By the Numbers
Picture Books: 23
Early Readers: 1
Writing: The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
Having lost all patience with his obnoxious little brothers, the main character gets in his box and goes the one place he can be alone: Nowhere. Except that Nowhere is starting to get awful lonesome . . . A familiar situation for anyone with siblings.
Illustration: The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman
Fish is an adventurer, and Snail is a homebody who likes to hear his friend's tales. Will he be able to brave the wilds of the next book over? With delicate, expressive illustrations, the adorability is off the charts.
Overall: Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip Stead
A friendly little bird collects friends wherever she goes, but even so, she can get her feelings hurt when somebody turns her down. But when she finds her flock, she brings all her friends along. This is a trademark P.Stead book, with its gentleness and its sweetness and its theme of community.
Because I Want To Awards
If You Don't Laugh at This, You Have No Soul: Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang
A baby born with a mustache presents his parents with a conundrum: will it be a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache? With giggles and wordplay (two words: "cat burglar") and of course, lots of visual puns about mustaches, the adults might laugh louder than the kids.
I Feel Ya, Betty: Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony
Betty is a very large gorilla with a very small stock of patience for the difficulties of banana-extraction. Gosh, I want to read this aloud.
Might Be Dangerous in Storytime: Here Comes Destructo-Saurus! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
With Destructo-Saurus stomping everywhere and the narrator addressing him like a parent scolding a naughty child, kids might get so into this that they begin their own adorable rampage.