Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Best Picture Books of 2017

Throughout 2017 I've been on a mission to read as many newly published children's books as possible. I've read nearly 200 books this year, and more than 50 of those have been picture books that were published in 2017! There was one that made me cringe, two that I didn't like at all, five that were okay but didn't live up to their potential, and many that were perfectly good. Then there were those that stood out above the rest and earned a rare, enthusiastic five-star rating.

For a picture book to earn a five-star rating from me it has to do these five things:

1. Be a genuine pleasure to read aloud. For wordless books, a visual story that is easy to follow.
2. Appeal to my emotions, whether that be making me laugh, cry, or relate personally to the story or character.
3. Use language that captures the attention and imagination. For wordless picture books, clever surprises and details in the pictures.
4. Have appealing illustrations that add to the depth and charm of the text.
5. Have a take-away or theme that feels like a seamless part of the story.

It's not a long list, but it's a good one! If you've missed any of these books this year, be sure to check them out in 2018.





JOHN RONALD'S DRAGONS: THE STORY OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN by Caroline McCalister

Fans of Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT will enjoy this beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated glimpse into his life.


SIMPSON'S SHEEP JUST WANT TO SLEEP by Bruce Arant

The sequel to SIMPSON'S SHEEP WON'T GO TO SLEEP, this books is full of humor and charm, with a flowing rhythm that is a pleasure to read.



LINES by Suzy Lee

A wordless picture book that tells a heartwarming story of friendship and forgiveness.


TWINDERELLA by Corey Rosen Schwartz

A funny and clever "fractioned fairy tale" with perfect rhyme!


MY VERY OWN SPACE by Pippa Goodhart

This story is sweet and charming, and I related to it on a personal level having come from a large family.



NOTHING RHYMES WITH ORANGE by Adam Rex

This book is hilarious, clever, and tons of fun to read aloud.


LOVE IS by Diane Adams

It's as sweet as it sounds without being overly cheesy. It's perfect.



THE POMEGRANATE WITCH by Denise Doyen

So much to love about this book. A fun story, nearly perfect rhyme, stunning use of language, and a sense of nostalgia that lingers far beyond the last page.


FLASHLIGHT NIGHT by Matt Forrest Esenwine

This book captures perfectly a childhood sense of imagination and adventure.


CAP'N REX AND HIS CLEVER CREW by Henry L. Hertz

A rollicking tale of swashbuckling adventure.


'TWAS THE EVENING OF CHRISTMAS by Glenys Nellist

A lovely and creative retelling of the Christmas story, patterned after the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore.


WATERSONG by Tim McCanna

A simple story about a fox seeking shelter during a storm, with vivid language and equally vivid illustrations.

I'd love to hear about your favorite books from 2017!


4 comments:

  1. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas. Mighty Moby by Ed Young

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    1. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles is a beauty. I haven't read Mighty Moby yet. I'll add it to my list!

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  2. These all sound fabulous! Dragons. Lines, and Orange are definitely going on my wishlist!

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    1. Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Nothing Rhymes with Orange is such a hoot!

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