Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: A Recap!

In case you missed it, I spent the entire month of September fawning over a particular favourite picture book each day, until I came up with a list of my top thirty!

And now that October is upon us, I’m compiling that list into one gigantic recap.

Feel free to tell me what your own picks would have been! :)
1. Animalia, by Graeme Base.
2. Uni the Unicorn, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager.
3. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, by Dan Santat.
4. Dream Animals, by Emily Winfield Martin.
5. Day Dreamers, by Emily Winfield Martin.
6. The Dark, by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen.
7. Nightsong, by Ari Berk and Loren Long.
8. Press Here, by Hervè Tullet.
9. Grumpy Cat, by Britta Teckentrup.
10. Lily the Unicorn, by Dallas Clayton.
11. Hug Machine, by Scott Campbell.
12. The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.
13. Journey, by Aaron Becker.
14. Shark vs. Train, by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld.
15. What Does the Fox Say?, by Ylvis.
16. I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen.
17. Click Clack Moo, by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.
18. Gaston, by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson.
19. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems.
20. We Are in a Book!, by Mo Willems.
21. Little Owl’s Night & Little Owl’s Day, by Divya Srinivasan.
22. Wave, by Suzy Lee.
23. Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld.
24. Cloudette, by Tom Lichtenheld.
25. The Man in the Moon, by William Joyce.
26. The Numberlys, by William Joyce and Christina Ellis.
27. My Pet Book, by Bob Staake.
28. The Midnight Library, by Kazuno Kohara.
29. The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty.
30. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce.


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #30!

It’s now officially the end of September (seriously, how did this happen?), and we’ve only picture book left for the month!

But, first things first: A huge thank you to all the lovely people who’ve been exploring the wonderful world of picture books with me. ♥ (Really. You all are lovely.)

And stay tuned, because more shenanigans may or may not be in the works here! Ahem.

And now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way?

It’s time to meet a certain Mr. Morris Lessmore, and his fantastic flying books.


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce.

In case you hadn’t noticed this fact already, you kind of can’t go wrong with William Joyce. You just can’t. And this is, in my opinion, the ultimate book for people that love books.

There are a lot of books out there for us booksluts, but this one is my all-time favourite of the lot.

It’s William Joyce.

The art is beyond beautiful. Look at this:



And even beyond all that (because yes, this book is like an informercial, and WAIT! THERE’S MORE!), the entire book is a metaphor for books being like life. For books being life.

And even when the pages get blown about by the wind, your story itself never stops.


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #29!


The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty.

The end of September is very nearly upon us (how did that happen?), and our penultimate picture book of September is about…stealing stories!

Which sounds horrific for all of five seconds, until you note the little “Snatchabook” on the cover and realise that it’s absolutely impossible to get upset by that face. Even if he is trying to steal all the books in town.

Yeah. It’s that cute.

And rest assured, the Snatchabook has a very good reason for being so naughty — he steals books because he has no one to read to him!

(A lack of books can lead to a life of crime, kids. Consider yourselves warned.)

The solution to this problem, at least, is rather obvious. And just as darling. (And also some of the best child-rearing advice I’ve ever seen: If a sproglet is misbehaving, just read to them already. Seriously.)

And there’s not a single false step in this book that I can see. The art is almost-painfully cute. The message is fantastic. The rhyming prose flows wonderfully.

It’s a book about stealing books, and it’s still damn near perfect.


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #28!


The Midnight Library, by Kazuno Kohara.

“There is a little library that only opens at night. In the library there is a little librarian—and her three assistant owls—who helps everyone find the perfect book. The library is always peaceful and quiet . . . until one night when some of the animals stir up a little trouble (and a little fun!) in the Midnight Library.”

How are you not in love with this already? Come on.

This concept would have been the most magical thing in the entire world to me, as a kid, and it’s still pretty damn magical now. A midnight library! Animal assistants and patrons!

Add the art — adorably simplistic on a cozy yellow background (that makes it feel just right for bedtime) — and the happy smiles of both the patrons and the little librarian, and I think it’s a little bit impossible not to be charmed.

Especially when you come to the part with the near-crisis involving a slow-reading tortoise who refuses to leave without finishing the last five hundred pages of his novel. (And the solution to that particular problem? You guessed it — like quite a few other problems in life, it is in fact fixed by a library card!)

If a kid loves reading, they will love this.

And if they don’t love reading, then I daresay this might help. ♥


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #27!


My Pet Book, by Bob Staake.

Here’s a secret: For the last few days of this month, our final selections are all going to be picture books about books.

Because I can, and because what better note could I end on?

And the first of the lot is the book I most wish I’d had myself, as a kid. I’d have loved any of these, I’m sure, but My Pet Book would have had a particularly special place in my heart then, and does now.

Its premise is exactly what it sounds like: A little boy gets himself a rather unusual pet.

A book.

Wanting a pet is an infinitely familiar aspect of childhood, one that most of us can probably relate to. But a pet book?

That brings back memories of my own childhood, which was largely spent clinging to books in my baby carriage (well before I had any concept of how to read them). Or carrying books around with me everywhere I went, even when I knew I wouldn’t have time to read, like a strange sort of security blanket.

Books, just like pets, can be wonderful companions, and this particular book makes that fact abundantly clear. ♥


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #26!


The Numberlys, by William Joyce and Christina Ellis.

We’re now in the very final stretch of my little epic month of picture books, and I have to say, I’ve saved some of the best for last.

And if there is any book that I think could stand as a companion to my beloved Animalia, it is The Numberlys. (Unsurprisingly enough, as I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think William Joyce is a genius.)

It begins with vertically-aligned pages in stark black and white:

“Once upon a time there was no alphabet. Only numbers. Everyone liked numbers. They had nice shapes and kept things orderly. And everything added up… So life was sort of… Numberly.”

But even amidst all of this order, something is missing. And I bet you can guess what it is. :)

With the alphabet comes colour. Comes art.

Words bring the world out from the grey.

I’ve seen some concern that the concept — words versus numbers — might be a bit much for a children’s book, might go over kids’ heads, but I would have to disagree. William Joyce knows kids, and he knows how to approach them.

And even they don’t get every single nuance of the concept itself, the book still has appeal. The character designs are as kid-friendly as they come, and the art is engaging.

Kids will like the story, and will internalise its message whether or not they fully understand it.

The act of reading to them alone will help them internalise its message.


Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #25!


The Man in the Moon, by William Joyce.

Disclaimer: I’m not terribly familiar with the entire Guardians of Childhood franchise; I’ve not read the young reader novels or seen the movie. (Though I would like to; the whole thing seems charming.)

So I can’t talk much about the franchise itself, but I can talk about the picture books.

And they are beautiful.

The first is a stunningly illustrated origin story of MiM, the Man in the Moon — the first of the Guardians of Childhood. (The series, in case you couldn’t guess, goes on to cover the stories of other Guardians, such as the Sandman and St. Nicholas.)

William Joyce is a genius, and this project of his is certainly more than apt. It’s not just children that he speaks to — like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, he speaks to childhood in general. To the child in all of us.

There’s magic in this, no matter how old you are.

And yes, I did in fact just compare William Joyce to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, here.

If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, I honestly don’t know what would.