Sunday, January 3, 2016

Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Best Children's Picture Books - 2015

When my son Andy was 18 months old, he discovered smoked oysters and he adored them for years. He begged to take them as his birthday treats to his second-grade class and couldn't believe that his friends wouldn't gobble them up. Young children have different taste in books just as they do in foods. Some love sweet "cupcake" tales and others enjoy tart, "smoked oyster" books with humor. Andy's first favorite book was Donald Crews' Freight Train, a Caldecott Honor book that isn't too sweet or too tart. The best children's picture books I read this year offer a variety of tasty temptations. 

The Best Picture Books of 2015: 
  • Book by David Miles, Natalie Hoopes, illustrator
  • The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers, illustrator
  • Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks, David Small, illustrator
  • Home by Carson Ellis
  • Thankful by Eileen Spinelli, Archie Preston, illustrator
  • Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McConnell
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes
The Best Picture Book of 2015:
Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McConnell
Maggie hosts a pajama party for her bunny Clement and invites Jean, an elephant, and Alan, a bear. I adore McDonnell’s homage to some of my favorite characters, authors, and illustrators including Clement Hurd, A.A. Milne, and Jean de Brunoff in this charmer that extolls friendship and gratitude. This is a book I could read over and over without tiring of the illustrations or the message. Ages 3 - 6

Runners Up - Best Picture Books: 

Book by David Miles, Natalie Hoopes, illustrator 
Book celebrates the extraordinary world of books in a radiant display of color and words that will resonate with preschoolers. You don’t need a password or have to worry about a virus with a book. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 3 – 6 

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers, illustrator
The Day the Crayons Came Home is even better than its predecessor, The Day the Crayons Quit. Postcards sent to Duncan from disgruntled and misplaced crayons will delight parents and children alike. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 5 – 8

Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks, David Small, illustrator 
Glamourpuss is sassy, clever, and a laugh-out-loud tale that should please any adult sharing it with a lucky child. Glamourpuss lives with the Highhorsen family and she’s special so when a trick-performing dog disturbs her reign, she isn’t happy. Princess lovers and all children will enjoy this romp. Parents and teachers will relish the expansive vocabulary. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 3 - 6

Home by Carson Ellis
Home is a gorgeously evocative picture book reminiscent of Mary Ann Hoberman’s classic A House is a House for Me. I’d let a child tell me what the pictures say rather than reading the words although phrases like “Sea homes. Bee homes. Hollow tree homes” charmed me. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 4 - 8

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli, Archie Preston, illustrator 

Thankful is a gentle story for Thanksgiving and beyond. “The waitress is thankful for comfortable shoes/The local reporter for interesting news. It’s a delightful read-aloud with lovely illustrations that will spark “thankful” conversations. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 4 - 7

Waiting by Kevin Henkes 

Waiting depicts figurines on a windowsill waiting to see what will happen next. Waiting is hard for all of us, but it’s especially difficult for young ones. This charmer will help. In usual Henkes style, there's so much room for a child's imagination within the pages. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ages 3 – 6

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