Best New Picture Books | February 2018
The Children’s Book Review | February 27, 2018
10 New Release Picture Books
We have 10 excellent picture books to share with you this month. You’ll discover a deeply moving exploration of grief and empathy, a strong debut that shows we’re all more alike than we think, the humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, a dazzling picture book biography of one of the world’s most influential designers, a love letter to Earth, and a nonfiction picture book biography of Belva Lockwood.
Of the 10 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 and Illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
Publisher’s Synopsis: A universal, deeply moving exploration of grief and empathy.
With its spare, poignant text and irresistibly sweet illustrations, The Rabbit Listened is a tender meditation on loss.
When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs.
Whether read in the wake of tragedy or as a primer for comforting others, this is a deeply moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Dial Books | February 20, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0735229358
Written and Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Publisher’s Synopsis: A simple housecat named Simon encounters some bigger cats: Lion, Puma, Panther, Tiger, and Cheetah. Each of the big cats has something to say about Simon not being “cat” enough. According to them, he just doesn’t measure up. He doesn’t have Lion’s mane or Cheetah’s spots. He doesn’t sleep in trees like Panther or climb mountains like Puma. He’s small and fuzzy, not big and strong. But ultimately, Simon shows the big cats that he’s just like them . . . only smaller.
A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat is a strong debut that shows we’re all more alike than we think . . . if we look closely enough.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | February 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1419726439
Publisher’s Synopsis: Night falls, and the world sings a lullaby in this beautifully imagined picture book. The lush illustrations and gentle, rhyming text will lull young readers to sleep.
Shh—listen. Can you hear the quiet, loving sounds of the nighttime world? From moths fluttering their powdery wings, to a nightingale’s sweet trills, to swaying willow trees softly shushing, shushing everyone to sleep, this rhythmic, rhyming lullaby will soothe and calm little ones. The tender, nature-filled bedtime scenes sweep across land, sky, and sea, with animal parents everywhere tucking in their children. A final scene featuring a mother and her baby brings the whole story back home.
Ages 3+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1454921394
Written and Illustrated by Marianna Coppo
Publisher’s Synopsis: The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself.
Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Tundra Books | February 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0735262676
Written by Barry Wittenstein
Illustrated by Christ Hsu
Publisher’s Synopsis: Did you know Band-Aids were invented by accident?! And that they weren’t mass-produced until the Boy Scouts gave their seal of approval?
1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle’s bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren’t convinced, and it wasn’t until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle’s prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Charlesbridge | February 13, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1580897457
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher’s Synopsis: A dazzling picture book biography of one of the world’s most influential designers, Elsa Schiaparelli.
Elsa dared to be different, and her story will not only dazzle, it will inspire the artist and fashionista in everyone who reads it.
By the 1930s Elsa Schiaparelli had captivated the fashion world in Paris, but before that, she was a little girl in Rome who didn’t feel pretty at all. Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli is the enchanting story for young readers of how a young girl used her imagination and emerged from plain to extraordinary.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | February 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062447616
Words and Photographs by April Pulley Sayre
Publisher’s Synopsis: Acclaimed children’s book author and photographer April Pulley Sayre’s love letter to Earth is a stunning exploration of the beauty and complexity of the world around us. Remarkable photographs and a rich, layered text introduce concepts of science, nature, geography, biology, poetry, and community.
April Pulley Sayre, award-winning photographer and acclaimed author of more than sixty-five books, introduces concepts of science, nature, and language arts through stunning photographs and a poetic text structured as a simple thank-you note.
Touching on subjects from life cycles to weather, colors, shapes, and patterns, this is an ideal resource for science and language art curriculums and a terrific book for bedtime sharing. Thank You, Earth is a great choice for Earth Day celebrations, as well as family and group read-alouds.
Includes backmatter with kid-friendly ideas for conservation projects information about the photographs, and additional resources.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | February 20, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062697349
Written and Illustrated by Harry Bliss
Publisher’s Synopsis: Bestselling cartoonist and master visual storyteller Harry Bliss has concocted a delightful, near wordless graphic picture book with nods to famous cartoons, cultural icons, and the secret lives that creative people make for themselves.
Grace is the quiet girl in the class. And Gus is the class guinea pig.
Grace knows that Gus is lonely, and so she sets off one night to help out her furry friend.
Wherever she goes, Grace amazes and delights as she shares her many talents, showing how one person with a little pizzazz can make a difference.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | February 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062644107
Written by Brian Selznick and David Serlin
Illustrated by Brian Selznick
Publisher’s Synopsis: Baby Monkey’s adventures come to life in an exciting blend of picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel. With pithy text and over 120 black and white drawings accented with red, it is ideal for sharing aloud and for emerging readers.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | February 27, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1338180619
Written by Kate Hannigan
Illustrated by Alison Jay
Publisher’s Synopsis: Written in the same vein as the recent best-selling titles I DISSENT and SHE PERSISTED, here is a nonfiction picture book biography of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer, activist and presidential candidate who devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women.
Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way–not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman on the ballot. In this riveting nonfiction picture book biography, award-winning author Kate Hannigan and celebrated artist Alison Jay illuminate the life of Lockwood, a woman who was never afraid to take the floor and speak her mind.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Calkins Creek | February 20, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1629794532
*Header image illustration from I Am A Cat, written and llustrated by Galia Bernstein (Harry N. Abrams, 2018)