bridget George
I consider myself part of a big family, and I love how joyfully celebrated large, close, extended families are in this book. Even though Russell starts wondering if having a big family is too much, he finds out that what makes his life truly wonderful is his family and their support.

finding mr trunksFinding Mr. Trunks by Annemarie Riley Guertin, illustrated by Andrea Alemanno
Libby loses her stuffed elephant, Mr. Trunks, at the airport. With the power of social media, and the kindness of others, Libby and Mr. Trunks are reunited. And, the journey along the way is quite adorable!


abduls storyAbdul’s Story by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Tiffany Rose
Abdul loves telling stories, but whenever he tries to get his words down on paper, it never comes out quite right. With help from an author who visits his class, Abdul discovers that he too is an author.


neat nicks big messNeat Nick’s Big Mess by Chad Otis
Neat Nick has a hard time with messes. He likes things in their place and it makes him extremely anxious when things are messed up. Naturally, their Nick’s family adds an extremely large, messy dog to the family. Will Nick be able to handle the chaos or will he beg for the dog to go?


water and water bookWater Is Water by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
I’ve read my share of water cycle books in my time, but this is one of the best. It’s so simply explained in everyday terms and situations and the illustrations just blow me away.


together we swimTogether We Swim by Valerie Bolling, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
A mother and son head into the swimming pool for the boy’s first swim lessons. It’s scary at first to try new things, but with your family by your side, you can do anything!


not a smiley guyNot a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Baby Ernest loves his family and he loves reaching each new milestone, but he doesn’t love smiling. His parents try everything to get just one little grin, but realize that maybe smiling isn’t Baby Ernest’s thing.


are you bigAre You Big? by Mo Willems
I love a good Mo Willems book and this one is no exception. Asking the smallest question “Are you big?” brings forward lots of things to discuss along the way.


time to make artTime to Make Art by Jeff Mack
Do you have a budding artist in your house. This book explores all of the possibilities of art, while meeting a different famous author on each page.


shared spaceShared Space by Maddie Frost
Mouse loves his well trimmed yard and loves making it look perfect. But a wrench gets thrown into the mix when Pat Rat moves next door, which means sharing his perfectly quaffed landscaping.


strega nonas harvestStrega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola
How can you not just LOVE Strega Nona? And this one is all about Strega Nona celebrating her autumn bounty and the joy of gardening.



lucky duckLucky Duck by Greg Pizzoli
Susan the duck, is one unlucky duck! But when a sly wolf shows up to present her with gifts – has her luck really turned around? You won’t want to miss the ending on this funny one!


penelope rex and the problem with petsPenelope Rex and the Problem with Pets by Ryan T. Higgins
Penelope Rex (our favorite goofball dinosaur) never knew she wanted a pet until Mittens came around. But has she bit off more than she can chew? (Dare I mention that Mittens is a sabertooth tiger?)

the duck never blinksThe Duck Never Blinks by Alex Latimer
Have you ever had a staring contest with a duck? Well, in this hilariously fun interactive book you will be doing whatever it takes to make duck blink!



100 mighty dragons all named broccoli100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Lian Cho
This is not your typical counting book. This number play picture book is full of silly dragons (all named Broccoli, of course) coming and going, amusing math, and a fantastic ending!  

finding thingsFinding Things by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Kevin Henkes is a favorite at our house, and in this one, children are encouraged to use their imagination about what they could do with things they find.


ursula upside downUrsula Upside Down by Corey R. Tabor
Ursula is an upside down catfish who is happy with her upside down life until someone tells her that she is upside down. This is a clever and entertaining play on perspective and offers encouragement to be yourself.


lets goLet’s Go by Julie Flett
After longingly watching all the other kids ride by on skateboards, a little boy’s mother surprises him with skateboards and together they practice, practice, practice! Even with all of their practice, will he be ready to join the kids at the skatepark?


grayGray by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Lauren Child
We all have gray days every once and awhile. I love how this book highlights the acceptance of emotions (even the uncomfortable ones), and shares the idea that even though your “happy” feelings aren’t at the forefront, they never leave.



dream bigDream Big by Emma Dodd
In this simple rhyming book, father lion and his cub go through their day, thinking about all of the wonderful things that the little lion will accomplish. And he is not shy about encouraging his cub to dream his biggest dreams. This would be a really special book to gift after a big accomplishment like a graduation.

