Time again to share with you some of our favorite picture books of the year. It’s still 2016, right? Ok. Good. Then it’s definitely time to reveal more of our favorite books of 2016.
There are so many books I could put on this list, but I am going to keep you in suspense until part 3 for some of the awesome new picture books of 2016 that we have read so far this year. (Wicked, I know.) This is a truly eclectic list. Funny books, subversive books, poetry and sweet stories. We’ve got it all for you right here, folks. So hie thee to the nearest library. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
See part 1 of our list of favorite picture books of 2016 right here!
A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins is for those of us who love a good dose of subversive humor. I don’t want to spoil the book because everyone needs a good, healthy gasp of surprise so instead I will set the stage for you. The lion is looking forward to a fun day with his adorable fuzzy friends. But they keep disappearing…. why? Will they return?
Bloom by Doreen Cronin is a book after my 6 year old heart. (I sense a book list idea coming on.) Bloom is a mud fairy in a glass kingdom. When the glass kingdom becomes brittle, the royal family goes in search of a magical creature who can help them, but they scorn the mud fairy because she does not fit the mold of what they were expecting. Finally, a servant girl learns the secret of mud magic from Bloom and they work to save the kingdom. Wonderful and magical, with a dash of practicality.
Teeny Tiny Toady by Jill Esbaum was definitely a favorite of my 7 year old. Teeny’s mama is scooped into a bucket and all the toad siblings try to figure how how to rescue them. The message of brain over brawn is a familiar one, but the delightful rhymes and Teeny’s winning personality make this a book to pick up and read over and over. It will put a big smile on your face.
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka. If you aren’t familiar with concrete poems, you are in for a real treat. I think they are my 11 year old’s favorite type of poetry because there is a puzzle factor and an “aha!” moment when what you are seeing connects with what you are thinking. This book is entirely in black and white and it is the poems themselves which create the pictures. A marvelous book.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate is indeed a remarkable and fascination historical biography of America’s first working African-American poet. I am glad to be able to share with my kids and I also learned a lot, myself! Horton was a slave in North Carolina. In the 19th century, he taught himself how to read, which was against the law. He sold produce at the market in order to make some money and when he started reciting his poetry, university students began to pay him to compose love poems so they could woo their sweethearts. He actually made enough money so that he could pay his master to be able to live in Chapel Hill—until the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Don’t miss this book.
Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith is a sweet book about friendship. Hector and Hummingbird are friends but lately Hector has been annoyed with how much noise Hummingbird makes! But when he finally gets what he wants, he misses his friend and learns that being left alone isn’t exactly what he wanted.
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield is filled with wonderful illustrations. After a bear discovers a piano in the woods he becomes quite the virtuoso. A pair of children hear his music and convince the bear to go to the city and share his talent with the world. But bear worries about his fellow bear friends. Will they want him back when he returns or will they think he has abandoned him? The ending of this book will warm your heart and soul.
Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley is a testament to the power of imagination. Big sister just wants to sit and read her book. (I can relate.) Yet, little sister wants to play. She describes an amazing fort, her descriptions getting more and more elaborate until finally her sister is tempted to put down her book.
Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge. I’ve made no secret of my love for Judge’s children’s books. I’m too lazy to check but I believe she’s had a book on my favorites lists every year. This is a wonderful, charming tale about siblings and the backdrop of rooftops against a twinkly night sky makes it even more magical. Hoot is looking forward to showing his little sister, Peep, the ropes. But she wants to do things differently! Hoot comes to realize that they can be individuals and still be loving siblings. (A lesson I desperately want my kids to learn!!!)
Tiger and Badger by Emily Jenkins. Tiger and Badger are best friends but that doesn’t stop them from getting into arguments, even over seemingly trivial things. (But remember, nothing is trivial to a child!) After every tiff, however, they are able to put things right, whether it be with working together to solve a problem, or with a silly face. This is one of the best books about friendship I have read and I urge you to pick up a copy!
More book lists you’ll love:
- (Our) Best Books of 2015, Part 1; Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
- Favorite Books of 2016, Part 1
- Picture books to inspire kids to change the world
- The master list of all our (more than 200!) book lists
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