Picture Book Picks for February 2016 (For Preschool to Grade 2)
February 2016 Picture Book Picks

Intro

As I'm sitting here in my car typing, both my kids are in the back seat breathing heavily, fast asleep. It's one of those moments that make me feel so lucky to have a family, to be able to spend the day together, to be in out of the rain, just to be here at this moment. Ahhh...

Anyhow -- books! Oh books. This year's big award winners have been announced -- the Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, etc.. All the magazines and websites are posting their best of 2015 lists, so the best stuff is all coming into the spotlight!

There isn’t a book on this list that I’m not dying to read. We’ve got them all on hold at the library, but have already read Last Stop on Market Street and Sonya’s Chickens. More about those in a bit. I’m really, super anxious to read Boats for Papa. It looks ah-mazing. If you check it out on Amazon, you can see some of the pages in a preview. The artwork looks beautiful and the message of the book – uhm, is it normal to tear up when reading a book summary? If it’s not normal then I totally didn’t… Not at all. I also can’t wait to get ahold of the art-full books on this list – Sidewalk Flowers and 8: An Animal Alphabet.

Now… Last Stop on Market Street is outstanding. My son actually happened to pick this one up at the library. I think it was in the things that go section and he noticed it because it had a bus on it. My son's really into cars, trains, and buses (as you’re probably beginning to guess). This story is about a little boy and his grandmother traveling through a city on their way to a soup kitchen. All along the way the boy notices things he doesn't have or doesn't get to do. His grandmother takes his complaints in hand and shows him how to look at the situation differently -- with gratitude, with open eyes, with wonder, no matter how dull the situation appears. It makes me wish we could all have a wise, good-hearted gramma to show us the way in life, but in the absence of that, author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Christian Robinson have passed along this touching book. I loooved it and my 2 1/2 year old son asked me to read it again and again.

We also really loved Sonya's Chickens. This story dealt so well with the concept of loss. It's a heavy subject, but rendered so perfectly through the eyes of a little girl with a loving family. The story really transports you into this little girl’s world that is rich and full of wonders and yet down to earth. For my son, listening to a few pages that had longer text passages was a bit of a stretch, but he stuck with it, and kept bringing it back to be read again. Even though the subject of loss was a little beyond his full grasp, he seemed to understand the fear, the sense of injustice, and the solemnness that the main character experienced.

Enjoy! And please tell me what you’re reading. I’d love to hear!!

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Last Stop on Market Street Book Cover
Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt De La Peña
illustrated by Christian Robinson
published January 8, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015
Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015


Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But...READ MORE

Wolfie the Bunny Book Cover
Wolfie the Bunny
by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Zachariah OHora
published February 17, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Families of all kinds will delight in this sweet tale of new babies, sibling rivalry, bravery, unconditional love...and veggies!

 

The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can--and might--eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her...READ MORE

Sidewalk Flowers Book Cover
Sidewalk Flowers
by JonArno Lawson
illustrated by Sydney Smith
published March 17, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. "Written" by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life...READ MORE

Boats for Papa Book Cover
Boats for Papa
by Jessixa Bagley
published June 30, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

Buckley and his Mama live in a cozy cabin by the ocean. He loves to carve boats out of the driftwood he finds on the beach nearby. 
He makes:

big boats
long boats
short boats and
tall boats,

each one more beautiful than the last, and sends them out to...READ MORE

8: An Animal Alphabet Book Cover
8: An Animal Alphabet
by Elisha Cooper
published July 28, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Explore the animal world, from aardvark to zebu!

Discover hundreds of animals, great and small. Lion and lizard, whale and wombat. Learn one wild fact about each animal. (Did you know that gorillas yawn when they are nervous?) Look carefully, because for each letter of the alphabet, one animal...READ MORE

Trombone Shorty Book Cover
Trombone Shorty
by Troy Andrews
illustrated by Bryan Collier
published April 14, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Award Winner
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today...READ MORE

Stick and Stone Book Cover
Stick and Stone
by Beth Ferry
illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
published April 7, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand....READ MORE

Sonya's Chickens
Sonya's Chickens
by Phoebe Wahl
published August 11, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Sonya raises her three chickens from the time they are tiny chicks. She feeds them, shelters them and loves them. Everywhere Sonya goes, her chicks are peeping at her heels. Under her care, the chicks grow into hens and even give Sonya a wonderful gift: an egg! One night, Sonya...READ MORE

The Day the Crayons Came Home Book Cover
The Day the Crayons Came Home
by Drew Daywalt
illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
published August 18, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publisher's Weekly

The companion to the #1 blockbuster bestseller, The Day the Crayons Quit!

Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015 / A TIME Magazine Top 10 Children's Book of 2015


“Highly anticipated (yes, even for adults)” —Entertainment Weekly

I'm not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but...READ MORE

Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Cover
Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
published December 15, 2015

Celebrate Valentine’s Day—and love—with The Very Hungry Caterpillar with this brand-new title!

 

“You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special...READ MORE

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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