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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day Thirty-One – 2017 Picture Books


And just like that . . . *poof!*

It’s gone!

Not gone, exactly. The 31 Days, 31 Lists series may indeed continue next year. Just so long as the books or my eyesight holds out. In the meantime, it’s been a blast, guys. I appreciate that not a single one of you pointed out to me my atrocious spelling mistakes. When one is finishing blog posts at approximately 1 a.m., something’s gotta give and that something is usually the ability to accurately spelling the word “approximately”.

Why end with picture books? Because they are, in many ways, the bread and butter of the children’s book world. Their sales allow publishers to take a chance on other kinds of books. They hold a kind of sway on the public imagination that novels and comics still only dare dream of attaining. And, happily, they’re short enough that I got to see a nice wide swath this year. Here then are the books I’d bury in a time capsule for the future, if I could. A brief, glorious glimpse of a time that was and a year that, crummy as it was, had a couple bright spots in it for the youngest of readers.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

2017 Picture Books

ABCs From Space by Adam Voiland


Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi


After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat


All Around Us by Xelena Gonzalez, ill. Adriana M. Garcia


All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, ill. Mike Curato


The Alphabet Thief by Bill Richardson, ill. Roxanna Bikadoroff


The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, ill. The Fan Brothers


Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins


Bertolt by Jacques Goldstyn


Betty’s Burgled Bakery: An Alliteration Adventure by Travis Nichols


Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper


The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler


Boat of Dreams by Rogerio Coelho

BoatofDreams COVER_03.cdr

Boo! by Ben Newman


The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein


But I Don’t Eat Ants by Dan Marvin, ill. Kelly Fry


Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor, ill. Mehrdokht Amini


Chicken Wants a Nap by Tracy Marchini, ill. Monique Felix


City Mouse, Country Mouse by Maggie Rudy


Claymates by Dev Petty, ill. Lauren Eldridge


Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee, ill. Pascal Lemaitre


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, ill. Gordon C. James


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea by Andy Stanton, ill. Neal Layton


A Different Pond by Bao Phi, ill. Thi Bui


Dog On a Frog? by Kes & Claire Gray, ill. Jim Field


Double Take! A New Look at Opposites by Susan Hood, ill. Jay Fleck


Find Me: A Hide-and-Seek Book by Anders Arhoj


Firefighter Duckies! by Frank W. Dormer


Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon, ill. Kristy Caldwell


Fred & the Lumberjack by Steven Weinberg


Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre


Gum by Nancy Willard, ill. Jeff Newman


Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, ill. Patrice Barton


Here We Are: Notes for Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers


HIC! by Anushka Ravishankar, ill. Christiane Pieper


Home in the Rain by Bob Graham


How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan


I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest, ill. Sassafras De Bruyn


In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford, ill. Brian Pinkney


The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, ill. Adam Rex


Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn


Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin


Little Iffy Learns to Fly by Aaron Zenz


Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, ill. Alyssa Bermudez


Mama Lion Wins the Race by Jon J. Muth


Manjhi Moves a Mountain by Nancy Churnin, ill. Danny Popovici


Me Tall, You Small by Lilli L’Arronge


Mighty Moby by Barbara Dacosta, ill. Ed Young


Mine! by Jeff Mack


Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament by Anne Renaud, ill. Felicita Sala


Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite by Stacy McAnulty, ill. Edward Hemingway


Mrs. White Rabbit by Gilles Bachelet


My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo


My Pictures After the Storm by Eric Veille


My Valley by Claude Ponti, translated by Alyson Waters

MyValley1 copy

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Jill Davis


The One Day House by Julia Durango, ill. Bianca Diaz


The Only Fish in the Sea by Philip C. Stead, ill. Matthew Cordell


Ossiri and the Bala Mengro by Richard O’Neil and Katharine Quarmby, ill. Hannah Tolson


A Perfect Day by Lane Smith


Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren


Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley


The Pomegranate Witch by Denise Doyen, ill. Eliza Wheeler


Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, ill. Poly Bernatene


Princess and the Peas by Rachel Himes


Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli, ill. Mariachiara Di Giorgio


Rabbit Magic by Meg McLaren


Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares


The Road Home by Katie Cotton, ill. Sarah Jacoby


The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. Eugene Yelchin


Rosie and Crayon by Deborah Marcero


Short Stories for Little Monsters by Marie-Louise Gay


Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon


Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber, ill. Jen Hill


Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr. & Michael Sampson, ill. Brian Won


Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani


Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake


There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi, ill. Laurel Molk


This Book Will Not Be Fun by Cirocco Dunlap, ill. Olivier Tallec


This House, Once by Deborah Freedman


The Town is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, ill. Sydney Smith


