Betsy Bird is conducting a big ol’ picture book poll, and you should participate, too.


The Let’s Just Get This Out of the Way Category:   Where the Wild Things Are

written & illustrated by Maurice Sendak

This is going to be on A LOT of lists.  A LOT.  I was going to leave it off of my list, because I knew it would be covered, but I can’t.  Is there another book more cited as inspiration for authors and illustrators?  Not that I’ve heard.  In his talk on Saturday, Brian Selznick pointed out subtle choices Mr. Sendak made to make it all the more wonderful, and I have a new appreciation.


The Favorite Book from my Childhood Category:   Tell Me a Mitzi

writtten by Lore Segal & illustrated by Harriet Pincus

This was my go to book as a child.  I was a little kid in Wyoming enchanted by the city scenes, the autonomous kids, unique format, and the subtle details in the art.  One of the great underappreciated books, in my opinion.


Change of Perspective Category (tie):   The Night Worker

written by Kate Banks & illustrated by Georg Hallensleben

More people living in the city!  And working at night!  Kids like to think that the world turns off when they go to sleep, and this books shows them it’s not true.  Mindblowing.  Bonus points for non-white characters.

arabooliesThe Araboolies of Liberty Street

written by Sam Swope & illustrated by Barry Root

Extreme neighbors, colorful art, and a challenge to conformity and fascism.  Name another picture book like that.


The Diabolical Zoo category (tie):   Pssst!

written & illustrated by Adam Rex

Simple, yet sharp, and very, very funny.  Great attention to detail.



Slow Loris

by Alexis Deacon

Never make assumptions about speed-challenged primates.


The Wish We Were There Category (tie):   Night of the Moonjellies

written & illustrated by Mark Shasha

This book sparks envy in my kid every time we read it.  First, he wants to get a gig in a food stand.  Then he wants to take a boat out after dark to find a herd of glowing jellyfish.  I do, too.


The Adventures of Polo

by Regis Faller

Polo travels from the depths of the ocean, to outer space, to a monkey party, and beyond.  And then, home to read.  Wordlessly.


The Pulling a Kid into The Story Category:   The Monster at the End of the Book

written by Jon Stone & illustrated by Mike Smollin

What a page tuner.  I’ve never met a kid who wasn’t entirely delighted to antagonize lovable, furry old Grover.


The Bedtime Category:   The Night Eater

written & illustrated by Ana Juan

I love Ana Juan, and this one is my favorite.  Great atmosphere.