Top 20 Children’s Books of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, the children’s staff at DBRL have been reminiscing about the fabulous new books that arrived on our shelves this year. While it’s hard to pick a favorite, there are some books that stood apart from the rest. Here are our favorite 20 favorite books for kids published in 2017.

Around the World in a Bathtub book coverAround the World in a Bathtub: Bathing All Over the Globe” written by Wade Bradford and illustrated by Micha Archer
This book shows how everywhere in the world, parents have to coax children into the bath. In many different languages you hear “no, no” from children and “yes, yes” from parents, until it’s time to get out and the words reverse.

Assassin's Curse book coverAssassin’s Curse” by Kevin Sands
“Assassin’s Curse” is the third in the Blackthorn Key series and is just as compelling as the first two! Young Christopher Rowe travels to Paris with his friends Tom and Sally to crack the curse on the royal family and find the treasure of the Knights Templar. The book is very well written historical fiction with lots of puzzles, mystery, poison, ciphers and action. And the best part–it looks like there will be a number four!

Big Cat, Little Cat book coverBig Cat, Little Cat” by Elisha Cooper
Big Cat learns to live with new Little Cat, who doesn’t stay little forever. It’s a sweet story of friendship, life and death (without being sad).

This Is a Ball” by Beck and Matt Stanton
“This Is a Ball” is a rollicking read-aloud, designed to encourage listeners to ‘correct’ the reader and comment on the illustrations (which don’t match the text).

BunnyBear Book CoverBunnyBear” by Andrea J. Loney and Carmen Saldana
This warm, lovely book is about feeling like you don’t fit expectations and finding a place that accepts you anyway.

Cancer Hates Kisses book coverCancer Hates Kisses” written by Jessica Reid Sliwerski and illustrated by Mika Song
The author’s description really says it best: “Through this story, children learn that their family member is not a victim of cancer; she or he is a strong, brave and beautiful warrior who draws strength from loving support.”

Captain Pug book coverCaptain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas” written by Laura James and illustrated by Eglatine Ceulemans
This is a delightful read, following the adventures of a pampered pug as he seeks to become a naval captain. It is all from Pug’s perspective, as he makes food motivated decisions that land him in a wide variety of situations. It’s silly and sweet and reminds me very much of my own pug–a great read!

La La La book coverLa La La” written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Jaime Kim
This mostly wordless story, which displays rich illustrations created using watercolor and ink as well as digitization, helps the reader explore important topics such loneliness, perseverance and hope.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors” written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex
If you could fit a big budget Hollywood action movie into a tiny and ridiculous picture book for children, this would be it. Rock feels no joy in squashing Apricot. Paper outwits Computer Printer with ease. Not even Dinosaur-shaped Chicken Nuggets can defeat Scissors! Will they ever find worthy adversaries? This is the origin story of the legendary game played across the world.

Meditate with Me book coverMeditate With Me: A Step-By-Step Mindfulness Journey” written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Margarita Surnaite
We can all use a bit more calm in our lives. This picture book walks children through simple activities making mindfulness accessible for young ones.

Marigold Bakes a Cake book coverMarigold Bakes a Cake” by Mike Malbrough
Marigold the cat loves his routine, especially when baking. Things get a little crazy when a few bird friends decide to help him out.

Not Quite Narwhal book coverNot Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima
Kelp has always known he was a little different than his family, so one day he is surprised to meet creatures that are more like him. From the Kelp’s swimmies to the deflated beach balls at the narwhal and unicorn volleyball party, the humorous details give this story spunk. This is a lovely, sparkly book about acceptance, featuring narwhals AND unicorns!
~Dana and Hilary

Once Upon a Jungle book coverOnce Upon a Jungle” wirtten by Laura Knowles and illustrated by James Boast
“Once Upon a Jungle” is a non-fiction book about the life cycle of a jungle. The book uses vibrant colors to tell the story of how each animal and bug plays an important role in the making of a jungle — complete with beautiful illustrations of beetles feasting on a panther carcass! And there is even a hidden sloth. Perfect for toddlers and up.

Out of Wonder book coverOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, Marjory Wentworth and illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Newbery medalist and Caldecott honoree Kwame Alexander joins forces with his fellow poets and illustrator Ekua Homles to create a stunning homage to renowned poets from across continents and cultures. The authors strive to make a breadth of poetry accessible to young readers while Holmes’ vibrant collage complements the rhythm and power of each poem.

Plant the Tiny Seed book coverPlant the Tiny Seed” by Christie Matheson
Plant a seed and watch it grow with this adorable, interactive book that is sure to engage your readers.

Poor Louie book coverPoor Louie” by Tony Fucile
Louie has the perfect dog life until his mom’s tummy begins to grow and his human parents begin to buy new furniture and toys. What’s all this new stuff, and how is Louie’s life going to change?

Pup and Bear book coverPup and Bear” by Kate Banks and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
This is a beautiful story about a polar bear that raises a wolf pup, and it’s an excellent read-aloud. It’s great for starting conversations with your kids about adoption, fostering and step-families.

Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna book coverTyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna: The Very First Chicken” written by Douglas Rees and illustrated by Jed Henry
Edna the chicken is tired of the local tyrannosaurus bullying the other dinosaurs and decides to take a stand.

We're All Wonders book coverWe’re All Wonders” by R. J. Palacio
Based on the original juvenile chapter book, “Wonder,” Palacio pulls at our heart strings again and opens up this touching story to a younger audience. Join the “Choose Kind” movement as you share with your little readers the power of overcoming adversity.

Where's Bear book coverWhere’s Bear?” by Emilly Gravett
“Where’s Bear” is a playful story about hide and seek that’s wonderful for story times. The kids loved it!

We hope you enjoy our list of favorites! Next time you stop by the library, please share your favorites of 2017.