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 

Interview with LaNiyah Bailey, Author of Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Joining us today is six year old author, LaNiyah Bailey, author of Not Fat Because I Wanna Be. This is a children’s book geared toward children ages 3-10.

Thank you for joining us today, LaNiyah. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Yes. I am six years old and will be going to first grade this year. I love playing with my puppy diva and doing girl stuff, like playing with my dolls, playing in make up with my cousins and my best friend Chase.  I also love spending time with my mom and dad. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

 I wanna say I know what this means… like when did I start wanting to write? (smiles) I started to write when I was in kindergarten and I was being teased and bullied. 

Why did you decide to write for children?

 I wanted to write for children because I am only six years old, and they can understand me more. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I think it might be a little harder because if it’s not fun or interesting they may not want to read it.  

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part is I get to meet new people and tell them my story and sometimes they tell me theirs too.  

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Well my new book is called Not Fat Because I Wanna Be, and it is about a fictional girl named Jessica who was being bullied and teased about her weight by adults and kids. Jessica had some medical problems that made her overweight, but people never knew it. They judged her by how she looked on the outside.  

What inspired you to write it?

I went through a lot of the same things that Jessica went through and that inspired me to not sit around and feel sorry for my self but, to tell people what I was going through and hopefully that would make people see that you can’t judge people from their outside self.  

Where can readers purchase a copy?

They can get a signed copy from my website ( I will sign it and put whatever they want me to write in it. They can also get it from, and 

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, I do. I would love for people to come there and leave comments and tell their stories about bullying and being healthy. My mom reads me all the emails and I get really happy to hear that other kids from all over the world have some of the same problems like me. My website is: 

What is up next for you?

I would like to visit hospitals and schools around the world and talk to kids about bullying and how to stand up for themselves. I will be working on another book soon also. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Well, I want kids to know that they are important and special. If they are being bullied they should not be scared or embarrassed to talk to their mom, dad or teacher about it. And if they are the person bullying someone they should stop it because it is not nice to make someone feel bad about themself, and they should think of how it would make them feel if someone did it to them. And that’s it.  

Thank you for spending time with us today, LaNiyah. We wish you much success. 

Thank you all for having me and helping me share my message. I wish you much success too. Thank you!

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey

A book that shares a powerful message is what you’ll find in Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey.

Six-year-old LaNiyah is tired of being picked on by her classmates just because she’s different. Even though she eats a healthy diet, she’s still a big girl. She doesn’t know why until her new doctor runs some tests. With the love and support of her family, LaNiyah is able to share her story with her classmates, so they understand the “inside her.”

I’m not sure what amazes me more about this book: that a child of this age is selfless enough to want to be an advocate for others or that she has the courage to write her story and share it with the world. Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is a truly inspiring story that captures the importance of family love and support in tackling the issue of bullying and helping bullied kids to feel good about themselves. As someone who was teased through her school years, I’m very sensitive to this issue. Now, it seems even more dangerous than it was back then. In our local communities we have had two young people in the past three years commit suicide after being subjected to extensive bullying and cyber-bullying.

Six-year-old Bailey tells her story in the first person, which helps the reader connect with her and feel the emotions she feels as the book moves along. Your heart aches when you read the names she is called; just as much as it leaps for joy when her new doctor helps her understand what is going on with her body.  You cheer for her when she courageously answers a mean classmate who asks why she is so fat. And you can’t help but smile when the same girl becomes her best friend.

The artwork is provided by Laura Perez Ricaud. She did a superb job in telling LaNiyah’s story in a visual way. From the cover to the very last page, her illustrations will captivate young readers and encourage questions and discussion points.

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey needs to be in all our elementary schools and shared often.  This book can help parents and educators open the door for discussions on tolerance and diversity. I highly recommend Not Fat Because I Wanna Be!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Publisher:CreateSpace
    • ISBN-10:1461006767
    • ISBN-13: 978-1461006763
    • SRP:  $13.99 paperback (Also available as an eBook)


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Follow this tour to its next stops:

August 22nd

Mymcbooks Blog – Interview & Giveaway – 

August 24th

The Book Faery Reviews – Author Spotlight – 

Book Snatchers – Book Review – 

August 25th

Writers On The Move – Guest Post: What it is like Writing a Book as a Youth Author –

August 26th

The Bumpy Road—Book Review – 

August 28th

Utah Children’s Writer Blog – Guest Post: Why is it Important to Write? 

August 29th

BTR’s World of Ink Network: Stories for Children show. Live Radio Interview at 8pm EST at or call in to listen or ask questions (714) 242-5259. You can also listen on  demand after the show airs!

LaNiyah Bailey is a 6‐year‐old author with a message for children like her – just because you are bigger than other kids, that doesn’t mean that people have the right to bully you.

In her debut book, Not FAT Because I Wanna Be, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight.
Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.

LaNiyah is not only speaking to other children through her book, but has become an advocate for anti‐bullying organizations.

Visit LaNiyah online at