Best New Picture Books | January 2018
The Children’s Book Review | January 25, 2018
14 New Release Picture Books
We have 14 excellent picture books to share with you this month. You’ll discover inspiring characters like an inventive girl who’d rather tighten a nut and a bolt than tie a ribbon or bow, a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas, and a mouse with a big appetite for the world. Not to mention some wonderful non-fiction books and, possibly the most popular book of 2018 (so far), Matt de la Peña and Loren Long’s Love.
Of the 14 best new picture books we have selected for you to read your way through, we wonder which one you are going to want to read first?
Written by Katey Howes
Illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti
Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet Magnolia Mudd: an inventive girl who’d rather tighten a nut and a bolt than tie a ribbon or bow.
For Magnolia Mudd, her Uncle Jamie is the very best grown-up. He always invents cool things with her . . . until the day he and Miss Emily announce their engagement. That’s bad enough—but even worse, Miss Emily wants Magnolia to be a FLOWER GIRL! No way is Magnolia tossing petals. But it turns out that Uncle Jamie’s new bride-to-be may be more fun that Magnolia ever imagined . . .
Ages 3+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1454921745
Written by Kenneth Wright
Illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright
Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas.
From the best ways to serve breakfast — an elegant feast! — to the ideal sleeping spot — a majestic blanket fort, of course! — Lola is inspired all day long.
Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just too much, but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You’ll love her so much!
Inspired by their own four gorgeously feisty children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to introduce the unstoppable Lola Dutch and her fresh, fun, commercial, character-driven series.
Ages 3-6 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | January 30, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1681195513
Written and Illustrated by Christine Pym
Publisher’s Synopsis: Hungry Little Mouse is looking for some breakfast, and he knows just where he can find it.
Hungry Little Mouse is looking for some breakfast, and he knows just where he can find it. Scampering into the kitchen next door, he finds a perfect bright blueberry. But just before he leaves, he spots a rosy-red apple, and Little Mouse loves rosy-red apples. And as if that’s not enough, there are sugary sweets, a chunk of cheese, a plump pickle . . . the list goes on and on. Yum! But as he finally finds something that’s his absolute favorite, Little Mouse discovers that he’s not the only one looking for breakfast. In this hilarious tale from talented author-illustrator Christine Pym, readers will cheer for Little Mouse and his big appetite for the world.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Nosy Crow | January 2, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0763696269
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by James E. Ransome
Publisher’s Synopsis: You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall.
You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience.
Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford’s poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King’s example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world . . . to be a King.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | January 2, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0802723680
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal
Illustrated by Holly Hatam
Publisher’s Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of I Wish You More, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and her daughter Paris Rosenthal comes the heartwarming and inspiring Dear Girl,
Dear Girl, is a remarkable love letter written for the special girl in your life.
Through Amy and Paris’s charming text and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations, any girl reading this book will feel that she’s perfect—whether she enjoys jumping in a muddy puddle, has a face full of freckles, or dances on table tops.
This book encourages girls to always be themselves and to love who they are—inside and out.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | January 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062422507
Written by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Multiple Illustrators
Publisher’s Synopsis: Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers.
From the award-winning author of Ada’s Violin, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history.
In this book, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six-year-old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create.
And those are just a few of the young women included in this book. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belprè, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappè, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai—all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. This book was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women and includes an author’s note, a timeline, and additional resources.
With artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | January 23, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062699459
Written and Illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
Publisher’s Synopsis: From the acclaimed author/artist of Beyond the Pond and Rulers of the Playground comes a breathtaking new book with a powerful message about the environment, perfect for fans of Peter Brown’s The Curious Garden and Kadir Nelson’s If You Plant a Seed.
Each day, the big trucks go to work. They scoop and hoist and push.
But when Digger discovers something growing in the rubble, he sets in motion a series of events that will change him, and the city, forever.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | January 23, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062424334
Written and Illustrated by Gianna Marino
Publisher’s Synopsis: If I Had a Horse is an inspiring picture book with simple text and gorgeous, impressionistic artwork from acclaimed author-illustrator Gianna Marino about a girl imagining what life would be like with a horse.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | January 30, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1626729087
Written by Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by Loren Long
Publisher’s Synopsis: From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
“In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.
A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life.”
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers |January 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1524740917
Written by Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Publisher’s Synopsis: Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a dozen of National Book Award winner Nikki Giovanni’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.
There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newbery honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most impartant message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved—themselves!
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | January 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1534404922
Written by Nina Laden
Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon
Publisher’s Synopsis: A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.
You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | January 23, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1534401945
Written by Laura Veirs
Illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh
Publisher’s Synopsis: This lyrical, loving picture book from popular singer-songwriter Laura Veirs and debut illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh tells the story of the determined, gifted, daring Elizabeth Cotten—one of the most celebrated American folk musicians of all time.
Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn’t hers (it was her big brother’s), and it wasn’t strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she’d written “Freight Train,” one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere—from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England—knew her music.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | January 16, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1452148571
Written by Ying Chang Compestine
Illustrated by David Roberts
Publisher’s Synopsis: Ming Da is only nine years old when he becomes the emperor of China, and his three advisors take advantage of him by stealing his stores of rice, gold, and precious stones. But Ming Da has a plan. With the help of his tailors, he comes up with a clever idea to outsmart his devious advisors: He asks his tailors to make “magical” new clothes for him. Anyone who is honest, the young emperor explains, will see the clothes’ true splendor, but anyone who is dishonest will see only burlap sacks. The emperor dons a burlap sack, and the ministers can’t help but fall for his cunning trick.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | January 9, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1419725425
Written by Monica Clark-Robinson
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Publisher’s Synopsis: I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids.
I couldn’t go to their schools.
I couldn’t drink from their water fountains.
There were so many things I couldn’t do.
In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | January 2, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0544704527
*Header image illustration from Yellow Kayak, written by Nina Laden and llustrated by Melissa Castrillon (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2018)