#20BestPicturebooks2019 Numbers 20-16

I love the end of the year when people share their favourite books. Inevitably we all love different books and make different choices, that is part of the joy. 

So with that in mind these are my choices, books that I’ve loved this year… Hope you love them too.

Number 20

Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault

Why is the ocean blue? What is the rain? What happened to the dinosaurs?It might be time for bed, but one child is too full of questions about the world to go to sleep just yet. Little ones and their parents will be charmed and delighted as a patient father offers up increasingly creative responses to his child’snighttimewonderings. Any child who has ever asked “Why?” — and any parent who has attempted an explanation — will recognize themselves in this sweet storybook for dreamers who are looking for answers beyond “Just because.”

Curious minds are rewarded with curious answers in a fantastical bedtime book by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault.

This is every bedtime conversation I’ve ever had with my sons. The book captures children’s incessant curiosity and the wild imaginations and lengths grown-ups go to to fill it.

Wild, imaginative words are perfectly realised by vivid whole page spreads. It’s both sweet and true, what’s not to like.

Number 19

Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel


In an epic adventure like no other, an unflappable mother will stop at nothing to find a cure for her ailing young son — even if it means traveling to the moon itself.

“Where are you going?”
“To the moon. A quick trip.”
“But you can’t fly.”
“Darling, I am your mother,” she said, and gave him one last kiss.

On a cold winter’s eve, deep in the woods, a mother shrew frets about her sick young son. His head is cold and his feet are hot, and there is only one thing that can cure him: wild honey from the moon. Mother Shrew does not stop to wonder how she will make such an impossible journey. Instead, she grabs her trusty red umbrella, gives her darling son a kiss, and sets out into the unknown. Along the way, Mother Shrew encounters one obstacle after another, from a malevolent owl to a herd of restless “night mares” to an island humming with angry bees. But each can prove no match for a mother on a mission. From the mind of the uniquely talented Kenneth Kraegel comes an utterly original ode to the limitlessness of maternal love.

Wildly surreal and wonderfully odd. This book may not be for everyone. What it is though is a book about maternal love and the lengths a mother will goto to protect her child. What it also is is a wild adventure with full of wonder and spectacle none of which is a match for a mother on a mission. I loved it

Number 18

It Began with a Page (How Gyo Fujisawa drew the way) by Kyo Maclean and Julie Morsted

GyoFujikawa’siconic children’s books are beloved all over the world. Now it’s time forGyo’sstory to be told — a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules or expectations.

Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century,Gyolearned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But whileGyo’scareer grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family’s internment. ButGyonever stopped fighting — for herself, her vision, her family and her readers — and later wrote and illustrated the first children’s book to feature children of different races interacting together.

This luminous new book beautifully and openly touches onGyo’sdifficult experiences and growth. Through JulieMorstad’sexquisite illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-whitelineworkand lush colour, andKyoMaclear’sartful and accessible writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.

I love picturebook biographies and this is literally one of the best I’ve read. Maclear’s poetic writing is added depth by Morsted intricate layered art that often directly mimics Fujikawa’s work.

It’s a fascinating story of a women who had to fight every step of the way to achieve her goals. Whilst I was aware of Fujikawa’s books I wasn’t aware of the continual fight she had to undertake to make them a reality. It’s that story that truly makes this a great book.

Number 17

Finding Narnia by Caroline McAllister and Jessica Lanan

Finding Narniais Caroline McAlister and JessicaLanan’scaptivating picture book biography of two brothers, Jack andWarnieLewis, whose rich imaginations led to the creation of the magical world of Narnia.

Before C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, he was a young boy named Jack who spent his days dreaming up stories of other worlds filled with knights, castles, and talking animals. His brother, Warnie, spent his days imagining worlds filled with trains, boats, and technology. One rainy day, they found a wardrobe in a little room next to the attic, and they wondered, What if the wardrobe had no end?

Years later, Jack began to think about what could be beyond that wardrobe, and about a girl named Lucy and her siblings. This picture book biography introduces the beloved creator of The Chronicles of Narnia to a new generation of children who see hidden magic in the world around them.

Another picturebook biography. This time exploring the relationship between C.S Lewis and his brother Warnie and how that spurred the creation of Narnia.

This meticulously researched book is as magical as the world Lewis created.

Number 16

Paws + Edward by Espen Dekko and Mari Kansted Johnsen

Paws is tired. He just wants to rest. And to dream about the days when he used to chase rabbits. He still walks with Edward to the park twice a day, but only because Edward needs the fresh air. Until one day, Paws decides he doesn’t want to go for another walk. He just wants to lie in Edward’s bed. Paws has walked and walked. His paws are heavy. Paws doesn’t have to walk anymore. Paws doesn’t have to do anything anymore. And Paws falls asleep one last time, leaving Edward to dream of the days when Paws used to chase rabbits

A beautiful and gentle book that both captures the magical relationship between a boy and his dog and also how we feel when we lose what is often our closest friend.

A wonderful book about dealing with loss that is both honest and full of love. It genuinely made me happy and sad at the same time. I did cry.


Links for other#20BestPicturebooks2019 posts

#20BestPicturebook2019 Numbers 5-1

#20BestPicturebooks Number 10-6

#20BestPicturebooks2019 Numbers 15-11

1 thought on “#20BestPicturebooks2019 Numbers 20-16

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

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