Top 10 Picture Books of 2011

This took longer than expected. As I mentioned in my last post, selections this year were hard. In addition, I discovered I needed to segregate picture books for little kids (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) from those for school-age children. While some books could overlap between the two age groups, there was no way for me to compile a fair list if I lumped them all into one group. For books where I couldn’t find an age listing, I put them where I felt they fit best. I’ll start off with my Top 10 for the youngest category and then list the Top 10 in the older category.

Top 10 Picture Books for Preschoolers and under

  • Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido van Genechten
  • A Cat’s Alphabet Book by Sally O. Lee
  • My Daddy by Guido van Genechten
  • Going to the Beach with Lily and Milo and Going to the Zoo with Lily and Milo by Pauline Oud (I reviewed these together, so I am counting them as one.)
  • One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano
  • Oops! by Leo Timmers
  • 1-2-3- Count with Me and A is for Apple by Georgie Burkett (Again, I reviewed these together and count them as one.)
  • Ricky is Brave by Guido van Genechten
  • Thankyouplease by Pierre Winters and Barbara Ortelli
  • Ian’s New Potty by Pauline Oud

There are repeat names on this list, but I felt these authors and publishers truly knew how to create books attractive to this market.

Top 10 Books of 2011 for Ages 3 and up

  • A Dog is A Dog by Stephen Shaskan
  • My Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllister
  • Will & Kate: A Love Story by Ink Robin
  • Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner
  • The Butt Book by Artie Bennett
  • Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey
  • The Dancing Clock by Steve Metzger
  • Humbug, A Christmas Carol by Lee Baker
  • My Name is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry
  • Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose

Honorable Mentions

  • A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall
  • Frederico, The Mouse Violinist by Mayra Calvani
  • The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
  • Marta’s Gargantuan Wings by J. Aday Kennedy
  • Every-Day Dress-Up by Selina Alko
  • Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever by Julianne Moore
  • Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
  • Don’t Worry Douglas! by David Melling
  • Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother by Dixie Phillips
  • Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure
  • Secret Service Saint by Janet Ann Collins
  • Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann 
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1 2 3 Count with Me and A is for Apple Illustrated by Georgie Birkett

There are books to teach kids how to count and to help them learn their alphabet, but I’ve never seen anything like these two board books from Tiger Tales. Proving they really know kids and how they learn best, 1 2 3 Count with Me and A is for Apple both illustrated by Georgie Burkett, take the learning one step further than other books.

In addition to the delightful, eye-catching illustrations that are sure to make kids grin and giggle, each page in these books has grooved letters or numbers–as the case may be–so your child can trace the letter or number as you say it. Now, I’ve seen using shaving cream, salt or sand, to help kids learn in preschool and early elementary classes, so being able to trace here will help your child learn faster.

Also included are lift-up flaps to reinforce learning. Take Number 1. The text says “one ball” and when your little one lifts the flap, she finds an adorable kitty underneath and the words, “and one fat cat,” on the inside of the flap. The back covers of the books offer parents helpful hints on how to help children learn more from the books.

What I also like is the continuity between the two books. In 1 2 3 Count with Me we see the fat cat under the first flap. She also happens to be the fat cat that is on the cover of A is for Apple, just like the hen in A is for Apple is featured on the back cover of 1 2 3 Count with Me.  

Many early books on counting stop at 10, but this book goes all the way up to 20. In addition, at the end of the book, all the numbers are featured again, with the grooves, so your child can trace from 1 to 20. What I like best about this one is it goes one step further and begins to teach the child simple math. We see a combination of numbers and pictures, with a lift up flap that shows the sum, the picture, and then the addition in words. Example: “1 + 1” with a ball featured over each number, then =. The number 2 is printed in bold on the top of the flap, so it is visible to the reader. Open the flap and you see a picture of two balls. Then the inside text says, “1 and 1 makes 2.” Then the final page of 1 2 3 Count with Me follows the same method, but instead of having the number printed in bold on the top of the flap, it is the picture of the items. So, we have “3 + 3” with three crayons above each; then =, and the top of the flap has 6 crayons on it so the reader can solve the problem herself. When the reader lifts the flap, a bolded number tells her if she is right, and then the text “3 and 3 makes 6” appears on the inside flap like before.

I am so excited about these. I can see kids learning numbers and letters even earlier than before, giving them a head start in school. I highly recommend 1 2 3 Count with Me  and A is for Apple.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

123 Count with Me

  • Publisher:Tiger Tales
  • ISBN-10:1589258738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258730
  • SRP:  $7.95

A is for Apple

  • Publisher:Tiger Tales
  • ISBN-10:158925872X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258723
  • SRP:  $7.95