It’s that time again… time for my picture book reflections of 2022. It’s always SO hard for me to do this – especially since I suffer from decision fatigue and am picture book obsessed. This year, I read a minimum of 100 picture books that were published in 2022. For next year, I’m actually going to log them verses taking a spine count come January. But back to decision fatigue, it’s been totally raging trying to narrow this list down. This year, I decided to focus my tops to instant favorites that I can vividly recall because their impression was just that great.
This collection includes stories that are charming with a classic feel, laugh out hilarious, some that are extremely heartfelt & as always offer a smooth + engaging text (plot) flow making for a perfect for read aloud.
Grab a Cup of Joe and Let’s dig in, shall we!
*this post includes amazon aff covers* meaning, I can earn a few cents with the purchase of a book at zero cost to you
Perfectly, Imperfect Mira by Faith Pray
Progress over perfection!
It’s SO feel good! I personally relate to this one and anyone who aims for perfection or worries with the What-if’s will too! In fact, (as a kid) I was always too afraid to even try a cartwheel (ever) because fear of falling over & being made fun of. In a nut shell, so is Mira in Perfectly, Imperfect!
Mira’s self-doubt and worry make her believe…. everyone else is better at something (gymnastics) than she is, so she decides to just become a shadow! 🙁 That way, no one will see her mess up, fall or have to try again. Mira quickly realizes there’s not much fun in being a shadow and her body wants to flip and tumble! In the end, Mira finally let’s go of those scary WHAT-IF’s and finds out exactly what she’s perfect at…
A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall
Hi, hello, YES, YES, YES! I loved this book more than I could have ever imagined! Initially, I was worried about frogs being harmed but NO FROGS HARMED! It’s more like… hilarious frogs trick a Witch CHEF and force her to find a frog substitution for her recipe. All around, I enjoyed this book and the overall concept! The art reminds me somewhat of a comic, and I feel it’s a very unique plot/setting for a children’s book! Love, Love, Love! Also, I would like to note, there is no mention to halloween in the story!
LOU by Breanna Carzoo
It’s what on the inside that truly counts!
I love when creators do it all and Breanna really did the dang thing in Lou with the story writing and amazing artwork. She’s already creating a new book for 2023 that I’m already swooning for… but let me stay focused. Lou is feel good, informative about the fire hydrant and also reinforces fire safety by analyzing its adorable art. Being an educator, I feel this book can be reached for many times during the school year.
Vampire Vacation by Laura Lavoie and Micah Player
I’m a sucker for vampire books and loved the fun take on this storyline. Lots of laughs along the way as a little vampire (Fang) + his pet bat tries to persuade his parents to Vacation in a different spot this year… the beach! LOL. Also, I’m a huge fan of Micah Player’s (Paletero Man) artwork & his Vamp family is so cute + hip. Nothing scary about them, more like let’s join them on their annual trip and let the good times roll.
A Penny’s Worth by Kimberly Wilson and Mark Hoffman
Can’t put a price on your worth!
A money book that’s both funny (money puns) and charming. Even though a Penny is worth one cent for spending, Penny discovers you can’t put a value on your own self-worth! A Penny’s Worth would also make a great choice for an SEL based lesson. The creators have 2 more money related books coming out in 2023 (Dollar) and 2024 (Credit Card) – so stay tuned for this series.
Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild + Charlene Chua
The nerves and butterflies that come with a first crush and sharing feelings!
And the color palette… don’t even get me started because it’s SO soft and cozy! It really makes me want to write a Valentine to a gal-pal or loved one. This story will be one I reach for each year for Valentine’s.
The Boy with Flowers in his Hair by Jarvis
A testimaite to true friendship and facing + overcoming loss
A story that alludes too much more than meets the eye through the use of the loveliest illustrations. My initial thoughts on the book was.. it’s about cancer because of hair loss. While the story does highlight the loss, it really focuses on how David’s peers lift him up during such a tough time and make him feel like himself.
David is the gentle boy with flowers in his hair but over time, he begins to lose his flowers. David feels down without his flowers and other kids become weary. But David’s best friend decides to craft up some flowers (with his classmates) to help David feel like himself again. Overtime, David’s real flowers start to grow back as so does his new friendship.
The Sour Grape by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Be present, be thankful and be kind!
Hands down my favorite in the food group series. I love it so much that.. I even helped connect 2 shoppers to it during the Barnes and Noble half off sale in December. Yes, I’m THAT customer. LOL. But if you’re at all familiar with this series, you know they mix funny with a great lesson. To me, The Sour Grape really highlighted daily gratitude by showing how different life is when you’re always holding a grudge or focused on the negative vs. observing the world around you and soaking it all in.
Me and Ms. Too by Laura Ruby + Dung Ho
When a single dad marries the local librarian – his daughter’s emotions run high as change ensues.
By looking at the cover alone, I would have never predicted this story. And honestly, there aren’t many children’s books that touch on this topic or allude divorce/loss of a parent – Me and Ms. Too does! The story never addresses where the daughter’s bio mom is – rather, it’s focused on the daddy & daughter relationship and adjusting to how some things change when Ms. Too joins the family by moving in their house. Change is hard (on the daughter) but her family of two eventually emerges as a “funny” family of three. Also major shout out to Dung Ho (Eyes that Kiss the Corners) on his vibrant, very hip and realistic illustrations to match the text!
Capybara Loves Everyone by Maddie Frost
Making Friends and ALL the Funnies, seriously so stinking cute, funny
To sum up our character, Capybara IS the friend of all friends, the 1st to welcome you on the welcome wagon, the friend who is there night & day… you know the friend that goes above & beyond to impress.
Because of his outgoing & giving nature, Capybara seems to know everyone until one day he doesn’t… this new “friend” in town moves at much *slower* friend making pace than Capybara. & Capybara can’t figure out what he’s doing wrong in befriending Sloth … why doesn’t Sloth seem to like him? He’s trying so hard! Until Capybara discovers .. everyone moves at a different pace (and thanks ok) because sometimes just showing up for others and being yourself is all that really matters!
John’s Turn by Mac Barnett and Kate Berube
Be confident in yourself and share who you are + your gifts with others!
Mac Barnett is a charmer and this story is just that, charming + relatable. John’s turn shows the feelings/actions of John leading up to “his turn” to share his special interest and be vulnerable in front his peers. Very relatable for anyone who has ever been nervous with general stage fright and to go deeper… nervous to share in fear of what others might think!
All Are Neighbors by Alexandra Penfold and Susan Kauffman
All are welcome in this inclusive community of caring neighbors!
The third in the collection from this duo and love it just as much as the first, All Are Welcome! All are Neighbors is focused on community and learning what a neighborhood is and how it looks! Kids will enjoy seeing previous characters in this one. as well. I was extremely pumped about the illustrations in this one and the hidden stars in the neighborhood. : ) I found Aretha Franklin and one of my favorite artists, Kusama!
Blue Bison Needs a Haircut by Scott Rothman + PETE Oswald
Be careful what you ask for… in this case, you might just LOVE it.
I’m not lying when I tell you… I almost spit my drink out on the counter as I neared the end of this book. It’s funny throughout but its the ending that sealed the deal for me!
Here’s a few other picture books that I also enjoyed:
Don’t Bathe the Cat
Being a Dog: A Tail of Mindfulness
Leila the Perfect Witch
A Sweet New Year for Ren
The Queen of Kindergarten
King Kong’s Cousin
The Christmas Book Flood
The Knight Owl
You can shop these books & many more using my book lists in my amazon *aff bookshop