professor goose debunks the three little pigsProfessor Goose Debunks The Three Little Pigs by Paulette Bourgeois, illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths
A fact-checking goose…fairy tales…and scientific evidence debunking said fairy tales? Count me in! My girls were intrigued and giggled endlessly about all the facts about pigs and structures that could withstand wolf breath (or even hurricanes).


let's go hugoLet’s Go, Hugo by Angela Dominguez
Hugo is content to stay on the ground until his friend Lulu convinces him that the Eiffel Tower is best seen from the sky. This makes things difficult for Hugo because he is afraid to fly. After Owl gives him flying lessons, will Hugo and Lulu finally get to see the Eiffel Tower? This would be the perfect book for anyone learning a new skill and still feeling afraid or unsure of themselves.


sometimes shySometimes Shy by Julie Bliven, illustrated by Dang Khoa Tran
When a shy young boy goes out for a stroll along the seaside, he notices that the nature surrounding him is sometime shy too. I love the wonderful reminder that we move at our own pace and it’s ok to be shy – shyness can be a strength.



old clothes for dinnerOld Clothes for Dinner?! by Nathalie Alonso, illustrated by Natalia Rojas Castro
Magaly’s grandma is cooking up a special Cuban dish called Ropa Vieja – which literally translates to “old clothes”. And Magaly truly believes that her grandma is cooking her old clothes for dinner! Will she be able to hide all of her old clothes before Abuela cooks them all?


babo a tale of armenian rug washing dayBábo: A Tale of Armenian Rug-Washing Day by Astrid Kamalyan, illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan
The children always look forward to rug-washing day with Bábo (grandmother in Armenian). It is a family affair that is filled with fun, yet it also completes an important job to care for the rugs that have been passed down from previous generations.

not just the driverNot Just the Driver! by Sara Holly Ackerman, illustrated by Robert Neubecker
This fun rhyming book takes a look at who makes the trains arrive, the buses go, and the planes land. And it’s not just the driver! Jump behind the scenes, and learn about everyone else involved in transportation. This one is perfect for all the truck, trains, and vehicles lovers out there!


bigBig by Vashti Harrison
I couldn’t have a picture book list without this year’s Caldecott award winner. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but the message in this book about a little girl who dreams to dance, is touching and deep.


awe samosasAwe-Samosas! by Marzieh Abbas, illustrated by Bhagya Madanasinghe
Noor is doing something she has never done before…she is going to try to make her grandmother’s samosas, without a recipe, without all the ingredients, and without her grandmother. Armed with her father and her parrot by her side, will she be able to make something tasty and delicious for her friends stopping by? 


how to get your octopus to schoolHow to Get Your Octopus to School by Becky Scharnhorst, illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett
This is not your average first-day-of-school picture book – since it’s all about getting an octopus ready for its first day! And just like some children, octopus is a little nervous about going to school. Will octopus be ready for drop-off once they are dressed, packed, and ready?


the fish of small wishesThe Fish of Small Wishes by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Magdalena Mora
When Kiki finds a fish on the hot dry asphalt, she never expected it to be a wish-granting fish. As she tries to come up with a wish, the fish continues to grow and grow – it even grows too big for her bathtub! In helping the fish find a bigger home, Kiki ends up fulfilling her own wishes. 


exactly as plannedExactly as Planned by Tao Nyeu
This book is so neat! It is a reversible book with two stories in one: one from Fox’s perspective and one from Moose’s perspective. And if you can guess it – things do not go as planned for both Moose and Fox.



the blue bowlThe Blue Bowl by Flo Leung
The blue bowls that Max’s family uses remind them of their Cantonese culture. While Max does like Cantonese food, he sometimes hopes to try other kinds of food too. For his birthday, he wanted to go to an Italian restaurant, but instead his cousins make Italian food to bring to dinner to share with many of their Cantonese favorites.

the bumblebee gardenThe Bumblebee Garden by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Stella Lim
This is the perfect book for bee lovers, or anyone interested in learning more about bees. The story follows Ben and his grandfather, noticing bees while spending time together. Grandpa has a lot to teach Ben about bees and their lifecycles.


And if you’d like a printable copy of this children’s picture book list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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  1. I took my newborn baby in to the library recently to get a library card. The librarian looked at my stack 0+ books and the three children with me and tried to dissuade me from adding another card to the list (It will be more books to track! Do you really need that many cards?) Times like these are the reason I need to be able to check out more than 150 books at a time. 🙂

    Thank you for these annual lists – I find so many treasures and appreciate you sifting so we can just enjoy the gold!

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