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Inside A Fuse #8 Production

(like you really need another list from me) 100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2016!

It has been a crazy December.  So just in brief then, here are 100 of the books that showed up on my 31 Days, 31 Lists series that I personally enjoyed the most.  I do this list each year as a kind of personal bookkeeping.  Go about your business.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming after today.


100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2016

Board Books

Everyone Is Yawning by Anita Bijsterbosch

Love Is a Truck by Amy Novesky, ill. Sara Gillingham

Picture Books (For Children Ages 2-6)

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts, ill. Noah Z. Jones

Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building by Kurt Cyrus

Christmas for Greta and Gracie by Yasmeen Ismail

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari, ill. Bagram Ibatoulline

Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, ill. Elizabeth Zunon

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards, ill. G. Brian Karas

Home at Last by Vera B. Williams, ill. Chris Raschka

A Hungry Lion by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Ideas Are All Around by Philip Stead

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

The Liszts by Kyo Maclear, ill. Julia Sarda

Little Elliot, Big Fun by Mike Curato

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, ill. Rafael Lopez

Melena’s Jubilee: The Story of a Fresh Start by Zetta Elliott, ill. Aaron Boyd

Monsters Go Night-Night by Aaron Zenz

My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison

One Day in the Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom, ill. by Brendan Wenzel

Poor Little Guy by Elanna Allen

Real Cowboys by Kate Hoefler, ill. Jonathan Bean

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, ill. Christian Robinson

Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson, ill. Ron Husband

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Margriet Ruurs, ill. Nizar Badr

The Storyteller by Evan Turk

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy, ill. Wing Young Huie

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

This Is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, ill. Yuyi Morales

What Color Is the Wind? by Anne Herbauts


Easy Books

The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends by Tina Kugler


Fairy Tales and Folk Tales

Caterpillar Woman by Nadia Sammurtok, ill. Carolyn Gan

I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein

Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Thomas Baas

Prince of Fire: The Story of Diwali retold by Fatinder Verma, ill. Nilesh Mistry

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh

The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen, retold and illustrated by Johee Yoon

Thumbelina by Xanthe Gresham Knight, ill. Charlotte Gastaut


Stories for Younger Readers (6-9)

Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Lucy by Randy Cecil

Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

The Sandwich Thief by Andre Marois, ill. Patrick Doyon

What’s Up, Chuck? by Leo Landry

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? by Kate DiCamillo, ill. Chris Van Dusen


Stories for Older Readers (9-12)

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Inn Between by Marina Cohen

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Makoons by Louise Erdrich

The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk


Graphic Books

Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm

The Birth of Kataro by Shigeru Mizuki

Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green

Kid Beowulf by Alexis Fajardo

King of Kazoo by Norm Feuti

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper, ill. Raul the Third

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks, color by Jordie Bellaire

Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

Varmints by Andy Hirsch



Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko by David Jacobson, ill. Toshikado Hajiri, translations by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill, ill. Francis Vallejo

Somos Como Las Nubes / We Are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta, ill. Alfonso Ruano

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano, ill. Julie Morstad



Anything But Ordinary: The True Story of Adelaide Herman, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff, ill. Iacopo Bruno

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Art and Letters by More Than 30 of Today’s Favorite Children’s Book Illustrators, edited by The Stewards of Frederick Warne & Co.

Circle by Jeanne Baker

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky, ill. Isabelle Arsenault

Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird by Pamela S. Turner, photos by Andy Comins, ill. Guido de Flilippo

Death Is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbotham

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet by Nikki Tate

Elizabeth Started All the Trouble by Doreen Rappaport, ill. Matt Faulkner

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson, ill. Edel Rodriguez

Grandmother Fish: A Child’s First Book of Evolution by Jonathan Tweet, ill. Karen Lewis

How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh? by Alison Limentani

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, ill. Elizabeth Baddeley

The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation by Gilbert Ford

Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus by John Hendrix

Olinguito, from A to Z! / Olinguito, de la A a la Z! by Lulu Delacre

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, ill. Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson

Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner, ill. Gareth Hinds

Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, ill. Don Tate

You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! by Jonah Winter, ill. Barry Blitt

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. Thanks for including Coyote Moon here, Betsy :)!!

    So many great books here to look forward to reading in multiple categories. I’m a huge fan of Louise Erdrich’s adult books, and enjoyed The Birchbark House when it first came out many years ago. I got the rest of the series for Christmas, so they’re next on my to-read list (which keeps getting longer!)

    Thanks again for a fun month of book lists!

  2. Andrea Hendrix says

    Loved all of your December lists- especially all the graphic novels! My son has already read Compass South multiple times.

  3. Betsy, my plan was to read and comment on each December post as a way to acknowledge and thank you for your work. To date I’m about half way there! I have tallied the number of books you featured during the month. If my addition is correct, and NOT subtracting the duplicates, I think there were about 542. I appreciate the duplication for those folks who prefer to pick and choose which categories to read and also for you. Trying to choose one category when a particular book fit in more than one would have been quite stressful.

    Today, I appreciate the selection of 100 of your favorites. Each one of your readers has just so much time to give to reading and this list reflects your respect for that fact. You have certainly provided for individual needs today!