Children's Literature (all forms)

Eleven of the Best Preschool Picture Storytime Books of 2014 (so far)

Inviting audience participation, the following eleven picture books (listed alphabetically by title) have worked wonders in my (often large) preschool storytimes. They are among the very best picture books of 2014!

diggerdogjpgDigger Dog, written by William Bee, illustrated by Cecilia Johansson.  Using progressively larger construction vehicles, a determined dog attempts to dig up a tasty bone. Deftly employing fold-out pages, the book leads to a fun surprise ending that will have children yelling “Keep digging Digger Dog!”

GravityGravity, written and illustrated by Jason Chin. This striking exploration of how gravity works soars thanks to Chin’s meta approach. The book Gravity falls from the sky, startling a boy. He and his toys then experience a world without gravity. Easy non-fiction at its very best.

greenchilejpgGreen Is a Chile Pepper, written by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by John Parra. With eye-pleasing illustrations reminiscent of folk art, this delicious bilingual book uses food as a way to introduce colors and various aspects of Latino culture. Thong’s quatrains, peppered with Spanish words, serve up the lessons in a tasty manner.

igotrhythmI Got the Rhythm, written by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison. On a beautiful sunny day, a girl thinks of an infectious rhythm that soon has the entire city dancing along with her. This interactive book turns story hour into the coolest dance party in town. Frank Morrison’s illustrations dazzle.

mapleMaple, written and illustrated by Lori Nichols.  This gentle charmer works wonders both as a celebration of nature and as a new sibling story.  The titular character loves her beloved maple tree. Drama enters the picture when Maple notices a little Willow sapling nearby…and a little bulge in her mommy’s tummy.  Uh-oh!

musiceverywhere3Music Everywhere!, by Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, and Cynthia Pon. Packed with photographs from all over the world, this uplifting work shows children dancing, singing, and playing a wide variety of cool-looking instruments. Helpful captions accompany the vibrant, colorful photos, and the back matter is terrific.

one-busy-dayjpgOne Busy Day, written by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Jessica Meserve.  Resourceful Mia keeps tries to convince her older brother Spencer to play with her.  He refuses, so she entertains herself with imaginary adventures. Spencer now finds himself intrigued with her fantasy world. So will readers.

petflyguyjpgA Pet for Fly Guy, written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold.  Easy reader starsFly Guy and his human owner Buzz make their Picture Book Debut (cue trumpets)! In this hilarious romp, Fly Guy longs to have a pet of his very own. What will he choose? The story reaches a delightfully odd conclusion that makes total sense.

some-bugsjpgSome Bugs, written by Angela DiTerlizzi, illustrations by Brendan Wenzel.  Even those who loathe these critters will find much to enjoy in this delightful tribute to all things buggy.  DiTerlizzi’s rhymes bounce along while Wenzel’s unique humorous illustrations amuse.

swimduckswimjpgSwim, Duck, Swim!, written by Susan Lurie, photographs by Murray Head. Clever, adorable photographs enhance this thoroughly engaging story of a little duckling who does not want to swim. Children love it when the little quacker finally takes a plunge, leading to a joyous ending.

Three bearsThree Bears in a Boat, written and illustrated by David Soman.  “Their voyage was not without incident,” deadpans the narrator of this exquisitely illustrated adventure. After three bears break their mother’s prized blue seashell, the panic-stricken trio seeks a replacement.  Soman’s illustrations offer a wide variety of inventive perspectives.

All book cover images are from the individual
publisher’s or author’s official sites)


What are YOUR favorites? Let me know in the comments below!


Courtesy photo

Our guest blogger today is Brian E. Wilson. He received his MLS from the University at Buffalo. This is his twelfth year working for the Evanston Public Library where he purchases the picture books for the collection, and offers a public presentation of the finest picture books of the year. Visit his blog at

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


  1. Renee Perron

    Thanks for this great list. I’ll be sure to check them out for my preschool story class. A few of my favorites from this year include Here Comes Destructosaurus by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard and It’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall.

  2. Brian E. Wilson

    Thank you Renee! I love Here Comes Destructosaurus, too! (So many great picture books this year already!) Jeremy Tankard illustrated one of my all-time favorites as well: It’s a Tiger!, written by David LaRochelle. Michael Hall is always so innovative. Thank you again for taking the time to read my post and for letting me know about your favorites. Best, Brian

  3. Rick Kinnebrew

    Thanks for a good list I don’t have to wait all year for! Your annotations help too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *