By the Numbers
Picture Books: 12
Early Readers: 1
Writing: A Dog is a Dog by Stephen Shaskan
Picture books, breaking little brains since 1899. (Date possibly incorrect.) This one follows a dog that's actually a cat that's actually . . . well, I won't spoil the surreal delight.
Illustration: Cheese Belongs to You! illustrated by Viviane Schwarz, written by Alexis Deacon
This almost won for Overall, because the story is just as fun as the pictures. But I wanted to recognize the pencil-and-digital-media art that went into making all these fighting rats, because they're funny and individual and delightful.
Overall: Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann
One scary Halloween, a little boy's dead dog comes to his rescue. It's a
rare skillmaster who can make something creepy, sad, and sweet all in
32 short pages, but Eric Rohmann is that man.
Because I Want To Awards
Don't Overthink It, Folks: Dinosaur Christmas by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Santa remembers a time before he had reindeer, when dinosaurs pulled his sleigh. Sly and funny and, yeah, don't examine the premise too closely.
Violently Adorable: Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein
How does a baby dinosaur figure out kisses? With much destruction, apparently. I'm saving this for Valentine's Day.