Triangle by Mac Barnett, ill. Jon Klassen


Trio, the Tale of a Three-Legged Cat by Andrea Wisnewski


The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli


The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering


Up Up Up Skyscraper! by Anastasia Suen, ill. Ryan O’Rourke


Waiting for Pumpsie by Barry Wittenstein, ill. London Ladd


The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi


What What What? by Arata Tendo, ill. Ryoji Arai


What’s My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston, ill. Tim Mack


When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge, ill. Matt James


When the Rain Comes by Alma Fullerton, ill. Kim La Fave


Where Is Grandma? by Peter Schossow


Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? by Ashley Wolff


Where’s Rodney? by Carmen Bogan, ill. Floyd Cooper


Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell


Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales, ill. Mehrdokht Amini


You Can’t Be Too Careful! by Roger Mello



Interested in the other lists of the month? Here’s the schedule of everything covered this month. Enjoy!

December 1 – Board Books

December 2 – Board Book Reprints & Adaptations

December 3 – Wordless Picture Books

December 4 – Picture Book Readalouds

December 5 – Rhyming Picture Books

December 6 – Alphabet Books

December 7 – Funny Picture Books

December 8 – CaldeNotts

December 9 – Picture Book Reprints

December 10 – Math Picture Books

December 11 – Bilingual Books

December 12 – Translated Picture Books

December 13 – Books with a Message

December 14 – Fabulous Photography

December 15 – Fairy Tales / Folktales

December 16 – Oddest Books of the Year

December 17 – Poetry Books

December 18 – Easy Books

December 19 – Early Chapter Books

December 20 – Comics for Kids

December 21 – Older Funny Books

December 22 – Fictionalized Nonfiction

December 23 – American History

December 24 – Science & Nature Books

December 25 – Transcendent Holiday Picture Books

December 26 – Unique Biographies

December 27 – Nonfiction Picture Books

December 28 – Nonfiction Chapter Books

December 29 – Fiction Reprints

December 30 – Middle Grade Novels

December 31 – Picture Books

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Hello Elizabeth/Betsy,
    Thank you so much for putting our book “I give you my heart ❤️” into the spotlight in your last blog post of 2017. That means a lot to MMe and Sassafras. It is so wonderful to see and read that this book reaches so many children ánd adults all over the world. Warm greetzz from MMe – PiMM van Hest (author of this book) from the Netherlands ánd I wish you a magical and enchanting new (book) year 📚 PiMM 👍

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      My sole regret is that I wasn’t able to give it the full attention it deserved. It’s a remarkably beautiful book. I only received it last week in the mail, otherwise I would have promoted it more widely. You should be proud.

  2. Good afternoon Betsy,

    Is it too late to give the book some extra attention/the attention you think it deserves?

    We would be extremely honoured and it would mean the world to us if you would review our book in 2018 (we are almost there already)…. #timeisrelative

    We keep our fingers crossed and hope to hear from you ánd we hope “I give you my heart ❤️” will magically enchant you once more in 2018 ❤️

    Happy New Year from MMe from the Netherlands,


    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Alas, my rules are that all official reviews are to be completed in the publication year of the book being examined. That said, I have something up my sleeve. Stay tuned.

  3. Thank you for these wonderful lists all month! I has been fun!

  4. Hi Betsy,
    It’s an honor to be on your list! And thank you for recognizing photographic books, among all the other wonderful ones.
    Happy New Year to you.


  5. Peggy Sure says:

    Betsy,. I have just spent a very enjoyable New Year’s Eve reading , among other things, your 31 Days, 31 Lists. What fun. Happy New Year and thanks for the memories.

  6. I’m a list lover from way back, Betsy! And book lists are the very best kind! What’s lovely is that I see books by author friends…and I’m discovering books I hadn’t seen before. Here’s to a new year filled with infiiite possibilities…and lots of beautiful new books!

  7. Hi Betsy. You reviewed The Antlered Ship and included it in this list. I’m curious, because you know books, if you’ve read The Friend Ship by Kat Yeh (published in 2016) and noticed how very similar The Antlered Ship is to The Friend Ship. I read The Friend Ship first and fell in love. I’m just dropping this here to see what you think because your opinion of books is trusted.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      An interesting comparison. I’m rather intrigued by the variety of books in which animals board a ship in search of something ineffable, only to find they’ve had it all along. Quests are easier to pull off when animals rather than children are involved. I think the goal and the art are dissimilar enough that the comparisons between the two books can be considered minimal but thank you for the keen idea!

  8. Lauren Eldridge says:

    Wow, thank you so much for including Claymates – and for all of the book love throughout the year! What an awesome year it’s been for picture books!


  1. […] “Here then are the books I’d bury in a time capsule for the future, if I could.” Betsy Bird […]