It’s been a stand-out year for children’s picture books. With so many great titles published in 2015, we’ve picked some of our favorites to share. If you’re still shopping for the holidays, there’s nothing better to give than the gift of reading!
Did you know that, before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie? In 1914, Canadian Harry Colebourn rescued a baby bear, and took her with him to war. Now, his real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey – from Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England... And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.
When Drew Daywalt published The Day the Crayons Quit in 2013, his side-splittingly hilarious account of crayons on strike became an instant modern classic. Expectations were high for this follow-up, and the continuing adventures of these eclectic crayons are just as delightful and funny. We’re particularly fond of Esteban the Magnificent (the crayon formerly known as pea green).
A young child asks his mother the story of where he came from, and he hears lyrical and fantastic tales: “I might tell you how you came from a land far away in a hot air balloon.” Or perhaps he was rescued from a dragon! Yet each story contains a small kernel of truth, piecing together a baby’s journey across a wide ocean into his new mother’s arms.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like other boys? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty– and fun – in their routine and the world around them.
Miss Hazeltine is opening a very special school for shy and fearful cats. They come from all over, and Miss Hazeltine gives them lessons in everything, from “Bird Basics” to “How Not to Fear the Broom.” The most timid of all is Crumb. He cowers in a corner. Miss Hazeltine doesn’t mind. But when she gets in trouble and only Crumb knows where she is, will he find his inner courage and lead a daring rescue? This cute story is the perfect read to help shy children deal with scary situations while accepting them just as they are.
Leo likes to draw, and he makes delicious snacks, yet most people can’t even see him. That’s because Leo is a ghost! When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. He meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. From there the adventures begin in this charming tale of unconventional friendship!
John Roy Lynch spent most of his childhood as a slave in Mississippi, but all of that changed with the Emancipation Proclamation. Suddenly people like John Roy could have paying jobs and attend school. While many people in the South were unhappy with the social change, John Roy thrived in the new era. He was appointed to serve as justice of the peace and was eventually elected into the United States Congress. This important and compelling biography charts the life of one of the very first African-American congressmen.
This gorgeously illustrated wordless picture book is all about one boy’s small paper boat and his large imagination! He takes his boat, made from newspaper, on a rainy day to play in the puddles. It quickly floats away from him, and so begins a new adventure as the boy runs to chase it down. Best of all, you’ll find instructions for making your very own paper boat!
Owen knows through his homework and chores that the world is boring. But one day, everything changes when Owen sees the impossible happen – he sees his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library! It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching inside book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character. So begins an extraordinary and clever adventure in which Bethany takes Owen on a high-stakes visit to favorite books, the Kiel Gnomenfoot series!
Stella lives in the segregated South – Bumblebee, North Carolinat. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are pleasant, but others are not. One late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, the first flicker of troubling and unwelcome change. A Klu Klux Klan meeting. As Stella’s community – her world – is upended, she decides to fight back in this powerful tale of a young girl’s courage.
This highly original tale features two stand-alone stories – one is a series of continuous pictures, the other is written in prose. The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale's strange house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about his family, and the past. This gripping adventure is an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two narratives connect.