#20BestPicturebook2019 Numbers 5-1

Here is the final part…

Number 5

Stormy by Guojing

From the creator of the New York Times best-illustrated children’s book award winner The Only Child, comes a gorgeous and moving wordless picture book that’s perfect for dog lovers.

In this heartwarming, wordless picture book that’s perfect for dog lovers, a woman visits a park and discovers a pup hiding under a bench–scruffy, scared, and alone. With gentle coaxing, the woman tries to befriend the animal, but the dog is too scared to let her near. Day after day, the woman tries–and day after day, the dog runs away. With perseverance and patience–and help from an enticing tennis ball–a tentative friendship begins. But it’s not until a raging storm forces the two together that a joyous and satisfying friendship takes hold. Guojing poignantly explores how trust doesn’t always come easily, but how, over time, and with kindness and determination, forever love can grow.

This story shows more emotion without words than many a full-blown novel I’ve read. The illustration is sublime, the developing relationship between dog and girl even more so. Heart-warning and perfect, the use of colour and light is just magical.

I fought off Karl Duke to get my hands on this at Reading Rocks North. It was totally worth falling out with him over 😉

Number 4

Mum’s Jumper by Jayde Perkin

If mum has gone, how do you carry on?
Missing her feels like a dark cloud that follows you around, or like swimming to a shore that never comes nearer.
But memories are like a jumper that you can cuddle and wear. And Mum’s Jumper might be a way to keep her close.
A simple, heartfelt and ultimately uplifting book for anyone coping with loss.

Honest and real, this book totally captures the feelings of loss and grief and the need to hang on and cherish our memories. It equally captures the essence of loss from a child’s perspective.

Powerful and beautiful in equal measure. This is a special book.

Number 3


The Rabbit and the Motorbike by Kate Hoefler and Sarah Jacoby

A timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance that will touch every reader: Rabbit isn’t sure he’ll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He’s a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog’s tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story?

• A touching tale for those confronting loss and those who are eager to explore and experience the world around them
• Rabbit’s bravery in the face of sadness will console, nurture, and inspire young readers
• Author Sarah Jacoby grew up wandering the woods outside of Philadelphia. She now draws for many people and places, including the New York Times, and she is the author and illustrator of Forever or a Day
• Illustrator Kate Hoefler received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she studied as a Colby Fellow. She is the author of Real Cowboys and Great Big Things

A story about facing fears and trying something new. Sometimes we need a kirkstart to take a risk. This book deals with loss and hope in equal measure. It made me want to step outside the front door and head for the open road. It’s about how life can enrich and change us if we let it.

That’s a pretty powerful message for a picturebook.


Number 2

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and The Horse by Charles Mackesy

‘You will not be able to buy a more beautiful book for Christmas for somebody you love’ Chris Evans

A book of hope for uncertain times.

Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie’s first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too.

‘A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart’ Richard Curtis

A book for today, tomorrow and everyday. Wonderful words and magical art that just makes you stop and think. This is a manifesto for being a good human.

It has been the core of my assemblies this term every page is a joy. I’d add I completely agree with mole about cake.


Number 1 

Small In The City by Sydney Smith

It can be a little scary to be small in a big city, but this child has some good advice for a very special friend in need. 

When you’re small in the city, people don’t see you, and loud sounds can scare you, and knowing what to do is sometimes hard. But this little kid knows what it’s like, and knows the neighborhood. That makes for some pretty good advice for an even smaller friend.

Like, alleys can be good shortcuts, but some are too dark.

Or, there are lots of good hiding places in the city, like under a mulberry bush or up a walnut tree.

And, if the city is too loud and scary, a small one can always just go back home, where it’s safe and quiet.

In his first author-illustrated picture book, Sydney Smith tells a contemplative, quiet story from the perspective of a child.

Sydney Smith’s first book that’s totally his is a masterpiece. Subtle, quiet, unsettling and wonderful. Everything from the size and format of the book, the measured language as a slow reveal to the superb layered art is just sublime. It’s perfect IMO

This is a small tale about big things. I can’t say more about the story without ruining it but just want add the book is a perfect read with a group of children, everytime there has been a moment of realisation and a desperate clamour to reread and pre over the detail. That says it all for me. Just brilliant.


Hope the list is useful.


Links to the rest of my #20BestPicturebooks2019 list


#20BestPicturebooks Number 10-6

#20BestPicturebooks2019 Numbers 15-11

#20BestPicturebooks2019 Numbers 20-16

1 thought on “#20BestPicturebook2019 Numbers 5-1

  1. Pingback: Year 1-Year 6 Picturebook lists so far… (links) | Being Brave! a first time headteachers blog.

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