It’s no secret that I LOVE giving books as gifts to kids in my world, so I was happy to oblige the request of several family and friends to make a list of some of my favorite books of the year. This might be a handy gift-giving guide or list to keep handy when you head to the library. I’m kicking off my series of “My Favorite Reads” with my favorite picture books published in 2012. Stay tuned for my lists Chapter Books and Graphic Novels for Younger Readers and Books for Middle Graders and Teens.
I knew this would be hard, but this was really hard to choose my favorites and keep this post to a reasonable length! I’ve read a lot of books, including a lot of great books that aren’t on this list. You can always head over to Goodreads to my shelf for even more great titles . . . you usually can’t go wrong with one of my 4-star or 5-star books, and I try to categorize the books as picture books, middle grade books, etc., so it’s easier to sort! I’ve tried to organize the books here loosely by theme, though obviously there are crossovers. For example, a book on friendship might be infused with humor.
And a note on my age recommendations–they are just guidelines. There might be a preschooler you know with the stamina to sit down to a longer book, and many older kids will enjoy the books targeted for younger kids. Watch how fascinated a ten year old will be with Green, or listen to a seventh grader read Oh, No! to a younger sibling or cousin.
All of the book covers will link to a more thorough synopsis of a book over at Goodreads!
Beautiful and inspiring books
These are books that you think about later, or maybe swell your heart a bit
Friendship and Family
Books that celebrate the highs and challenges of friendships and family
Bear is so busy helping others that he forgets the story he wanted to share with friends. Bear’s friends are finally able to prompt him to start his tale. A loving celebration of generosity in friendships from a favorite author/illustrator pair. Ages 7 and up.
Books that are great for sharing and laughing together
One by one, a group of animals get stuck in a hole, and all the meanwhile, the mean tiger is getting closer. The repetative phrase of Oh, No! will have the audience of this read aloud chanting along, and the illustrations are terrific. Preschool and up.
An overly confident small fish steals the hat of big fish and is certain that he’ll get away with it. But will he? Older readers will enjoy this one and the discussion on the perceived outcome. Second grade and up.
Pete rocks. Truly. Told in a sing-songy, chant style text that is fun to read, or you can download the free companion song which is great. I love Pete’s flexibility when things go a miss. Great for preschool – third grade.