HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Best New Picture Books | May 2017
Best New Picture Books May 2017 Mine

Best New Picture Books | May 2017

The Children’s Book Review | May 3, 2017

20 New Release Picture Books

We have 20 new picture book suggestions for you to read your way through. Included in this round-up of picture books is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be when you’re worried, a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, a rollicking book that will have readers of every age reconsidering whether “Mine!” is the best answer, a classic read-aloud favorite addressing bullying retold by acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney, and the story of an inspiring American artist. Our selection of best new picture books will give you plenty of outstanding reading material! Which one are you going to read first?


There Might Be LobstersThere Might Be Lobsters

Written by Carolyn Crimi

Illustrated by Laurel Molk

Publisher’s Synopsis: Come on, Sukie, you can do it! A little dog’s paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller is in need in this humorous, tenderly sympathetic story.

Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters. With endearing illustrations and a perfectly paced text that captures a timid pup’s looping thoughts, here is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be when you’re worried — and how empowering it is to overcome your fears when it matters the most.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | May 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763675424


Jabari JumpsJabari Jumps

Written and Illustrated by Gaia Cornwall

Publisher’s Synopsis: Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | May 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763678388


Mine by Jeff MackMine!

Written and Illustrated by Jeff Mack

Publisher’s Synopsis: Start with one rock. Add two mice. The end result? A never-ending battle! Or is it? Using only one word, along with many brightly colored and lively illustrations, Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will have readers of every age reconsidering whether “Mine!” is the best answer.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452152349


This Is How We Do It- One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the WorldThis Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

Written and Illustrated by Matt Lamothe

Publisher’s Synopsis: Follow the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day! In Japan Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda Daphine likes to jump rope. But while the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as a mirror reflecting our common experiences. Inspired by his own travels, Matt Lamothe transports readers across the globe and back with this luminous and thoughtful picture book.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1452150185


Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Good for Nothing ButtonElephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Good for Nothing Button

Written and Illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Publisher’s Synopsis: Yellow Bird has a button. It does . . . nothing! It is a good for nothing button. Red Bird and Blue Bird are excited to try the button. But when they press it, they discover that the button makes them happy. Happy is something! A flabbergasted Yellow Bird insists the button does nothing. But it sure does seem to be making him mad. Mad is something!

The hilarious debate that follows takes readers on an emotional roller coaster that pokes at the power of imaginative play.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1484726464


The Three Billy Goats GruffThe Three Billy Goats Gruff

Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Publisher’s Synopsis: A classic read-aloud favorite addressing bullying retold by acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney.

Jerry Pinkney puts his indelible stamp on another beloved folktale in the same vein as the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and the highly acclaimed The Tortoise & the Hare and The Grasshopper & the Ants.

When the three billy goats Gruff are hungry, they see bountiful grass to eat across an old bridge. But the bridge is home to a terrible troll, who is peckish himself, and looking for a tasty morsel to gobble up. In his interpretation of the timeless tale, Jerry Pinkney shows there’s little good to come from greed–but in the end, redemption for even the most trollish bully is possible. A dramatic gatefold heightens the climax of this brilliant rendition.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | May 9, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0316341578


What's Your Favorite Color?What’s Your Favorite Color?

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle

Publisher’s Synopsis: Everybody has a favorite color. Some like blue balloons or brown buildings or mint green ice cream cones. Others prefer sunshine yellow, Maine morning gray, or Mexican pink.

In this book, fifteen beloved children’s book artists draw their favorite colors and explain why they love them. This personal collection will undoubtedly inspire readers to create favorite color drawings and stories of their own!

Contributors include: Eric Carle, Lauren Castillo, Bryan Collier, Mike Curato, Etienne Delessert, Anna Dewdney, Rafael Lopez, William Low, Marc Martin, Jill McElmurry, Yuyi Morales, Frann Preston-Gannon, Uri Shulevitz, Philip C. Stead, Melissa Sweet

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0805096149


Maya Lin- Artist-Architect of Light and LinesMaya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

Publisher’s Synopsis: The bold story of Maya Lin, the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

You may be familiar with the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But do you know about the artist-architect who created this landmark?

As a child, Maya Lin loved to study the spaces around her. She explored the forest in her backyard, observing woodland creatures, and used her house as a model to build tiny towns out of paper and scraps. The daughter of a clay artist and a poet, Maya grew up with art and learned to think with her hands as well as her mind. From her first experiments with light and lines to the height of her success nationwide, this is the story of an inspiring American artist: the visionary artist-architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250112491


My Daddy Rules the World- Poems about DadsMy Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads

Written and Illustrated by Hope Anita Smith

Publisher’s Synopsis: A picture book of poems that celebrate fathers from a two-time Coretta Scott King Honor–winning poet.

Who is your hero? Who’s your best friend?
Who says he loves you again and again?
Daddy!

Told through the voice of a child, My Daddy Rules the World collection of poems celebrates everyday displays of fatherly love, from guitar lessons and wrestling matches to bedtime stories, haircuts in the kitchen, and cuddling in bed. These heartwarming poems, together with bold folk-art-inspired images, capture the strength and beauty of the relationship between father and child.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | May 16, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0805091892


She Persisted- 13 American Women Who Changed the WorldShe Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

Written by Chelsea Clinton

Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

Publisher’s Synopsis: Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.

Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.

With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.

This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor–and one special cameo.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Philomel Books | May 30, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1524741723


Lily's Cat MaskLily’s Cat Mask

Written and Illustrated by Julie Fortenberry

Publisher’s Synopsis: Armed with a vivid imagination and her trusty cat mask, Lily can take on anything–even a new school…

But when her teacher tells her no masks allowed in class, Lily worries, can she make friends without it?

