By the Numbers
Picture Books: 37
Writing: The Adventures of Beekle, the Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
Oh, the pain of never being picked! An imaginary friend gets tired of waiting to be dreamed into existence and goes to find his child. I really enjoyed that she wasn't precisely what he imagined in the beginning but wound up being perfect.
Illustration: Following Papa's Song by Gianna Marino
Luminous underwater scenes, with glowing fish and graceful whales, make this a book that I'd love to see as a mural.
Overall: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
The unseen narrator spins a long and ever-more-unlikely story of a sandwich stealing bear. This would stand out just for the incredibly expressive bear, but lucky us, the story is delightful as well.
Because I Want To Awards
Best Parents Ever: Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case
Even better because they're not entirely sure about this business of their son wearing a dress to school, but they come through with support and love for their non-conforming son.
The Glamorous Creative Life: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
A kid struggles to bring her notions to life, but finds it's not so easy. Plus, maybe what she ends up with isn't precisely what she imagined but it's wonderful anyway.