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November is National Picture Book Month!

| Reading Aloud

Guest Blogger, (Miss Amy) Hand, is a children’s librarian at the Camden Public Library. In this blog post, she shares some of her favorite titles from 2018 in celebration of National Picture Book Month.

It’s National Picture Book Month, and I am celebrating some of my favorite books published in the last year. Picture books can share all sorts of feelings and concepts through illustration and text. Picture books are artfully crafted by amazing children’s authors and illustrators!  They are not just for the very young!

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima is an adorably illustrated book about finding your true self and appreciating what you have and who you are!  Is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? Does he have to choose?!

Unlike other traditional stories dealing with grief and loss, Brian Lies’ The Rough Patch, deals with the anger of loss.  It is a very real and raw story for anyone who has experienced loss, especially that of a pet.  It is a breathtaking tale of loss, anger and hope.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins, Maine author/illustrator has another hit in this tale of Penelope T-Rex who is new to school.  She hasn’t yet grasped the concept of empathy and respect for her other classmates, until she truly finds out what it is like herself.  Kids love this story, because it is really silly and they get it!

Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins and Emily Hughes, is a sweet story about kids and treehouses everywhere.  All sorts of treehouses –  from elaborate to simple – are shared and built with friends in this soft and colorfully illustrated book.

A tale of being the new kid somewhere, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez shares the story of many kids, and how they feel when they start somewhere new.  It shares feelings of being different and left out, nervous, and hopeful.  This is a fantastic read-aloud showing empathy with the characters, and then perhaps translating into real life, making our world welcoming and inclusive.

In this non-fiction picture book, kids learn the real story behind Band-aids and the man who invented them. The Boo-Boos That Changed The World: A true story about an accidental invention (really!) by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by Chris Hsu, gives kids the history behind a favorite patch-me-up!  It’s truly a tale of perseverance!  You can learn from picture books, too!

 In this historical fiction picture book Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall, the author takes us on a tour of a lighthouse off the Northern Tip of Newfoundland. But, it could be a lighthouse anywhere at that time, including in Maine. It shares some of the trials and tribulations living on and keeping light at one.  Tender illustrations share the tale of the lighthouse, it’s keeper and change throughout its life.

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is an informative book sharing civic responsibility with kids.  It makes kids aware of how connected they are to everything in the world and how important it is to protect our environment and all that inhabit it.  Through interesting illustrations, and just enough text, kids learn great information!

One of my favorite read-aloud books this year has been this laugh out loud, hilarious book, Neck & Neck by Elise Parsley.  When a zoo giraffe meets his match, a little boy and his balloon, he learns that he isn’t all that!  Kids understand his comeuppance and laugh all the way through it!  It’s hard not to laugh when you read this.


What picture books have you and your family enjoyed reading aloud this year? Share your favorites with us on Facebook. Other parents and caregivers would love to hear from you!