My critique group, appropriately named the PBJs (Picture Book Junkies), talks about, reviews and studies picture books. All. The. Time. Every week we bring books to the table and we learn from and drool over the fact that we are holding years of effort, sweat, and love.
In early December we have our annual Christmas Tea to celebrate our year-end. We laugh at all the fun we’ve had, the minor successes, the heartbreak rejections, the nominations, the mentorships, our writing news. It is a wonderful celebration!
We also have a gift exchange and everyone leaves with full bellies and either a craft book, picture book, MG or YA to enjoy. This year we will also bring a list of our top 15 favorite picture books. This is a challenge for me, but I’ll sort out the ones that have stood out over time or new ones just hitting the charts as best books of the year. Here are some of my most favorite time-treasured picks:
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (will probably remain #1 forever!)
*the rest are in no particular order*
- Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
- The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
- Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
- The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett
- The First Dog by Jan Brett
- Owen by Kevin Henkes
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
- Train by Elisha Cooper
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
One day, I hope to add my name to this list or be on someone else’s list of top picks. Until then, I will work diligently at my craft and enjoy the beautiful (and sometimes agonizing) process along the way.