Saturday, January 17, 2015

Favorite Picture Books of 2014

It's still January, so it's still okay to post about my favorites from 2014, right? Right. Next on my list is picture books. Some of my all time favorite books are picture books. One of my favorite things in the world is to read out loud to just about anyone who will listen. I don't care if you are two or 92, I will sit with you and read a picture book, and I promise you'll laugh. Or cry. Or sometimes both.

Oliver Jeffers

My #1 picture book of 2014 is the best alphabet book I've read since LMNO Peas, by Keith Baker. And, of course, it was written by the very talented Oliver Jeffers. It's called Once Upon an Alphabet. Seriously, Oliver Jeffers is amazing! One of my favorite books to read for story time is This Moose Belongs to Me because you get to yell the phrase, "Hey! This moose belongs to me!"

My #2 picture book is about a shy little boy who loved words. His name was Peter Mark Roget. This lovely picture book tells the true story about his invention of the thesaurus. The book is called The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, by Jennifer Fisher Bryant. 

The next book on my list is by Philip C. Stead. A couple of years ago, I fell in love with his book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, a lovely story about the a zoo keeper who has to take a sick day, and how the animals of the zoo surprise him because he's sorely missed. In 2014, he wrote a book about a boy who goes on an adventure in a hot air balloon made from quilts and afghans called Sebastian and His Balloon. This story is beautiful and magical, just like Amos McGee.

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads, by Bob Shea has to be on my list. I read this out loud with my coworker Linda. We were laughing to the point of tears, passing the book back and fourth and doing voices for all the colorful characters. The Kid Sheriff doesn't know a whole lot about law enforcement, but he certainly has a vast knowledge of dinosaurs. It's hysterical. It's inspired us to do a cowboy theme at the library this spring.

#5 would have to be Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio. An adorable story about two dogs that were unknowingly switched at birth and couldn't figure out why they didn't quite fit in with their families. I love the illustrations by Christian Robinson, and the story is very sweet. It would be a great pick for children who love dogs or for a dog themed story time.

The first book I ever read by Mac Burnett was called, Mustache, and I loved it! It told the hilarious story about a terrible and vain king who was obsessed with his looks, but not very good at taking care of his subjects. His latest book is called Telephone, and it cleverly describes what happens when important information is passed from person to person along the grapevine (or in this case, from bird to bird along the telephone wire.)

The Pigeon Needs a Bath, by Mo Willems. The Pigeon is back! My list would not be complete, if I didn't include a story by Mo Willems, and I'm so happy he brought Pigeon back in 2014! Mr. Willems is hands-down my all-time favorite writer of children's books. I've read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus out loud so many times, I practically have it memorized, and still, it never gets old. I just can't say enough about Mo and his wonderful books from Elephant and Piggie to Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Every book this man publishes is a treasure.

The final book on my list of favorites is Mister Bud Wears the Cone, by Carter Goodrich. I fell in love with Mister Bud and his little pal Zorro in the 2011 favorite Say Hello to Zorro, a classic story of opposites reluctantly attracting. In this new installment, Mr. Bud has to wear the "cone of shame." Poor Mister Bud! It's always something. Mister Bud and Zorro would also make a great addition to your dog themed story time or a great gift for dog lovers of all ages.

I hope you have a lot of fun reading these wonderful stories!

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