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Best Picture Books of 2018 From Kirkus Reviews








Best of List season continues! Kirkus Reviews just released their list of the Best Picture Books of 2018 today! Check out this wonderful list below, separated into the following categories by Kirkus.

That Celebrate the Family

  • Koko and Bo by Lisen Adbåge, Trans. by Annie Prime (Enchanted Lion Books)
  • On the Other Side of the Garden by Jairo Buitrago, Illus. Rafael Yockteng, Trans. Elisa Amado (Groundwood)
  • Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, Illus. Stevie Lewis (Little Bee / Bonnier Publishing)
  • Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña, Illus. Christian Robinson (Putnam / Penguin)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, Illus. Paul O. Zelinsky (Schwartz & Wade / Random)
  • Drawn Together by Minh Lê, Illus. by Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Julián Is A Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick)
  • Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter / Holiday House)
  • We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, Illus. by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge)
  • Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Illus. Ebony Glenn (Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster)
  • Down by River by Andrew Weiner, Illus. April Chu (Abrams)
  • When the Cousins Came by Katie Yamasaki (Holiday House)


Encouraging Kids to Dream

  • Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, Illus. by Stasia Burrington (Harper / HarperCollins)
  • What Do You Do With A Voice Like That?: the Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton, Illus. Ekua Holmes (Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster)
  • I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon (Blue Sky / Scholastic)
  • The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker, Illus. Mark Pett (Abrams)
  • When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin, Illus. by José Ramírez (Atheneum)


About History and Tradition

  • Hello, Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown / Hachette)
  • And There was Evening, and There was Morning by Harriet Cohen Helfand, Ellen Kahan Zager, Illus. by Ellen Zahan Zager (Kar-Ben)
  • Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour, Illus. Ken Daley (Groundwood)
  • Pie is For Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, Illus. by Jason Chin (Neal Porter / Roaring Brook)
  • The Storytelling of Damascus by Rafik Schami, Illus. by Peter Knorr, Trans. by Hiltrud Schulz, Michel Moushabeck (Crocodile / Interlink)
  • Every Month is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World by Marilyn Singer, Illus. Susan L. Roth (Lee & Low)


Bring the World a Little Closer

  • The Dam by David Almond, Illus. by Levi Pinfold (Candlewick Studio)
  • Marwan’s Journey by Patricia de Arias, Illus. by Laura Borràs (Minedition)
  • Rain by Andres Holmer (Eerdmans)
  • Ayobami and The Names of the Animals by Pilar López Ávila, Illus. by Mar Azabal, Trans. by Jon Brokenbrow (Cuento de Luz)
  • You’re Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar, Illus. Poonam Mistry (Lantana)
  • The Old Man by Sarah V., Illus. by Claude K. DuBois, Trans. by Daniel Hahn (Gecko Press)



  • Do Not Luck This Book by Idan Ben-Barak, Illus. by Julian Frost, Photographed by Linnea Rundgren (Neal Porter / Roaring Brook)
  • Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin by Michelle Cusolito, Illus. by Nicole Wong (Charlesbridge)
  • Memphis, Martin, and The Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, Illus. by R. Gregory Christie (Calkins Creek, Boyds Mills)
  • Fur, Feather, Fin: All of Us Are Kin by Diane Lang, Illus. by Stephanie Laberis (Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster)
  • Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly was Invented by Tanya Lee Stone, Illus. by Steven Salerno (Christy Ottaviano / Henry Holt)
  • The Boo-Boos that Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein, Illus. by Chris Hsu (Charlesbridge)


For a Good Laugh

  • I Got a Chicken For My Birthday by Laura Gehl, Illus. Sarah Horne (Carolrhoda)
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Who Will Bell the Cat? by Patricia C. McKissack, Illus. Christopher Cyr (Holiday House)
  • Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, Illus. Dan Santat (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)
  • No Boring Stories! by Julie Falatko, Illus. Charles Santoso



  • Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss, Illus. Harry Bliss, Frank Young (Katherine Tegan/HarperCollins)
  • The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc (Princeton Architectural Press)
  • Woodrow at Sea by Wallace Edwards (Pajama Press)
  • A Boy and a House by Maja Kastelic (Annick Press)
  • Wallpaper by Thao Lam (Owlkids Books)


For Babies & Toddlers

  • Opposites by Jacques Duquennoy (Twirl/Chronicle)
  • Little Boat by Taro Gomi (Chronicle)
  • Go Baby! Go Dog! by Anne Vittur Kennedy (Whitman)
  • Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung (Cartwheel/Scholastic)
  • Black Bird Yellow Sun by Steve Light (Candlewick)
  • Peek-A-Who? by Elsa Mroziewicz (Miniedition)
  • Animal Shapes by Christopher Silas Neal (Little Bee)
  • A Pile of Leaves by Tamara Shopsin & Jason Fulford (Phaidon)
  • Find Colors by Tamara Shopsin & Jason Fulford (Phaidon)
  • Holi Colors by Rina Singh (Orca)


About Kids at Work and  Play

  • 3X4 by Ivan Brunetti (TOON Books & Graphics)
  • The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Illus. Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)
  • The Fox on the Swing by Evelina Daciute, Illus. Aušra Kiudalaite (Thames & Hudson)
  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial/Penguin Young Readers)
  • Mina vs. the Monsoon by Rukhsanna Guidroz, Illus. Debasmita Dasgupta (Yali Books)
  • The Field by Baptiste Paul, Illus. Jacqueline Alcántara (NorthSouth)
  • Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto, Illus. Olivier Tallec. Trans. Claudia Zoe Bedrick, Karin Snelson (Enchanted Lion Books)


For Contemplative Kids

  • Drawn From Nature by Helen Ahpornsiri (Big Picture/Candlewick)
  • The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer, Illus. Ekua Holmes (Candlewick)
  • Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan, Illus. Taeeun Yoo (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster)
  • The Truly Brave Princess by Dolores Brown, Illus. Sonja Wimmer (nubeOCHO)
  • Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung (Henry Holt)
  • Petra by Marianna Coppo, Trans. Thames & Hudson & Debbie Bibo (Tundra)
  • Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan & Eric Fan (Simon & Schuster)
  • Whale in a Fishbowl by Troy Howell, Illus. Richard Jones (Schwartz & Wade/Random)
  • A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, Illus. Natalie Nelson (Groundwood)
  • Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri (First Second)
  • Look by Fiona Woodcock (Greenwillow)



Read more about all of these titles at Kirkus Reviews here.

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