NYPL Recommends: New & Noteworthy
The Best Picture Books for Kids of 2017
Pictures books are some of the earliest reading experiences for many children. We love how they introduce kids to storytelling and provide a rich multi-sensory experience perfect for reading aloud. The picture books we selected for our Best Books for Kids of 2017 list include a new version of Humpty Dumpty, a Langston Hughes picture book, and a Mixtec-inspired story. Have other picture books you love? Let us know in the comment section below.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
After his great fall, will Humpty Dumpty find the courage to climb to new heights?
Baby Goes to Market by Antinuke and illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
Vendors in a Nigerian market share all sorts of snacks with Baby in this playful counting story with bright and cheerful drawings.
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
A minimalist illustration style and simple text add poetry to this sweet story about the circle of life.
Boat of Dreams by Rogério Coelho
A man and a boy separated by time and distance are connected by a boat and their dreams. Affecting illustrations draw the reader into this epic journey of imagination.
Bolivar by Sean Rubin
In this ode to NYC, there really IS an antiquities-loving dinosaur living next door to Sybil!
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
With pencil, ink, and watercolors, errors become magical moments of opportunity to let your imagination soar in this uplifting tale full of wonderful picture-play.
Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas by Laura James and illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans
A silly, high-stakes adventure ensues when a water-fearing, jam-tart-loving pug follows his nose to the next picnic basket and gets separated from his girl.
Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes
Two charming brothers use their wits in their daily escapades. They gather friends for an impromptu party, discover the rewards of hard work, and more.
The Crane Girl: Based on Japanese Folktales by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Lin Wang
A boy helps an injured crane, and the good deed is rewarded with the arrival of a mysterious guest who weaves beautiful silk for the family. Includes author's note about Japanese folktales and poetry, information about red-crowned cranes, and pronunciations.
Creekfinding: A True Story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Claudia McGehee
An inviting tale of a long-lost stream and one farmer's work to revitalize an ecosystem is depicted with dramatic woodcut illustrations.
Danza! Amalia Hernández & El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh
Mixtec-inspired art and engaging text work hand in hand in this homage to the iconic dancer and choreographer whose work celebrates Mexico's rich heritage
Dazzle Ships: World War I & the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton and illustrated by Victo Ngai
How do you win a war when your ships keep getting sunk? Paint them dazzling colors and zany patterns. Readers will be stunned by these art-deco-inspired illustrations.
A Different Pond by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui
The bond between past and present are reinforced in this nostalgic look at an immigrant father and son who take a pre-dawn fishing trip to feed their family.
Feathers & Hair: What Animals Wear by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
Featuring a variety of animals, this book's simple rhymes and captivating colors are perfect for young readers.
The Five Forms by Barbara McClintock
Magical chaos is created when a young girl discovers a mysterious book of martial art poses.
Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine
Three kids shine a light on their imaginations without ever leaving their backyard. Accompanied by contrasting drawings and a rhythmic text.
Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon and illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
A bereaved young boy rediscovers strength and purpose through random acts of kindness in this honest look at war-torn Sarajevo.
The Golem of Prague by Irène Cohen-Janca, translated by Brigitte Waisberg
When Frantz decides to explore the attic of the synagogue, he finds himself transported back in time and learns about the Golem, a creature created to protect the Jews of Prague.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
Ever wonder why computer glitches are called bugs? Look no further than Grace Hopper—inventor, mathematician, and dedicated problem-solver.
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
A father and daughter’s hike through the Grand Canyon unveils its ecological wonders, showcased in richly layered watercolor images and clever time-travel cutouts.
If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim
Enchanting art portrays the phases of the moon and its playful dance with Earth.
King of the Sky by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Laura Carlin
Soft watercolors complement this warmhearted story of the friendship between a young immigrant boy and an elderly pigeon-keeper.
Little Fox in the Forrest by Stephanie Graegin
In this wordless and endearing picture book, two friends venture out into an enchanted forest to rescue a beloved stuffed animal.
Little Wolf's First Howling by Laura McGee Kvasnosky illustrated by Laura McGee Kvasnosky & Kate Harvey McGee
Little Wolf can't help but follow the wild rhythm in his heart in this jazzy celebration of the creative spirit.
Martí's Song for Freedom: Martí y Sus Versos por La Libertad by Emma Otheguy and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal and translated by Adriana Dominguez
The famed Cuban poet's devotion to justice and admiration for nature are chronicled in verse and accompanied by vibrant gouaches.
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin and illustrated by Evan Turk
Kinetic artwork evokes the musical vibe of Muddy Waters and his experience during the Great Migration.
The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
With luminous prose and snippets of primary-source material, this lively biography details the work of Cristofori and the possibilities he created for generations of musicians to come.
My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Wild birds bring hope and promise to a young Syrian refugee. Polymer clay images add depth and texture to this heartrending tale.
Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Simone Shin
No one but Niko understands his art, until a young girl recognizes the meaning of his abstract style.
Noah Webster's Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Mircea Catusanu
A spirited look at a true revolutionary whose work created a uniquely American lexicon.
Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
An injured bird chases away the clouds of loneliness for a resourceful fox. Lush, scenic images echo Pandora's changing emotions.
Pizza! An Interactive Recipe Book by Lotta Nieminem
Mix the dough, spread the sauce, and get ready to "eat" some great pizza in this hands-on recipe book for toddlers!
The Queen of the Frogs by Davide Cali and illustrated by Marco Somà and translated by Lynn Miller-Lachman
Elegantly illustrated in rich earth tones, this thought-provoking modern fable invites readers to question tyranny and envision a bright future for all.
The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
An innovative fable about a rooster who reminds a community of the importance of raising your voice for what you believe in, no matter the cost.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez
His lifelong passion for collecting books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora resulted in a lasting legacy now preserved in the heart of Harlem.
Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow by Michelle Cuevas
Join a bored shadow on his first foray into freedom.
Still a Family by Brenda Reeves Sturgis and illustrated by Jo-Shin Lee
Being a family is more than just sharing the same space. Childlike drawings depict a family's experience of homelessness.
That Is My Dream! A Picture Book of Langston Hughes's "Dream Variation" by Langston Hughes and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Vibrant gouache illustrations reinvigorate this modern classic about an African American boy's daily struggle with racial tension and his dreams of freedom.
Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chien
A young child sets off to explore her world in this fully illustrated collection of lyrical odes.
Tony by Ed Galing and illustrated by Eric E. Stead
Pencil drawings softly evoke a bygone era and a childhood friendship with the milkman’s horse.
Walk with Me by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng, and translated by Elisa Amado
An imaginary lion helps a child cope with challenges in her daily life.
Watersong by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe
A fox seeks shelter from a rainstorm in this lyrical, onomatopoetic romp.
The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi
Charcoal drawings evoke the sights, smells, and sounds of a neighborhood as a young bunny is carried safely home.
The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
Textured illustrations blend perfectly with this silly story of Duck and Mouse setting up house in Wolf's stomach.
The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter
Organic shapes and symbols from her native Iraq inspired Hadid’s work as a world-renowned architect who fearlessly pushed the boundaries of what buildings could be.