The  2019 picture book titles below are recent purchases.  If I were still working on my book TEACHING TOUGH TOPICS, most of these would be added to my ‘GREAT BOOK’ lists. 18 picture books are organized into fiction and nonfiction categories.



WHILE GRANDPA NAPS by Naomi Danis; illus. Junghwa Park

Gilbert faithfully keeps watch over his napping grandpa, shooing away the pesky flies and contemplating family, fidelity, family and memory. (Death, Loss and Remembrance)

BON VOYAGE MISTER RODRIGUEZ by Christiane Duchesne; illus. Francois Thisdale

The appearance of the mysterious Mister Rodriguez fascinates the village children who come to learn about attachment and loss through this enigmatic character.  (Death, Loss and Remembrance)

IF I GO MISSING by Brianna Jonnie with Nahanni Shingoose; illus. Nshannacappo (YA)

In a real  letter written to the Chief of Police, Brianna urges the media to do better when investigating cases of missing Indigenous people. (Indigenous Identity) 

AUNT PEARL by Monica Kulling; illus. Irene Luxbacher

Aunt Pearl wonders through life pushing a shopping cart filled with worldly goods. Marta and Dan’s mother allow the homeless  Pearl  to settle into the household and wonder about her strangeness and giving things ‘a second chance’. (Poverty) 

WHEN AIDAN BECAME A BROTHER by Kyle Lukoff; illus. Kaylani Juanita

Aidan settles happily into himself as a transgender boy. His outlook on life is put to the test as he prepares for the arrival of a new sibling and they are determined to ‘get everything right.’ (Gender Identity)

GOING DOWN HOME WITH DADDY by Kelly Starling Lyons; illus. Daniel Minter

A richly detailed and gloriously illustrated tale of family celebrations, family history and stories that are passed down from one generation to another. (Diverse Cultures)

SATURDAY by Oge Mora

Spending time with your mother on cherished Saturday outings, a young girl relishes in the routines and unexpected events of precious time spent together. (Diverse cultures)

MY PAPI HAS A MOTORCYCLE by Isabel Quintero; illus. Zeke Pena

Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighbourhood with her hardworking Papi on his motorcycle, admiring the sights, smells and sounds of her Hispanic community and recognizing that things are gradually changing around her. (Diverse cultures)

FROM THE STARS IN THE SKY TO THE FISH IN THE SEA by Kai Cheng Thom; illus. way-yant li and kai yun ching

Miu Lan can change into any shape they can imagine but they can’t decide what to be: a bird or a fish? A boy or a girl? (Gender Identity)



ON MY MOUNTAIN by Francois Aubineau: illus. Jerome Peyrat

A story about sharing your environment (mountain home) both from the shepherd and the wolf’s point of view. A forward and backward story.

BREATHE AND BE: A book of mindfulness poems by Kate Coombs; Illus Anna Emilai Laitinen (Poetry)

“I breathe slowly in, / I breath slowly out. My breath / is a river of peace. I am here in the world. / Each moment I can breathe and be.”

HONEYBEE: The busy life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming Rohman

Writer Candace Fleming follows the life cycle of the worker bee with informative detail accompanied by Eric Rohman’s knockout illustrations.

DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham & Charles Waters; illus. Mehrdokht Amini. (Poetry)

Fifty poems in range of poetic forms, presented alphabetically, provide inspirational thought for diversity, hope, and peace. Words for a better world are presented alphabetically (acceptance, ally, belonging, compassion, courage…etc)

THE BOOK RESCUER by Sue Macy; illus. Stacy Innerst

Aaron Lansky (outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish books) set out to preserve Jewish culture and history by collecting over a million books written in the Yiddish language. from around the world.

HOW TO BECOME AN ACCIDENTAL GENIUS by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky; illus. Jenn Playford

Secrets and amazing stories of 30+ successful inventors who became scientific masterminds with remarkable discovers (e.g. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, No Stick Teflon, Popsicles, X-rays). Fascinating information with appealing supportive visuals. A terrific example of nonfiction text.

OVERGROUND RAILROAD by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. James Ransome

A tribute to the millions of African Americans who left their homes to become part of the Great Migration in a search for hope and freedom.

PACKS: Strengths in Numbers by Hanna Salyer

Air, Land and Sea animals team together in order to thrive in both human and non-human communities.

WHY? Laura Vaccaro Seeger

An inquisitive rabbit, who seems to only ask one question of a friendly bear stands in for young readers who are curious about the natural world.