It’s December – the time to think about gifting books! How I love to help with shopping lists! Making a picture book list to give is one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, I bumped the list to 25. Once again, I am happy once again to celebrate 25 incredible titles for 2017! Looking to buy a special picture book (or books) for someone in particular? Here is a beautiful selection to consider.
My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? Our world needs more laughter!
With those questions in mind, here is my list:
Listed alphabetically by author.
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
So a duck and a mouse take up residence in the belly of a wolf. Only Barnett and Klassen could pull this off. We all need a little wonderful wackiness in our lives.
Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko
I loved this lyrical, beautiful book full of questions and musings about self, identity and the wider world.
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
Nearly wordless. All about important things. Kindness. Trust. Simplicity.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
A completely endearing title about one little boy’s route to being brave.
The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
An allegorical tale that will make you giggle and nod vigorously and leap up and shout in agreement. Our voices cannot be silenced. Oh, this book is timely. Cannot recommend it enough.
Windows by Julia Denos and illustrated E.B. Goodale
I could read this book endlessly. It is so calm and quiet and the little details are exquisite.
You Don’t Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Liz Climo
So, so very funny. Who could have guessed that a pet unicorn could be so problematic? You might never look at cupcakes the same way again!
Milo and Georgie written by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Moving is hard. Kids are quirky. It isn’t always easy to embrace change. Or maybe it is , , , This book celebrates adjusting to the new however we might approach things. Charming.
This wordless title won my heart. Graphic panels. Sweet characters. Generosity and kindness. What more could you want in a picture book?
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
Oh so clever! A very chatty conversation in the middle of a wordless book. A.k.a. a really hopeful wordless book interrupted by many words. Hilarious!
If I Had a Little Dream written by Nina Laden and illustrated by Melissa Castrillo
A celebration of possibilities from a child’s perspective. Beautiful.
This is How We Do it: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe
What do you eat for dinner? What is school like? What is your daily routine? What do you do for fun? How do you help your family? These details define us and unite us. They make us realize how we all have similar routines even though things in our day can be vastly different. Based on the lives of seven real children from around the world.
Lines by Suzy Lee
This book is beautifully brilliant. Wordless and full of complete surprises and incredible movements (exquisitely implied).
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
This book begins with an eye that was drawn too large. Where it ends up? Oh my! A creative and inspiring journey.
Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chien
This title should ideally inspire endless poetry writing and will definitely help you see the world with a little more wonder. Gorgeous all around.
Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs written by Carol Murray and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
So much fun – lots of creepy and not so creepy crawlies flit, skitter and wander across these pages. Lots of information and delightful poems to share.
Now by Antoinette Portis
Being in the moment has never been celebrated with such lovely wonder and beauty.
If You Were the Moon written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim
What would you do if you were the moon? A poem travels line by line, page by page on one side of each two page spread and on the other, more information about the moon. Incredible illustrations by Jaime Kim.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back up Again by Dan Santat
Find yourself completely surprised. This book. In awe.
Another Way to Climb a Tree written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Oh this book. Sweet. Inspiring. Creative. A perfect mix of text and illustrations.
You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel
Sparse words, gorgeous illustrations and a message of strength.
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires
Perseverance and risk taking are a journey. Love the way they are depicted here.
Can an Aardvark Bark? written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Created by nonfiction royalty, this book is a winner! Animal sounds. And many other cool things you might have wondered.
Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi
This story is an absolute adventure. It’s all in the details and such details! Lola the armadillo spills orange liquid all over a white chair in a cart wheeling mishap. It is viewed as an absolute disaster! The end of the world! The end of everything! As she escapes her own mess, she runs into many other catastrophes. In the end, some important resolutions are explored. A book to get lost in.
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
A nonfiction title exploring ecosystems and the importance of keeping oceans healthy. Children will develop an understanding of food chains and how living creatures are interconnected in specific environments.
Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.