Favorite/best contemporary picture books

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Favorite/best contemporary picture books

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1hannahchristine
Jul 19, 2014, 2:29pm

Hello everyone!

I received Anna's Heaven by Stain Hole in June's Early Reviewers batch, and it made me think about how many contemporary picture books/illustrators I must not know about (because I had never heard of Stian Hole before!). I have a vast collection of picture books, but I'm always looking for more.

I currently own most/all work from:
- Peter Brown, illustrator/author of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
- Oliver Jeffers, illustrator/author of Stuck
- Jon Klassen, illustrator/author of This is Not My Hat

- Aaron Becker, illustrator of Journey
- Emily Winfield Martin, illustrator/author of Dream Animals
- K.G. Campbell, illustrator/author of Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
- Teagan White, illustrator/author of Adventures with Barefoot Critters
- Pamela Zagarenski, illustrator of Sleep Like a Tiger
- The Brothers Hilts, illustrators of The Insomniacs
- Marianne Dubuc, illustrator/author of The Lion and the Bird

- David Wiesner
- Jerry Pinkney

and of course, many more. (These are just some of my favorites/other well-known illustrators.)

I was looking to see what everyone else's favorite modern/contemporary picture books are! And perhaps my list will help other people find new books to love, too.

2MarthaJeanne
Editado: Jul 19, 2014, 4:00pm

999 Tadpoles is one of the best I've seen.

I also really liked Fog Island, and should really see what else the library has by Tomi Ungerer as the kids at school really liked it.

And, of course, anything by Tomie dePaola

32wonderY
Jul 23, 2014, 10:48am

Trina Schart Hyman is one of my alltime favorites.
I've been exploring some very new illustrators recently, but I think I have to sort my Childrens collection into picture books and chapter books before I can pull much info from it.

I'll be back...

4btdart
Ago 3, 2014, 3:21am

Peter Sis is a favorite contemporary illustrator of mine because he creates a world that continues the story as well as illustrates it. I have so few contemporary favorites because my personal collection is primarily from the 40's - 60's. I managed the children's book department of a bookstore in the 90's when our daughter was 4-7 years old - so you can imagine how small my paychecks were after and I spent the majority on kids books. Several years ago I packed up all of our daughters books to pass on to her when she has her own children, so I only have easy access to the few I got during that time for my own collection. Some of favorites are; Michael Hague, William Joyce, Guy Billout, Marilee Heyer,
Barbara Berger, and Erick Ingraham

5.Monkey.
Ago 3, 2014, 3:57am

Ooh Tomie dePaola has been one of my most favorites my whole life! Strega Nona is the best!

Tw of my more contemporary favorites include
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
and the series that followed their success. Cute and hilarious. :D
There's also Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, lovely illustrations, humorous story with poignant message about acceptance.
Slightly older is Can I Keep Him? (I absolutely adored it as a child in the 80s) by Steven Kellogg, who has written/illustrated a great many wonderful books.

I don't know if he quite counts, as he died of cancer in the 70s, but Crockett Johnson's books were great.
Does Shel Silverstein count? He was so amazing.

There were a number I had discovered when working daycare, but I can't think of them now! :(

6fuzzi
Editado: Ago 3, 2014, 9:06am

Is Ruth Heller contemporary enough? She created some marvelous books in the late 1980's and 90's.

My favorite of hers was The Reason for a Flower.

I don't currently own any of her books, but here's an image I snagged from the web:

7hannahchristine
Ago 14, 2014, 7:56pm

@MarthaJeanne
999 Tabpoles looks fun! I'll have to check that out!

Fog Island has been on my wishlist for a while now! It looks really promising and I can't want to read it!

Tomie dePaola isn't one of my favorites, but I'm familiar with his work and I can understand why kids like it! He has a new book called Jack being released on September 16 of this year.

@2wonderY
I like Trina Schart Hyman! I own Little Red Riding Hood, and I really enjoy it! It's beautiful - especially the borders, which are very reminiscent of the lovely work of Jan Brett.

@btdart
Peter Sis looks great! I had never heard of him before, but after looking him up, I'm very interested in The Three Golden Keys!

Michael Hague: I had never heard of him but now that I see his work, I like it! His style isn't my favorite, but he looks so talented.
William Joyce: I have had both The Numberlys and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore on my wishlist for a long time! I can't wait to read them! All of his books look incredible!
Guy Billout: I've also had The Frog who Wanted to See the Sea on my wishlist for some time now! Looking forward to reading it!
Marilee Heyer: Her work looks very traditional and reminds me a lot of Michael Hague. I like it!
Barbara Berger: Her work isn't my favorite style, but her books look like lovely, dreamy stories for children.
Erick Ingraham: All of his books seem to be about Henry, the cat! Very interesting.

