10 (Plus 5!) Library Picks for Kids

Our favorite picks of 2019

Top 10?! When it comes to outstanding picture books, children’s librarians have a hard time limiting ourselves, so for our annual round-up, we give you 10…plus five to grow on!

Snakes on a Train written and illustrated by Kathryn Dennis

This is a giggle-worthy for children and adults alike – great for making SSSSSSS sounds, which is important for phonological awareness, a building block of early literacy!

The King of Kindergarten written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

A young boy is ready to take on the adventure of kindergarten! An excellent choice to accentuate the positive aspects of school.

Ghost Cat written and illustrated by Kevan Atteberry

Prepare to have all of the feelings! The perfect blend of sweet and sadness, with an ending that will make you reach for a hankie – or possibly take a trip to the cat shelter.

Dandy written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Charles Santoso

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder! Charming and funny, and many adults will identify with the lawn-obsessed father.

Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep written and illustrated by Eric Barclay

Who is protecting who? This one follows the Pixar model of having easy humor for kids, overlaid with more sophisticated humor for adults.

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug written by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck

Tiny arms won’t stop this loving dinosaur from giving the perfect hug! Truly heartwarming – and a great excuse to hug your kid while reading.

The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings written and illustrated by Richard Byrne

You don’t have to be an adult to love a good mystery! In this detective story for the pre-school set, enemies are revealed as friends and predictive reasoning takes center stage.

Bruce’s Big Storm written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

The saga of “Mother Bruce” continues, this time forcing the lovably grumpy bear into caring for neighbors during a storm.

Why? written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A slyly philosophical story about friendship by an author who has written sensitively about emotions in children. (See Seeger’s Walter Was Worried and I Used to Be Afraid.)

Max Attacks written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan

You don’t need a cat to appreciate this clever book, but it helps! Great rhymes for little ears

Truman written by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Turtles can have adventures, too! Especially if they are missing their humans. Alliterative repeating text and charming illustrations make for a book many kids will want to read again and again.

Celebrate You! written by Sherri Dusky Rinker and illustrated by A.N. Kang

Life-affirming to the extreme – perfect for birthdays, but also appropriate for smaller milestones in a child’s life.

Llama Destroys the World written by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Heather Fox

There aren’t too many picture books that take a science fiction approach to things, but this silly, hilarious story is about a llama who causes a rift in the space-time continuum…by eating too much cake.

The Three Vikings written and illustrated by Adam Auerbach

Everybody has skills to share – even the littlest among us! A theme that will resonate among the shorter set, who will also be charmed by the active illustrations.

Wake Up, Color Pup written and illustrated by Taia Morley

Get your color fix and your dog fix in one place!

A big thank you to these children’s library staff for their year-end recommendations: Tori Hamilton, Glenpool Library; Sarah Davis, Herman and Kate Kaiser Library; Shelly Wimberley, Owasso Library; Melody Palmer, South Broken Arrow Library.


Categories: Babies & Toddlers

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