Sunday, August 10, 2014

Back Again - Picture Books 10 For 10

Has it really been a year? Last year I was encouraged by Cathy Mere and wrote about my favourite Canadian picture books for this annual blogging event.

To choose 10 picture books is really an unfair challenge. Don't believe me? Just try it. Anyways, here are the ones I read over and over and over again this year. You may notice there are quite a few Canadian titles among this list. Yeah for awesome Canadian talent!

10 Picture Books I Have Been Loving Over the Past Year

Button, Lana. Willow Finds A Way. Illustrated by Tania Howells. Kids Can Press, 2013.
After finding her voice in Willow's Whispers, Willow acts as a leader when a classmate is getting a little too bossy. 2014 OLA Forest of Reading nominee.

Corey, Shana. Mermaid Queen: the spectacular true story of Annette Kellerman, who swam her way to fame, fortune and swimsuit history. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, 2009.
A very cool biographical picture book. I loved learning about Annette's struggle to overcome her challenges in this vividly illustrated book. And Girl Power will always score some points with me!

Daywalt, Drew. The Day the Crayons Quit. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, 2013.
Duncan just wants to colour, but his crayons have had enough. The true personality of each colour comes through in the hilarious letters that the crayons write. This book was always on my Holds Shelf last year.

Klassen, Jon. This is Not My Hat. Candlewick, 2012.
To know this Caldecott (2013) winning picture book is to love it. We had so many wonderful discussions about what really happened in the ending. Love, love love this one. 2014 OLA Forest of Reading nominee.

MacKay, Elly. If You Hold a Seed. Running Press Kids, 2013.
No words from me - just go ahead and experience this beauty. And when you're done, make sure to check out the youtube video of how Elly MacKay creates her stunning artwork. 2014 OLA Forest of Reading nominee.

Mann, Jennifer K. Two Speckled Eggs. Candlewick, 2014.
There will always be that student who is a little different. This is a beautiful story about finding friendship where it wasn't expected.

Reynolds, Peter H. Sky Color. Candlewick Press, 2012.
What colour would you paint the sky without any blue paint? Marisol learns a lesson in creativity in this simple book that inspired a few additions to my wall of student art. 2014 OLA Forest of Reading nominee.

Spires, Ashley. The Most Magnificent Thing. Kids Can Press, 2014.
Perseverance and creativity will get you a long way, as demonstrated by this fun story. I love the fact that it is a girl who is engineering this most magnificent thing. This is a great tie-in to the makerspace movement.

Stinson, Kathy. The Man With the Violin. Illustrated by Dusan Petricic. Annick Press, 2013.
I could say so much about this book. A true story, creative use of illustrations, and such a poignant message. A must-read.

Tullet, Herve. Press Here. Chronicle Books, 2011.
We had so much fun with this one! Students of all ages love this interactive picture book. Another constant inhabitant of my Holds Shelf.

Be sure to check out some of the other lists of 10 for 10 at or by following on Twitter #pb10for10.


  1. What a fun list! I have several of these on my "must share with kids" list already. My third graders could not get enough of This Is Not My Hat last year, what a great one! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Katie. I know, isn't This Is Not My Hat a gem? I just checked out your list and you have some great choices as well. A couple new ones for me. Thanks.

  2. Julie,
    Welcome back! You have so many great titles here to share. I just requested Willow Finds a Way and Two Speckled Eggs; both are new to me. There are many other favorites here for me too, including "If You Hold a Seed." It's a #heartprint book, for sure.


    1. Thank You, Cathy. And heartfelt gratitude for all your hard work in organizing this amazing event. I am overwhelmed by all this sharing. Make sure to check out Willow's predecessor - Willow's Whispers, too.

  3. Mermaid Queen sounds really interesting! I'd like to read it!

    1. Yes, you would really like Mermaid Queen, and would have loved it as a child, too. I will bring it home from school sometime when you are here.

  4. Oh yes - I see lots of Canadian talent here! So often my lists end up with lots of Canadian authors/illustrators and it isn't even intentional. The Man with the Violin is a book I stand in a bookstore and hand sell. When I have convinced 3 or 4 people to buy it, I can go on with my day! Love your list.

  5. Thank You, Carrie. I know, isn't The Man With the Violin amazing?
    We have a personal connection at our school through our friend, author Nan Forler ( I know we have spoken of her before with connection to Bird Child). The students love and miss their Mrs. Forler, and were over the moon when I shared photos of Nan, who got to go along with author Kathy Stinson to meet Joshua Bell - the real man with the violin!


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