Anyone who has been daunted by a new experience, or struggled to put on a good face, will relate to Lily. Whimsical art brings Lily, her father, and her new classmates to life, with text that begs to be read aloud. Perfect for Father’s Day, back to school, and even Halloween–Lily and her grinning cat mask are sure to make you smile back.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-6 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0425287996


Through the GateThrough the Gate

Written and Illustrated by Sally Fawcett

Publisher’s Synopsis: Through the Gate tells the story of a child who has just moved house and is struggling to cope with all the changes in her life. She relates to the dilapidated house she has moved to, as she sits sad and forlorn upon its broken front step. But, as the story unfolds, the house is gradually repaired paralleling how the child’s perception of her new situation improves. Each time the child passes ‘through the gate’, into the world beyond, she notices more of her surroundings and discovers that her new life has some wonderful things in it. The messages delivered through this story can be understood at different levels – literal and metaphorical. Nothing stays the same and difficult times will pass. A little effort in maintenance can improve our physical surroundings, yet our perceptions also colour our world. These messages are relevant to both children and adults, as we all experience many changes throughout our lives and draw on our resilience as we adapt to them. Within the illustrations is a ‘spot the difference’ game that encourages interaction with the story and develops observation skills. Younger children can be involved in spotting the more obvious changes and older children will be challenged with the more subtle transformations.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: EK Books | May 1, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1925335415


Colette's Lost PetColette’s Lost Pet

Written and Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Publisher’s Synopsis: Colette can’t find something to talk about with the new kids in the neighborhood…so she invents a pet! Her fib quickly escalates, and suddenly her parakeet is a larger-than-life world-traveler named Marie Antoinette. Have her new friends figured out her secret? What will they do?

This charming story both clearly identifies the struggle of navigating a different experience, and demonstrates to kids a lovely and welcoming way to treat someone new in their community.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | May 23, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0553536591


I Got a New FriendI Got a New Friend

Written and Illustrated by Karl Newsom Edwards

Publisher’s Synopsis: A sweet introduction to owning a pet that is perfect for readers of The Most Magnificent Thing and A Ball for Daisy.

When a little girl gets a new puppy, they have a lot to learn about each other. The new friends can be shy, messy, and sometimes get into trouble. They get lost, but they always get found. Their friendship may be a lot of work—but at the end of the day, they love each other!

Experience the excitement and mystery surrounding a new pet (and a new friend) in this joyful picture book from acclaimed author and illustrator Karl Newsom Edwards.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | May 23, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0399557002


Margaret and the MoonMargaret and the Moon

Written by Dean Robbins

Illustrated by Lucy Knisley

Publisher’s Synopsis: Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | May 16, 2017| ISBN-13: 978-0399551857


The Forever GardenThe Forever Garden

Written by Laurel Snyder

Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill

Publisher’s Synopsis: Perfect for fans of the Caldecott Honor Book The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small, here’s a heartwarming spring picture book about gardening and friendship.

Every day, Honey tends her garden, thinning the lettuces, pulling up beets, and even singing to the kale. (Honey says if you listen carefully, you can hear the kale singing back!) Laurel, the little girl who lives next door, likes to help, weeding the rows, washing vegetables under the pump, and gathering speckled eggs from the chicken coop. But one day there is a FOR SALE sign in Honey’s front yard. Honey’s mother is sick, and she is moving away! What will happen to Honey’s garden? And what will Laurel do without her friend? Here is a touching story that beautifully illustrates how friendship—just like a garden—grows.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Schwartz & Wade | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0553512731


Firefighter Duckies!Firefighter Duckies!

Written and Illustrated by Frank W. Dormer

Publisher’s Synopsis: WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO! Here come the Firefighter Duckies!

Frank Dormer is at it again with this quack-out-loud silly story, full of wacky charm and perfect for little duckies of all dispositions.

The Firefighter Duckies are brave and strong. They rescue:
Gorillas in chef hats!
Whales in trees!
Dinosaurs on bicycles!

But when the emergencies requiring their attention become a little overwhelming, the Firefighter Duckies realize that they don’t have to be brave and strong to be helpful and kind.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | May 30, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481460903


Grace Hopper- Queen of Computer CodeGrace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Written by Laurie Wallmark

Illustrated by Katy Wu

Publisher’s Synopsis: “If you’ve got a good idea, and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.”
The inspiring story of Grace Hopper—the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science—is told told in an engaging picture book biography.

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 5-12 | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | May 16, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1454920007


The Case of the Stinky StenchThe Case of the Stinky Stench

Written by Josh Funk

Illustrated by Brendan Kearney

Publisher’s Synopsis: Uncle,” Croissant said, “the fridge is in trouble!
A mystery stench turned a whole shelf to rubble!
I’m the last hope or the fridge will be lost!
Help me or else we’ll be cooked, served, and sauced.”

There’s a stinky stench in the fridge–and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Sir French Toast’s nephew, Inspector Croissant, begs him and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron von Waffle? A fetid fish lurking in the bottom of Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring the same delectable wordplay and delicious art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast–this fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids and adults alike!

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | May 2, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1454919605


The Fog by KyoThe Fog

Written by Kyo Maclear

Illustrated by Kenard Pak

Publisher’s Synopsis: A clever and whimsical environmental fable about a bird who is a human-watcher from a dynamic author-illustrator duo.

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay? Kyo Maclear’s witty story, brought to life with the delicate, misty artwork of Kenard Pak, is a poignant yet humorous reminder of the importance of environmental awareness.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Tundra Books | May 16, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1770494923


*Header image illustration from Mine!, by Jeff Mack (Chronicle Books 2017)

For more of the best new picture books for kids, follow along with our articles tagged with New Books for Kids, Picture Books, Books for Ages 0-3, and Books for Ages 4-8.

Rate This Article

Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

No Comments

Leave A Comment