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 

Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner

Many of us are sitting back and enjoying the summer fun. For some kids and parents, however, the nervous first day of school is arriving sooner rather than later. I suggest they consider picking up a copy of Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner.

Sea monster Ernest is afraid of fitting in when he’s so much larger and different from everyone else. Luckily there is so much for him to learn and do at school. Can he hope to even find a friend?

Sea Monster’s First Day is a wonderful, delightful story that will help young children cope with starting school. As a teacher, Messner recognizes that it’s hard to make new friends, especially if you feel you’re a bit different from the others and it seems like everyone already belongs. This book also helps youngsters realize that as they learn together, things are made easier, and perhaps there is one special friend or group of friends they will be drawn to. Sea Monster’s First Day truly encourages kids to be excited about that first day and all the school days to come.

The artwork by Andy Rash is so great. I visited his website and glanced at some of the other books he’s written and illustrated. Agent A to Agent Z caught my eye. I’ll have to get my hands on that one. Rash’s work in Sea Monster’s First Day is superb. He captured the whimsical nature of Messner’s story to perfection.

I highly recommend Sea Monster’s First Day for any child experiencing first day of school jitters.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10:0811875644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811875646
  • SRP: $16.99

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation to provide this review.