Each year, I pour over stacks of picture books. I love looking at the illustrations and enjoying the storytelling. I use stacks of picture books to unwind and find a place of calm when all else is crazy. Some picture books make me smile and some make me laugh and some make me think long after I finish them. Some picture books are amazing works of art and others are just my personal favorites for reasons all my own. The list below include books that may not fit the criteria for a Caldecott and may or may not have landed on any best of list; however, they made my list.
Here are my top 14 picture books of 2014 in no particular order...
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spire (Kids Can Press) - I loved everything about this book - the characters, the message, and more.
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; Illustrated by Christian Robinson (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) - Some books just make you smile, and this was one of those books.
Quest by Aaron Becker (Candlewick) - The art in this book is amazing and the details within the illustration used to tell the story are incredible.
Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato (Henry Holt & Co) - What a sweet friendship story and it has cupcakes.
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc (Enchanted Lion Books) - This is another friendship story that just seemed special and the illustrations are gorgeous.
Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea; Illustrated by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press) - Some books just do it all - text and illustration work together and make for a great read.
The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo (Clarion Books) - The racoon in this book made me love it even more.
Three Little Peas by Marine Rivoal (Enchanted Lion Books) - There is something about these two little peas and Rivoal's artistic style that makes this story so very special.
Vanilla Ice Cream by Bob Graham (Candlewick Press) - It is Bob Graham. Do I need to say more?
Found by Salina Yoon (Walker Children's) - Yoon has special magic with storytelling and emotions. This is such a charming book.
Hug Machine by Scott Campbell (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) - Hugs are wonderful and Campbell catches all of the wonderful of hugs with his story and illustrations.
Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (First Second) - Hatke's illustrations are charming and I love how Julia handles all of the lost creatures. It makes you want to visit.
Flight School by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Children) - A penguin with the soul of an eagle? And we all need friends like he has.
Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston; Illustrated by Jim LaMarche (Simon & Schuster) - I could feel winter coming in LaMarche's illustrations.
So, what picture books are on your list?