There have been so many wonderful picture books released this year, that picking my top five was tough! Nevertheless, as my last post of 2019, here are my five favourite picture books of the year. Please comment to let me know what your favourites were and Happy New Year to you all! x
In no particular order of brilliance…
Duck & Penguin Are Not Friends by Julia Woolf
Andersen Press (6 June 2019)
Betty and Maud are the best of friends. But Betty’s favourite toy, Duck, and Maud’s favourite toy, Penguin, are definitely NOT friends! Can Duck and Penguin find something to bond over and will they ever find “hanging out” fun?
This beautifully illustrated hardback picture book would make a great gift for a new parent. Julia has used authentic play date settings children will instantly relate to whilst subtly showing how parents can feel when their children don’t bond with their friend’s children – something I was unaware of until I had my own daughter. I love the fact Betty is white and Maud is black. This really is a book that everyone can relate to and feel represented in.
Bipolar Bear by Victoria Remmel
Schiffer Publishing (28 October 2019)
Sometimes Polar Bear finds himself dancing at the very bright North Pole and other times napping at the dreary South Pole. With some help from family and friends, some trusty sunglasses for when it’s too bright and a flashlight for when it’s too dark, can he find his way home?
This is an exceptional picture book on mental health and explains bipolar disorder in a sensitive and child friendly way. Victoria’s illustrations and the layout of the words add another dimension, and the message of this book will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes & Sarah Massini
Bloomsbury Children’s Books (5 September 2019)
When Marianne digs for bones on the beach, she discovers a dinosaur who she wishes will come to life. That night her wish comes true and Bony takes her on a truly magical, imaginative adventure through the sea and sky that is beyond your wildest dreams!
It’s safe to say my whole family LOVE this book. For me, it is perfectly balanced between lyrical rhyming text that rolls off the tongue and incredible illustrations. But perhaps the highest accolade I can share is that from the moment this book came in the post, my daughter has been obsessed with it. She loves dinosaurs, and adores Bony and Marianne.
The Night Before Christmas in Wonderland by Carys Bexington & Kate Hindley
Macmillan Children’s Books (3 October 2019)
When St Nick receives a very late letter from the Princess of Hearts, he gets Rudolph to set a course to Wonderland. But St Nick and his reindeer soon discover that the Princess is now Queen and she HATES Christmas. Is there anything that can convince the Queen that the true meaning of Christmas is to be kind?
This is hands down my favourite 2019 Christmas book and one we will cherish for years and years to come. It is a fabulous modern mash-up of The Night Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland. Not a single detail has been overlooked and all the iconic moments of both, from the names of the reindeer to Rabbit being late, make this book a pure delight to read.
Show and Tell by Rob Biddulph
HarperCollins Children’s Books (8 August 2019)
Mr Lumsden has a prize to give for the most impressive show and tell in Class 2L, so everyone is bringing their A-game, except maybe Adam with his boring brown sunflower seed. It hardly compares to a pet crocodile or the queen of Denmark or… the moon! But when an alien procures the pieces for a museum the class might not be left with much to show. Or maybe that’s when they’ll discover the most unexpected object are the best of all…
It’s hard to put into words how much I ADORE this picture book. As I was reading, I was loving the children’s imagination, creativity and diversity, and I thought: this is one of those picture books that is brilliant because of the fun factor and the hilarity. But then, Rob took it to a whole new level by creating an earth-shattering twist that added a beautifully warm and wonderful message.