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Favorite Picture Books of 2013

November is Picture Book Month! This is the one time of year I do anything about picture books on this blog. The MG/YA scene is more my thing. Still I read a lot of picture books every year too and this is the perfect time to share my favorites. As always, the only criteria used for this list is that I and my test subjects thoroughly enjoy the books.

My Test Subjects:

All the Mo Willems: A Big Guy Took My Ball, I'm a Frog! , That is Not a Good Idea!
LM is at the best age for Elephant and Piggie right now, and this year's additions to the series are his favorites to date. I have quite enjoyed them myself. Reading them aloud is a ton of fun.  That is Not a Good Idea is just perfect in its twisty humor. It took LM a couple of times to get that one. Bit was delighted with it from day one.

Battle Bunny by John Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matthew Myers
This book is not for everyone. If you l like saccharine sweet fluffy children's books, look elsewhere. Everyone else will love this though. And kids will embrace it wholeheartedly. It is funny and imaginative. 

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel
THIS BOOK! It has my heart. Bit really enjoyed it too, reading it several times. So simple and yet conveys so much information and packs a punch. I particularly liked:
"Clara smolders with anger, not just for herself, but for all the factory girls, working like slaves. This was not the America she imagined."
"They break six of her ribs, but they can't break her spirit. It's shatterproof." 
"Her throat is hoarse, her feet are sore, but she has helped thousands of people. 
Proving that in America,
wrongs can be righted,
warriors can wear skirts and blouses,
and the bravest hearts
may beat in girls
only five feet tall."

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen 
I was a little scared of this book before I read it. The minds of those two collaborating is a rather scary thing to contemplate. It is delightful though, and LM is a big fan. 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
This has gotten mixed reviews, but I found it to be fun, delightful, and full of wry humor. My kids also find it delightful, particularly LM who colors all things in rainbows. He feels a lot of sympathy for those crayons.

Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masee
This is a book of reverso poems, and it is brilliant. I find it to be even more brilliant than its predecessor, Mirror Mirror. It is one of Bit's favorite books of the year. She has read it several times. 

LM has this thing about squirrels. He is on a personal mission to chase them all from our property. He seems to think they have evil intent. So color me surprised when he decided this was one of his favorite reads of the year and wanted it read over and over. It was his first Scaredy Squirrel experience and we have checked out several others now as well. 

Both my kids love this one. It is  a story about loving yourself and knowing and appreciating your strengths. It misses being didactic and sweet though. It has rainbows, glitter, and cupcakes but is not at all cutesy. It is funny and perfect in every way. 

Here is my Pinterest Board that has more recommended picture books from the past year.


Brenda said…
Nice list, and your test subjects are very cute.
Charlotte said…
Bit! That is the first picture I can remember seeing of her.

I love Scardy Squirrel too. Except the Beach one, which I felt was a betrayal of his essential introversion....
Brandy said…
Thanks! (On both counts.)
Brandy said…
I usually post one pic a year: on the picture book post.

This was the first Scaredy Squirrel we had ever read and now we have read tons. Except the beach one. Must find. LM will get a kick out of it as he is very much afraid of the beach.
Betsy said…
great list, friend!

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