@@PolymathicMonkey
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and all of those books were silly and cute, and I loved reading them when I was younger! I was never a big fan of the Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus "series," but I do enjoy Mo Williem's Knuffle Bunny series very much. I've heard about Stellaluna a lot, but I've never read/seen it myself; I'm going to need to check it out for sure! Can I Keep Him? looks really good! I'll have to pick that one up too. Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of my favorite books as a kid! I should definitely buy a new copy.

@fuzzi
Ruth Heller looks like a great illustrator! Looking at the image you posted reminds me a lot of the 2012 book More by I. C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies.

8.Monkey.
Ago 15, 2014, 2:19am

I bought my own copy of it around a decade ago, nice new hardback edition. Gotta go all out for Harold! ;)

9hannahwhaley
Out 7, 2014, 6:30pm

I seem to have many books that crossover with ones already suggested, so thought I would add Catherine Rayner to the list, who is doing some very contemporary artwork in the likes of Augustus and his Smile.

10scaifea
Out 8, 2014, 6:36am

I would add the Elephant and Piggie series to Mo Willems' best list, although they're more easy readers, I guess, than picture books. Oh, and Leonardo the Terrible Monster is my favorite of his. Neil Gaiman has some pretty great picture books, too: his Chu books are sweet, Blueberry Girl is amazing, as is Instructions.

11hannahchristine
Out 8, 2014, 10:48am

@hannahwhaley - Catherine Rayner is a beautiful illustrator! I own Harris Finds His Feet and everything about it is gorgeous. I also want to pick up Abigail and Sylvia and Bird.

@scaifea - Leonardo the Terrible Monster catches my eye each time I see it. I always mean to pick it up, but I haven't yet. Blueberry Girl looks very sweet. I own Neil Gaiman's The Dangerous Alphabet (illustrated by the mindbogglingly amazing Gris Grimly) and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (illustrated by Dave McKean). I also very much enjoy Gaiman and McKean's The Wolves in the Walls. All three of these are much darker-themed than other picture books, and that is definitely why I like them.

12scaifea
Out 8, 2014, 11:20am

>11 hannahchristine: Oh, do give Leonardo a try - he's my 6-year-old's favorite, and has been for a good while. So much fun to read aloud, too. Gaiman tends to be a bit dark, but Blueberry Girl and Instructions aren't so much.

13nrmay
Out 8, 2014, 1:48pm


>9 hannahwhaley:

I love Augustus and His Smile. I have my own copy for the art and for the sweet message.

I'd like to add illustrator Julia Cairns for We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs.
Her illustrations are colorful and vibrant with charming detail.

She also illustrated Off to the Sweet Shores of Africa: and Other Talking Drum Rhymes by Uzo Unobagha

14Vane_t
Nov 13, 2014, 1:47pm

I love good artwork. Some books I bought for my little ones are all because of the illustrations.
My favorite ones seem to be from less known illustrators.
Check out the beautiful artwork in Caterpillar's Dream will She ever fly by Roitman Trillo

15scaifea
Nov 14, 2014, 6:36am

This past week I bought Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns at the school book fair, because the illustrations are amazing. Highly recommended.

16merrystar
Nov 27, 2014, 9:03am

My favorites include

*Kevin Henkes - author/illustrator of Wemberley Worried and others
*Amy Young - author/illustrator of Belinda the Ballerina and The Mud Fairy
*James Mayhew -- author/illustrator of Ella Bella Ballerina and the Katie books

and one-offs:

*The Yellow Tutu by Kirsten Bramsen
*The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base
*The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray
*Callie Cat, Ice Skater by Eileen Spinelli
*Argus by Michelle Knudsen

172wonderY
Editado: Fev 5, 2016, 1:16pm

New children's author David Zeltser teemed up with illustrator Diane Goode for Ninja Baby.

Kid Lit Reviews named it a Top Book of 2015.



It's adorable!! Five and a half stars.

182wonderY
Mar 1, 2018, 8:30am

I can't recall why I ordered this title from the library, but I'm so glad I did.

Jack and the Baked Beanstalk. Stimpson uses the familiar story to paint an amazingly evocative night cityscape.



Isn't it luscious?

Going off to order the first book LT Recommends - Jack and the Giant Barbecue

19fuzzi
Mar 1, 2018, 10:33am

>18 2wonderY: oh, that's LOVELY...

20.Monkey.
Mar 1, 2018, 11:04am

>18 2wonderY: Ooh loving that art. :)

21brodiew2
Editado: Ago 22, 2018, 8:31pm

Beautful artwork by Stimpson! I'm reminded of William Joyce whom I love.

22AlliCatCA
Nov 10, 2019, 6:21pm

Kadir Nelson especially If You Plant a Seed, Alex Latimer books are funny and clever, Rabbit Problem and other great books by Emily Gravett, books by Brendan Wenzel like Hello Hello, Caldecott Winner Sophie Blackall (see A Fine Dessert), so so many!