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 

Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever

Freckleface Strawberry is back with a new adventure in Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever by Julianne Moore.

Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick are best friends. They are very much alike, which is why they are such great friends. Problem is, the kids at school convince them they are too different to be friends. And that’s when the trouble starts.

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to see this latest Freckleface Strawberry book appear on  my doorstep. I loved being introduced to her in the first book. I had a blast recalling how much I also despised dodgeball in Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully. This new book is just as charming and just as funny. In Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully, Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick had become friends. Now the reader gets to see this friendship put to the test, but it is done in such a delightful way that young readers will be laughing as much as they are cheering for Freckleface and Windy to stop listening to those kids who say they shouldn’t be friends. The humorous illustrations by LeUyen Pham are the perfect complement to this story.

The purchaser should be advised that Windy Pants Patrick tells Freckleface Strawberry that he has two moms. There are also illustrations of Windy’s family in the book. I point this out solely because this may influence a buyer’s decision.

Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever is a great addition to your child’s library.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10:1599905515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599905518
  • SRP:  $16.99

Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully by Julianne Moore

Freckleface StrawberryRemember those less-than-fun and often scary games of dodgeball in the school yard? There was always some bully who threw the ball so hard that it hurts–and the bully seems to enjoy it.

Actress Julianne Moore and illustrator LeUyen Pham team back up to bring you a second Freckleface Strawberry book, Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully.

This funny and entertaining story brings Freckleface Strawberry close up with Windy Pants Patrick, the dodgeball bully.

Since Freckleface Strawberry doesn’t like dodgeball, she comes up for a plan one rainy morning when the kids can’t go out to play. She’s going to stay in the back and practice being a monster. But when Windy Pants Patrick yells, “Who’s the last kid?” Freckleface Strawberry knows she is doomed because she’s the last kid. Then something surprising happens and Freckleface Strawberry learns that dodgeball and Windy Pants Patrick really aren’t that scary.

In a very subtle and fun way, this book teaches children about acceptance and exploring new experiences. Freckleface Strawberry is the typical young girl who loves her family, has a wonderful imagination, and like many of us has decided that she doesn’t like something (in this case dodgeball) without even trying it.

My daughters, ages 5 and 7, loved this book. My oldest daughter even selected it for her weekly reading material for school.

The illustrations are just as creative and delightful as the story. The monster was a huge hit in our house.

Young readers will ask to read Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully over and over again. I know I’ll be on the lookout for more Freckleface Strawberry books as they become available.

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
  • ISBN-10: 1599903164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599903163
  • SRP:  $16.99 (U.S.)