Best Children’s Books of 2017

Welcome to my third best-of book list of 2017: the children’s edition! Am I the only one who thinks it can be hard to find quality children’s books? Some are too preachy, some are too boring, some encourage bad behavior, etc. But these books inspired me with their humor, heart, and spectacular art. Enjoy!

The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra by Marc Tyler Nobleman


Full of word play, this Mexican-folk art inspired story follows goat friends decide the best way to avoid being eaten by the infamous chupacabra is to chase him down and scare him away. The art is vibrant and utterly unique. The writing is good, but I think the illustrations are what truly earned this book a spot on my list.

Garcia and Colette Go Exploring by Hannah Barnaby


This charming story of adventure and friendship deserves to be read again and again. I was so, so happy to see a boy and girl sharing equal roles as co-protagonists! The art was also some of my favorite art of the whole year––bright, imaginative, and so welcoming that every moment from exploring outer space to the bottom of the ocean felt real.

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones


A laugh-out-loud funny book about a little girl who is not impressed with her new baby brother. This would be an excellent gift for kids expecting a new sibling, but any kid (or adult) with a younger sibling will relate. The quirky art was actually not to my taste, but will probably please many others.

Little Wolf’s First Howling by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee


This book features simple but memorable watercolor-esque illustrations. The tale is fairly simple as well, but with a beautiful, heart-warming message about being yourself––and trusting your parents to love and support you.

Max and Bird by Ed Vere


A cute, giggle-worthy story about learning about friendship. The illustrations are stark and simple but surprisingly full of personality.

Tyrannosaurs Rex Vs. Edna, the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees


Clever and empowering, this is a tale about a chicken who stands up to a dinosaur bully. The art is colorful, and children who like dinosaurs will love seeing them plastered all over the pages.

Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz


I read this book through several times. On the surface, it is a simple story about a boy going about his day in a mining town by the sea. Dig deeper, and it’s a story of a boy contemplating his family’s history and his future. The illustrations are breathtaking. This is a literary and artistic masterpiece for everyone.

Life by Cynthia Rylant


This book’s sparse poetic prose are buoyed by fantastic illustrations, and the effect is a surprisingly inspirational and hopeful story.

*Images from Goodreads

*Using the “look inside” feature on Amazon you can take a sneak peek at most of those books.


2 thoughts on “Best Children’s Books of 2017

  1. Lilyn G says:

    Oh, Max and Bird was a cute read. I’m really interested in the first two on your list. Just the title of the first one alone made me giggle.

    You’re absolutely right. It is hard to find quality kids books.

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