Women Make Picture Books Too (2016)…

Here we are again!  The leaves are falling, the kids are wearing sweaters, and it’s TIME TO THINK ABOUT WOMEN-ILLUSTRATED-PICTURE BOOKS!

For a number of years now, I’ve compiled a fall list of picture book illustrated by women (if you’re interested, you can leap-frog back through the lists). This is my small effort to combat the overwhelming number of mock Caldecott and end-of-year lists that tend to ignore so many amazing women artists (probably not unrelated to the fact that the actual Caldecott has historically been awarded to a disproportionate number of male illustrators).

And though last year Sophie Blackall took home the medal for Finding Winnie, and Ekua Holmes got an honor for Voice of Freedom:  Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

I hope that these lists encourage my bookseller/ reviewer/librarian/teacher friends to look beyond the “big” books being promoted most loudly, and seek out the special gems that might otherwise fall through the cracks.  That’s my simple goal.

I’ll begin by posting a few 2016 books I love, illustrated by women artists.  These are by no means the ONLY books I’ve noticed this year, but I want to hear from you!  Just post your favorites in the comments below, and please don’t self-nominate. Tell me what book YOU love best, by some other talented woman.

And maybe, if you notice a beautiful book on this list you’ve never seen before, you should ask yourself how/why that is, and seek it out!

Okay, here we go…

Shy, by Deborah Freedman

Finding Wild, by megan wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Twenty Yawns, by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

This is My Dollhouse, by Giselle Potter

The Airport Book, by Lisa Brown

A Hungry Lion, by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Du Iz Tak?  by Carson Ellis

The Littlest Family’s Big Day, by Emily Winfield Martin

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Henry and Leo, by Pamela Zagarenski

Before Morning, by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes

On Our Way to Oyster Bay, by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Felicita Sala

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

Cloth Lullaby: the Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, by Amy Novesky, illutrated by Isabelle Arsenault

The King of the Birds, by Acree Graham Macam, illustrated by Natalie Nelson


6 Responses to “Women Make Picture Books Too (2016)…”

  1. Scott Day Says:

    Shy. First Snow. Henry & Leo. Before Morning.

  2. Audrey Vernick Says:

    THANK YOU! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this list last year. And you have compiled such a beautiful list here too. I somehow missed This Is My Dollhouse and that is not right. Thank you! I will be looking through my shelves with an eye toward adding to this list.

  3. Lisa Brown Says:

    How about Thunder Boy illus. Yuyi Morales!
    The Cambodian Dancer illus. Christy Hale
    Cloth Lullaby illus. Isabelle Arsenault
    On Our Way to Oyster Bay ills. Felicita Sala

    and there’s a ton more…

  4. Deborah Freedman Says:

    Thanks, Laurel! Here are a few more—

    ADA’S VIOLIN, by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
    SOME WRITER!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet

  5. Abigail Marble Says:

    Thank you for these lists!

  6. Liz Wong Says:

    A few that I loved from 2016:

    Sam and Jump by Jennifer Mann
    Swatch by Julia Denos
    The Journey by Francesca Sanna
    Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley
    Cat Nap by Toni Yuly
    Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube

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