Monday, February 23, 2015

Favorite Picture Books from 2014

I am not a critic, or editor, or librarian, but I am an eccentric lover of picture books and read more of them in a single month than the average person reads in a year.  Lately I've spent a lot of time in the "New" section of our library and read over 100 of the marvelous selection of 2014 picture books.  There are so many fantastic books and it about killed me to narrow them down to the top 15, but somehow I managed and here are the results.  I've grouped them in 3 categories: my favorites, my 3 year old son's favorites, and our mutual favorites.  I'd like to thank all the brilliant and inspired authors and illustrators who have brought so much joy in to our home!  Thank you so much for all your hard work and divine creativity!


1.  Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
     Written by Patricia Hruby Powell
      Illustrated by Christian Robinson

      Recommended For: Ages 8 and up
      Style: Nonfiction, biography
      Why I Love this Book:  The words were lyrical, the story was  inspiring, and the illustrations were unique and powerful.  

2.  The Lion and the Bird
     Written and Illustrated by Marianne Dubuc

     Recommended For:  Ages 3-7
     Style:  Sweet, simple, few words.
     Why I Love this Book:  The illustrations really spoke to me in this one.  It was very whimsical and heartwarming.

3.  Flashlight
     Written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd

     Recommended for:  ages 3-7
     Style:  Wordless
     Why I Love this Book:  It's unlike any picture book I've read before, using the flashlight to tell the story.  Brilliant.

4.  Nana in the City
     Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
      Recommended for: ages 3-7
      Style:  simple and endearing
      Why I Love this Book:  It captures the exact way I used to feel about big cities when I was a little girl.

5.  Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine
     Written by Gloria Whelan
      Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

      Recommended for:  ages 5 and up
      Style:  Nonfiction, Rhyming
      Why I Love this Book:  It is so delightfully humorous for a nonfiction book.  The illustrations and words are hilarious!


1.  Hooray for Hat!
     Written and illustrated by Brian Won

     Recommended for Ages: 3-7
     Style:  Simple and fun to read aloud
     Why I Love this book:  The repetition and simplicity of this book makes it easy for kids to participate and say certain phrases along with you.

2.  Quest
     By Aaron Becker

    Recommended for Ages:  3-7
    Style:  Wordless
    Why I Love this Book: Not only are the illustrations gorgeous, they really spark the imagination.

3. Five Trucks
    By Brian Floca

    Recommended for Ages:  3-7
    Style:  Informational 
    Why I Love this Book:  Because my son LOVES it!  Like so many other kids he is fascinated by various trucks and their functions.

4.  Camp Rex
     By Molly Idle

     Recommended for Ages - 3-7
     Style:  Simple, few words
     Why I Love this Book:  The colored pencil illustrations and expressions on the character's faces are brilliant.  Fantastic work.

5.  Have You Seen My Dragon
     By Steve Light

     Recommended for Ages:  3-7
     Style: Counting, numbers
     Why I Love this Book:  There is so much to look at on each and every page spread.  My son and I could spend hours looking at all of the lovely little details.


6.  Shh!  We Have a Plan
     By Chris Haughton

     Recommended for Ages:  3-7
     Style:  Simple, few words, humorous
     Why I Love this Book:  This is another fantastic read aloud book and got both my son and I laughing out loud.  

7.  Flight School
     By Lita Judge

     Recommended for Ages:  3-7
     Style:  Simple, humorous
     Why I Love this Book:  The illustrations are just so adorable and the characters are so likable!  

8.  Out of the Blue
      By Alison Jay

      Recommended for Ages: 3-7
      Style:  Wordless
      Why I Love this Book:  It is such a sweet story, and I almost had tears in my eyes toward the end.

9.  This is ORQ
     Written by David Elliott
     Illustrated by Lori Nichols

     Recommended for Ages:  3-7
     Style:  Humorous
     Why I Love this Book:  It's delightful to read aloud with a cave man accent and the story is very heartwarming.

10.  The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend
       By Dan Santat
       Recommended for Ages: 3-7
       Style:  Simple, sweet
       Why I Love this Book:  The illustrations are gorgeous!  It's the kind of book I wouldn't mind reading again and again.


  1. Thanks for all these great recommendations! I haven't read any of these yet.