Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2023: Picture Books

October 30, 2023

Picture Books

1. Big by Vashti Harrison

This little girl has a big laugh, a big heart, and big dreams. But when other people start tearing into her because of her size, she has to find the bravery to stand out. Call Number: JPicture Harri.V


2. The Brothers Zzli by Alex Cousseau, ill. Anne-Lise Boutin, translated by Vineet Lal

A little girl living in the woods invites three bears, driven from their home, to stay with her. But when her neighbors become hostile, will the bears stay or go? Call Number: JPicture Couss.A


3. Catside Up, Catside Down: A Book of Prepositions by Anna Hrachovec

Cozy knitted kitties in kooky situations are up, down, on, and around. Simple and hilarious, these gentle rhymes are a sure-fire hit. Call Number: JPicture Hrach.A


4. Evergreen by Matthew Cordell

Little squirrel Evergreen has many fears, and now is the time face them. Why? Because today she is heading into the woods to deliver healing soup to an ailing Granny Oak. Call Number: JPicture Corde.M


5. Finding Papa by Angela Pham Krans, ill. Thi Bui

One day Mai’s funny, playful papa goes away, traveling from Vietnam to the US. Now she finds herself with mama on a crowded boat, traveling a turbulent ocean to a new country. Will she ever see her papa again? Call Number: JPicture Krans.A


6. Grandma’s Tipi: A Present-Day Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson

When Clara and her cousin Juniper spend their summer with their Grandmother, they learn all about a family and tribal history that’s all tied to a tipi passed down through the generations. Call Number: JPicture Nelso.S


7. Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar by Mojdeh Hassani and Samira Iravani, ill. Maya Fidawi

Lucky Samira gets to go to the bazaar with her grandmother for the very first time. But when she gets nervous, will she be able to hide under Mama Shamsi’s chador? A playful rhyming tale. Call Number: JPicture Hassa.M


8. Mr. S by Monica Arnaldo

When a classroom full of new Kindergartners comes in on the first day of school they don’t find any adults, just a sandwich on a desk. Could this be their new teacher?!? Call Number: JPicture Arnal.M


9. My Baba’s Garden by Jordan Scott, ill. Sydney Smith

Every morning, before school, a boy is driven to his grandmother’s tiny house where they take walks and save worms on rainy days. An evocative look at childhood and the small kindnesses we do for the ones we love. Call Number: JPicture Scott.J


10. My Strange Shrinking Parents by Zeno Sworder

The narrator of this tale tells the peculiar and beautiful story of how his immigrant parents traded inches of their height to support their son. As he grows up, they grow down. A story of love and of sacrifice. Call Number: JPicture Sword.Z


11. Night Owl Night by Susan Edwards Richmond, ill. Maribel Lechuga

All Sova wants is to finally see a saw-whet owl. Her mom’s a scientist and they’re hoping to measure, weigh, and mark one, but first Sova must learn an important truth: A scientist must learn to wait. Call Number: JPicture Edwar.S


12. The Night Tent by Landis Blair

At night Watson’s anxieties keep him wide awake. That is, until he discovers an entire world under his covers (and maybe the key to real shuteye). Call Number: JPicture Blair.L


13. Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock by Jesús Trejo, ill. Eliza Kinkz

It’s Saturday so Jesús gets to go with Papá on his landscaping jobs. Papá says that when their water-jug is empty it’s time to go home. Hilarity (and copious water consumption) ensues. Call Number: JPicture Trejo.J


14. The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish by Chloe Savage

Dr. Morley and her superb crew are embarking on an adventure to finally see a giant arctic jellyfish. Will they succeed or is this creature more elusive than they think? Call Number: JPIcture Savag.C


15. Stickler Loves the World by Lane Smith

What’s better than loving the world? Getting to show it to someone else for the first time! A thorny little hero explains to an “alien” why our planet is so darned great. Call Number: JPicture Smith.L


16. Ten-Word Tiny Tales to Inspire and Unsettle by Joseph Coelho and 21 Artist Friends

Tell me a story in just ten words. One poet tells 21 tales and 21 artists give their eclectic interpretations. Part writing prompts, part short stories, and all very very strange. Call Number: JPicture Coelh.J


17. To the Other Side by Erika Meza

“The rules of the game are simple.” A boy and a girl leave home playing a game, making their way towards a border where they hope to change their lives. A beautifully rendered look at child refugees traveling on their own. Call Number: JPicture Meza.E


18. The Walk by Winsome Bingham, ill. E.B. Lewis

“…leaders are not born,” Granny says. “They’re made through molding and modeling.” A grandmother takes her grandchild on a community journey. Where are they going? Walk on and find out. Call Number: JPicture Bingh.W


19. A Walk in the Woods by Nikki Grimes, ill. Jerry Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

After his father dies, a boy takes a walk in the woods with the treasure map his dad left him. A powerful testament to love, family, and nature. Call Number: JPicture Grime.N


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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