January 9, 2017

Read in 2016: Picture Books

Last year I read 175 books, approximately 50,000 pages! Though many of the titles I read will be featured in more in-depth upcoming book reviews, I thought I'd break-down the list of everything I read this year in a series of posts over the course of January. Today's post will highlight all 30 of the picture books I read in 2016. I've sorted them by genre and then by my Goodreads rating (a scale of 1-5 stars, 1 being I didn't like and 5 meaning it was amazing).

5 Stars

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
by William Joyce

This book actually brought a tear to my eyes. A beautiful story about the power of reading? Yes, please! Just a great read. Read my full review.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear
by Lindsay Mattick

So cute. The real story about how there came to be a bear in the London Zoo named Winnie who would catch the attention of a young a visitor named Christopher Robin and inspire his father A.A. Milne to write the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh tales.

What Do You Do with an Idea?
by Kobi Yamada

A lovely picture book about the value of children's imaginations. The pencil and watercolor illustrations are frame-worthy. Read my full review.

The Three Questions
by Jon J. Muth

A picture book adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's short story, "The Three Questions." A profound story about moral philosophy as questioned by great thinkers and yet still deeply meaningful here rendered with animal characters. A great message for adults and children alike.

4 Stars

What Do You Do with a Problem?
by Kobi Yamada

Encouragement for little kids, affordable therapy for grown-ups.

Nanette's Baguette
by Mo Willems

Mo Willems in top form. Great illustrations, funny, and enjoyable for kids and their parents.

The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears learn humility after judging their atypical neighbors Clem, Shem, and Lem Bogg.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
by Dr. Seuss

The audiobook version of this collection is fantastic.

The Berenstain Bears Ready, Get Set, Go!
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

This is a good picture book for early picture book readers--it's one of the simplest Berenstain Bear books and the repetition and language predictability help kiddos become engaged in reading along. Plus, it's pretty awesome that Sister Bear is the best athlete in the family. Girl power!

The Berenstain Bears and the Wild, Wild Honey
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

I love this Berenstain Bear story about Papa Bear because it's so similar to Winnie-the-Pooh.

Amelia Bedelia Collection
by Peggy Parish

A childhood favorite.

3.5 Stars

by Aaron Becker

Picks up where Journey left off. The adventures here were a bit more fun to imagine than those in the previous book.

3 Stars

Snappsy the Alligator Did Not Ask to Be in This Book
by Julie Falatko

A humorous picture book for to kids who are tired of their parents taking their pictures and posting them on social media. Read my full review.

A Bad Case of Stripes
by David Shannon

Lima bean farmers' propaganda disguised in a story of self-acceptance.

by Aaron Becker

I love, love, love wordless picture books. The story is simple--a bored girl uses drawing and her imagination to explore new worlds. It starts stronger than it ends, but I liked the concept.

Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt de la Pena

A brightly illustrated picture book about a boy riding the bus with his grandmother. Through their weekly Sunday rides, she teaches him about respect, life, gratitude, and community.

The Elves and the Shoemaker
by Jim LaMarche

Undoubtedly, the illustrations are the best part of this rebelling of the Brothers Grimm story.

2.5 Stars

Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks
by Corey Rosen Schwartz

A Kung-fu animal retelling of Hansel & Gretel. I liked that in this version both characters are female and instead of being abandoned by their parents in the forest they set out to save their mom and dad. A fun, quirky premise but sometimes the plot and rhyme scheme felt forced and tired. Read my full review.

2 Stars

The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

Too preachy, even for a Berenstain Bear book, and rather boring. Brother Bear gets frustrated when a younger friend named Billy ruins his model airplane and obviously has to learn to be more kind and patient.

by Adam Rubin

If you like this book, it's likely due to the brightly colored and interactive (fold-out) illustrations and not the poorly written text.

Remarkable Animals: Mix & Match to Create 100 Crazy Creatures
by Tony Meeuwissen

A cute, interactive picture book well suited for Kindergarten readers, just far too short. Read my full review.

The Berenstain Bears and the Substitute Teacher
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

Miss Viola Swamp is still the best substitute teacher in children's literature, but it was funny that the kids thought their new teacher meant business when she showed up in designer jeans, hoop earrings, tinted glasses, and a sports car--so random.

The Berenstain Bears Shoot the Rapids
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

Papa Bear is a moron, bless him.

The Berenstain Bears to the Rescue
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

Papa Bear is a moron, volume two. I'm not sure which was published first, but this book and The Berenstain Bears Shoot the Rapids are are basically the same story.

Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter: Deluxe Cut Paper Edition
by Sam McBratney

Fun paper cuts but nothing revolutionary.

The Berenstain Bears Get the Scaredies
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

Rhymes appropriate for early readers, but the concluding moral is a bit of an eye roll.

The Berenstain Bears' Nursery Tales
by Jan & Stan Berenstain

An illustrated compilation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Little Red Hen, and the Gingerbread Man. The Berenstain bears' name in the title is a bit deceptive.

1.5 or 2 Stars

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby
by Kelly Clarkson

A publisher would have passed on this picture book if its author weren't so famous.

1.5 Stars

Olivia and the Missing Toy
by Ian Falconer

I still don't fully understand the Olivia craze. Even though there's usually some sort of moral ending, she's annoying.

1 Star

Give Please a Chance
by Bill O'Reilly

Read the title, skip the book.

Which pictures books did you enjoy reading last year?

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