Although every year has its standouts, 2013 had so many picture books I love. My colleague Kathy listed her favorites on her last post and I’d like to add my mine as well:

Journeyjourney by Aaron Becker
With a red marker, a young girl draws herself into a magical journey, filled with a castle, airships, a captured bird, adventure and heroism. Get a taste of this world, all told wordlessly, in a wonderful book trailer.

insideInside, Outside by Lizzi Boyd
Inside is a creative home with drawings, pets, plants, a puppet stage, a tepee. Outside, a child romps through every season. Die cut holes and repeating details tie the two together. Muted colors on brown-paper-like backgrounds infuse this wordless book with coziness and warmth.

tigerMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Mr. Tiger lives in an uptight Victorian town until one day he decides to shed his upright existence and walk on all fours. One wild thing leads to another until he flees to the jungle. Feeling lonely, he heads back to town to find his rebellion inspired others to let loose a little.

crayonsThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he discovers a stack of letters instead. Each crayon has written its own funny complaint and asks him to change the way he uses them..

flamingoFlora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Roly-poly Flora with outsized flippers echoes almost every movement of a flamingo until she’s caught in the act and thrown off-balance. But all is righted in this wordless flap book before they dive in with an exuberant splash.

squashSophie’s Squashby Pat Zietlow Miller
Loves comes in many shapes. Sophie finds hers at the Farmer’s Market in Bernice, a squash just right for summersaults and tea parties. Although her parents worry about rot, Sophie never does.

howHow To by Julie Morstad
With refreshing simplicity, Morstad lets us in on how to do ordinary things in winsome ways.

pandaXander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Parks
Xander wants to throw a panda party but he’s the only one at the zoo. So he decides to extend his invitations to all bears only to find he has many, many more friends.

hareTortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney
Caldecott winning author and artist Jerry Pinkney set this wordless version in the American Southwest. He captures the excitement – and setbacks  – of the race in the expressions of his motley crew of animals.

duskDusk by Uri Shulevitz
A small boy and his grandfather wander while nature’s lights grow dim. Along the way, they meet eccentric shoppers including one from the planet Zataplat. Little by little, lights from shops, from holiday celebrations, from traffic transform the city, making it “as bright as day.”

ideaThat’s Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
Willems turns an archetype wolf/chicken story on its head. And does it framed like a silent movie complete with a Greek chorus of peeps.

Tina Zubak

About Tina Zubak

I've been a librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for about 12 years, first at the Beechview branch and now at Children's. I've written some books myself, but alas, no publications. Among my favorite books are BFG, Houndsley and Catrina and the Quiet Time, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Nation and Rose Daughter.
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