World magazine has just announced their Children’s Books of the Year! Both the Children’s Book of the Year and the Picture Book of the Year lists are outstanding collections.
While the five of us on the Picture Book of the Year committee–and any other grown-ups we could round up–scrutinized the nominated books in minute details, we also felt that the very best picture books are those that delight both grown-ups and their child audience. And you and your children are in for a real treat with this year’s list. So, gather up your children, gather up the books on the list, and gather the snacks listed below for a memorable story tea full of wonder and delight. (Printable list)
Note: the order below is the recommended reading order which places the more contemplative books in between the livelier ones. Depending on the age of your audience, you may wish to read two to three books, take an activity and snack break, and then return to the remaining books.
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser.
Humor + a stricken conscience + lively animals + expert illustrations = delight (RR review)
The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts.
Subtle details enrich a story of a young girl whose conscience won’t let her get away with a small sin. (RR review)
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson.
The seeds you plant will bring forth according to their kind, be they vegetables, selfishness, or kindness! (RR review)
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith.
A wordless delight about seeing and sharing beauty. (RR review)
You are (Not) Small by Anna Wang and Christopher Weyant.
Size is relative…and often funny. (RR review)
Related Snacks and Activities
First, as a group, pick some wildflowers to add beauty to your table (Sidewalk Flowers).
Next, have the following snack assortment ready for little fingers and tummies:
- Babybel cheeses (a perfect stand-in for Mr. Squirrel’s moon!)
- Assorted cut-up fruits and veggies; make sure some are small and some are not so small (from If You Plant a Seed and referencing You Are (Not) Small)
- Be sure to serve them on golden plates! (yellow paper plates will serve as a suitable stand-in)