Another year is behind us, with wonderful new releases in the picture book genre. I’m excited to share these particular titles with you. They’ve flown somewhat under the radar, with little fanfare. They stood out to me for various reasons: unique topics, incredible illustrations, humor. Please let me know about any other “underdogs” from 2019 you’d like to share! And without further ado… my 10 favorite underdogs!
Good books for baby storytime are hard to come by, so I was excited to stumble upon Lucy Knisley’s “You Are New.” I love the minimalist illustrations, abundance of action verbs that lend themselves well to caregiver-child interactions, and hopeful message about being new in the world. Change to I love you from head to toe?”
Bloom Boom by April Pulley Sayre
Photographer and author April Pulley Sayre really hit it out of the park with this one. With rhythmic, engaging text, she guides the reader through colorful deserts and fields of wildflowers celebrating the beauty of flowers.
Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman
Who knew learning about science could be so fun? Carl is a humble worm facing an existential crisis: what is the purpose of his life? Join him as he finds out and learn a few things about the earth along the way.
You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks by Evan Turk
The illustrations of this book are stunning. In fact, I wouldn’t be mad if Evan Turk made prints available so that I could frame them and put them up on my walls. He captures the wilderness of of our National Parks with a distinctive and evocative color pallet, all while acknowledging the complicated and colonialist relationship Americans have with the land.
Nighttime Symphony by Timbaland and Christopher Myers
A young boy gets ready for bed, and experiences all of the sounds and rhythms of the storm outside his window. The action verbs make for great engagement and exchange during storytime.
With simple text and lively illustrations, Doug Cenko has crafted a lovely celebration of mothers.
Playdate by Maryann Macdonald and Rahele Jomepour Bell
A cute, diverse celebration of play using opposites vocabulary? Yes please!
Triceratops Stomp by Karen Patkau
Dinosaur fatigue, you say? Not with Karen Patkau! Her rhythmic and interactive book about dinosaurs wonderfully weaves narrative and facts, and is perfect for storytime.
Body positivity takes on a whole new meaning in this hilarious book about skulls.
Babymoon by Hayley Barrett and Juana Martinez Neal
Barrett uses clear and evocative rhymes to immerse the reader in a couple’s first few days at home with their child. The illustrations are whimsical and are sure to draw in parents and children alike!
What books did you love from 2019? Let us know in the comments below.
Today’s guest blogger is Katherine Hickey. Katherine is a children’s librarian at the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency: Knowledge Curation and Management of Materials.