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Favorite Books for 2016

As the year concludes, I find I’m not falling into the shopping frenzy that can randomly wash down the street and sweep you into the nearest shop. The presents that aren’t wrapped are sitting on the wrapping table in their discreet and sometimes misleading bags (if I’m feeling exceptionally sneaky). I have had a number of years where I’m out buying things at the last minute and I hate it. So as soon as the new year begins, I start adding things to my present bag. I keep the bag in the back of the closet and slowly add bits for stockings or small presents as the year goes on. I still grab bits in the pre-Christmas season and miss out sending presents on time. It’s the stamps; I never have stamps. But it makes me take a breath in a somewhat crazy world and enjoy the Christmas season.

Now, I have all of Bug’s books ready to go for the present extravaganza but I keep itching for more. This list is my favorites from this year. Some were published this year, some weren’t. I haven’t reviewed all of these either because, well, there’s just too many. Sometimes I feel like a book is getting way too much attention and I want to slide in a review once everything has died down. Either way hold on to your handlebars and lets roll through this.


Favorite Books of 2016

 

  1. They All Saw a Cat – Brendan Wenzel – This is honestly one of my very favorites for 2016. It’s went a bit viral on my Instagram feed so I haven’t done a review yet but it’s amazing. It’s lines are simple and repetitive enough to really boost that early learning and allow young ones to participate in reading time but also varied enough to keep it interesting. But the illustrations are the kicker here. Oh, the illustrations. With a huge emphasis on perspective the book looks at different emotional and physical views that one creature can cause. Review Available Here
  2. Odd Dog Out – Rob Biddulph – Another amazing rhyming read who’s vibrant pages suck you in like a Where’s Waldo book. The amount of repetition that went into each page is mind boggling and the over all affect is the same. Biddulph’s characters are fun and quirky in this journey of self-discovery. Review Available Here
  3. The Nowhere Box – Sam Zuppardi – A great glimpse into relationships with siblings and a foray into the realm of make-believe. Zuppardi appeals to the imagination of a child with this cardboard box adventure that results in amazing artwork and a great lesson for older siblings everywhere. Review Available Here
  4. Tidy – Emily Gravett – A really fun story about going overboard and cause and effect. A badger tidies so much that the forest becomes nothing but concrete. Fun illustrations and a great cut out on the front cover. Emily Gravett delivers, again. Review Available Here
  5. Friendly Day – Mij Kelly & Charles Fuge – A bright vibrant look into what the world could be if everyone treated each other with kindness and friendliness. An imaginative take on different outcomes that uses a huge array of creativity and fun. Review Available Here
  6. Love Is a Truck – Amy Novesky – A super sweet and simple story for the little truck lovers in your life. With eye-popping reds placed among black, grey, and whites this book will make you go awww. Review Available Here
  7. Waiting – Kevin Henkes – A fabulously gentle and beautiful look into the life of shelf animals that subtly reflects the ups and downs that we go through ourselves. Told simply, it is extremely accessible for young kids and opens up doors to talk about an array of topics. Henkes doesn’t disappoint with his soft and elegant illustrations. Review Available Here
  8. The Wonder – Faye Hanson – Vibrant and bold, this story takes a peek into the imagination of a young boy who feels a bit shackled by his everyday life. With pictures that almost dance off the page and make you gasp, it’s a work of art that encourages imagination and creativity. Review Available Here
  9. Black Dog – Levi Pinfold – A great look into facing challenges and fears in our everyday life, told through a metaphor. It includes quirky humor and muted tones to create an amazing effect. Review Available Here
  10. The Cloudspotter – Tom McLaughlin – A wonderful book told with soft colors and a message that speaks to anyone who has ever felt in need of a friend. It includes a fun cloud sightings on every page and great forays into the imagination. Review Available Here
  11. The Fox and the Star – Coralie Bickford-Smith – Bold illustrations resembling an intricate adult coloring book. In blues, greys, and brilliant whites and shocking reds the effect is beautiful. It’s accompanied by a moving story that exemplifies love, loss, and self discovery. Review Available Here
  12. Never Follow a Dinosaur– Alex Latimer – The brother, sister duo in this story, use their budding skills of observation to deduce that the creature that they’re following must be a dinosaur of very discerning qualities and tastes. Flavored with Latimer’s ever amusing sense of humor the quirky and bright illustrations are sure to bring smiles to the face of readers regardless of age. Review Available Here
  13. Where My Feet Go – Birgitta Sif – A great tale following a small panda as he embarks on a regular day filled with endless bounds of imagination. Soft colors and fun yellow boots embrace youth and the joy that accompanies it on excursions into make believe. Review Available Here
  14. Max at Night– Ed Vere –  Bug’s very favorite and most quoted book. Max’s innocent exuberance is endearing and infectious as her searches for the moon, in order to say goodnight. Vere’s illustrations are simple and bright but still manage to have a subdued quality that makes this a great bedtime story. Review Available Here
  15. Immi’s Gift – Karin Littlewood – An inspiring look into how a small gesture of kindness can change another person’s world. Bright and beautiful, Immi leaves you feeling inspired and full of warmth. Review Available Here
  16. Hiding Heidi– Fiona Woodcock – This story is filled with clever illustrations and a stunning color palette. The plot helps readers come to their own conclusions about the characters without bludgeoning them over the head with the moral and the overall effect is perfection. Review Available Here
  17. The Lion Inside– Rachel Bright and Jim Field – I have never had so many adults tell me how much they’ve enjoyed a child book than I have with Lion Inside. The pages are bright and engaging and the rhyming story speaks to kids and delivers small doses of wisdom in easily digestible forms. Review Available Here
  18. Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers – Focusing on a theme of friendship, kindness, and misconceptions, this tale is meaningful and deep while still in possession of Jeffers’ own amusing humor. The pages are each works of art and encourage children to engage. Review Available Here
  19. A Child of Books – Sam Winston & Oliver Jeffers – A book lover’s book. This is essentially a poem, beautifully illustrated throughout. It is better suited for older readers and adults as each illustration makes use of text from classic works like Alice and Wonderland or Swiss Family Robinson. Combined with dashes of vibrant colors the overall effect is very clever and almost magical.
  20. Press Here – Herve Tullet – A completely interactive story that has my little guy pulling it out every time it’s re-shelved. The yellow, red, and blue dots show up brilliantly against the white pages and encourage smiles of delight as they drop, roll, grow, and glow depending on the reader’s actions. Review Available Here
  21. Don’t Wake Up the Tiger – Britta Teckentrup – Another interactive title that takes a fun turn in the end. Readers help the characters sing Tiger back to sleep, stroke her nose, and tickle her tummy. The shiny balloons littered throughout the book seem to call to young ones and the bright, expressive animals are fun to interact with. Review Available Here
  22. A Patch of Black– Rachel Rooney & Deborah Allwright – A story beginning to be sung and set to a set of magical illustrations, this book speaks to children who are afraid of the dark. Turning something frightening into multiple pieces of imaginative make believe, it doesn’t focus on the fear making it a great read for little ones whether or not they possess this aversion. Review Available Here
  23. Mother Bruce – Ryan T. Higgins – A great representation of current culture, this book follows Bruce, a bear, who accidentally hatches the free-range, organic goose eggs he purchases from a local store while trying to make a recipe he found online. With hilarious repercussions, Bruce and the geese find a way to live with each other through these highly expressive and amusing illustrations. Review Available Here
  24. Home – Carson Ellis – A fabulous look into all the different types of places people live, imaginative or otherwise. The illustrations encourage discussion and imagination from the reader while maintaining a truly beautiful use of color and style. Review Available Here

 

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