Tracey’s 2017 Favorite Picture Books and Graphic Novels

At the end of the year, my thoughts always turn to the people on the children’s book award committees—partly because I’m really jealous of them. Jealous that they get to pick the books that will get a shiny gold or silver seal on them and to make that exciting wake-up call to authors on BOOK AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT DAY.

Yes, I actually do think of it in all caps.

Some of us at Mackin Books in Bloom make our own favorites lists. A little history of this: the first year we did this, several of our bloggers each made one post of ten books. Which included all levels, all genres, all subjects, and all formats. Ten. Out of all the books that had been published in one year.

I couldn’t do it. I ended up with two lists, one with 14 picture books, the other with 15 of everything else. Since that first effort, I have divided “everything else” into fiction and nonfiction…and I place no limits on size.

So, every year when I get jealous, I remind myself that being on a selection committee is not for someone whose medical professionals have told her to lower her stress levels. And I’m grateful that I can proclaim that ALL of these books are the best!

This year I’m adding graphic novels to my favorite picture books list; if the Caldecott committee can do it, so can I. My original list was much bigger (I’d love to have a 100 Best list!), but I narrowed it down to these. They’re not necessarily award winners, but they all would enhance a library collection or be a great addition to any kid’s bookshelf. Check back tomorrow for nonfiction and on Friday for fiction.




All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle (ill. by Mike Curato). 9781627796422. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Away by Emil Sher (ill. by Qin Leng). 9781554984831. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Bear and Chicken by Jannie Ho. 9780762462667. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Blue Sky White Stars by Narvinder Naberhaus (ill. by Kadir Nelson). 9780803737006. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Bob, Not Bob! : To Be Read As Though You Have the Worst Cold Ever by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick (ill. by Matthew Cordell). 9781484723029. 2017. Gr PK-1.


Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko (ill. by Dan Santat). 9780399243530. 2017. Gr K-3.
A Different Pond by Bao Phi (ill. by Thi Bui). 9781479597468. 2017. Gr 1-4.
Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming & Lori Nichols. 9780375866487. 2017. Gr PK-2.
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt (ill. by Adam Rex). 9780062438898. 2017. Gr K-2.
The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy (ill. by Eugene Yelchin). 9780545722889. 2017. Gr K-2.


Shelter by Celine Claire (ill. by Qin Leng). 9781771389273. 2017. Gr PK-2.
There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi (ill. by Laurel Molk). 9780763675424. 2017. Gr PK-2.



Elementary Graphic Novels


The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner. 9781626723313. 2017. Gr 3-5.
Good Night, Planet (Toon) by Liniers. 9781943145201. 2017. Gr 1-3.
One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale. 9781419721281. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Real Friends by Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham. 9781626724167. 2017. Gr 3-6.


Middle School Graphic Novels


Brave by Svetlana Chmakova. 9780316363174. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Castle in the Stars : 1 : The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice. 9781626724938. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. 9781626720879. 2017. Gr 5-9.
Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm. 9780545741705. 2017. Gr 4-7.


High School Graphic Novels


The Best We Could Do : An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui. 9781419718779. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp & Mike Cavallero. 9781596431096. 2017. Gr 10-12.
Escape from Syria by Samya Kullab & Jackie Roche. 9781770859821. 2017. Gr 7-12.
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina. 9781620142639. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Piper by Jay Asher & Jessica Freeburg. 9780448493664. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Poe : Stories and Poems : A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds. 9780763681128. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Spinning by Tillie Walden. 9781626727724. 2017. Gr 8-12.


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