Picture Book Favorites of 2016… So Far…

What makes a good picture book? For me as a librarian, I read and look at picture books and ask the question, would this be a good book to read aloud during story time? Are the illustrations appealing? Is there too much text? A cohesive storyline? And most important, will it engage kids? It can be hard to find a quality picture book with a blend of all these key elements. Luckily, 2016 has proven to have produced a crop of picture books that I can see kids enjoying for years to come.
Snappsy and Owl
Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!) by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim Miller
Snappsy the Alligator is just trying to go about his daily routine, but is constantly being interrupted by an invisible narrator. We do not find out who the narrator is until the end of the story. This is one of those laugh-out-loud picture books that both kids and parents can really enjoy. It is silly and fun, and a great book to read out loud.

Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
Pizzoli is not new to writing and illustrating picture books (The Watermelon Seed), and Good Night Owl proves to be a wonderful addition to his body of work. Owl just wants to go to bed, but a mysterious noise is keeping him up. This humorous story is great for bedtime and Pizzoli’s illustrations are always simple and appealing.
Hoot and Peep; City Shapes; Thunder Boy Jr.
Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge
On a bright moonlit night in Paris, Hoot hopes to teach his younger sister, Peep, all of his wisdom. Hoot and Peep ultimately realize that they can both learn something new from one another. Gorgeous illustrations combined with a heart-warming story make this a stand-out picture book.

City Shapes by Diana Murray, illustrated by Bryan Collier
This story follows a young girl as she explores many shapes throughout the bustling city. Murray does an excellent job of writing an engaging story while incorporating the many shapes of the city. This fun and educational picture book is filled with vibrant, engaging and modern illustrations.

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his father, but he wants a name that is all his own. This a sweet tale filled with bold and colorful Native American illustrations. The magnificent Sherman Alexie has brought his talents to this wonderful picture book about a father and son.

-Melissa Nemitz, West Winsor Library


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