If you're still looking for some gift ideas for the children in your life, consider these my suggestions! And if you don't feel like spending the money, I encourage you to visit your local public library and check some of these beauties out. Without any further ado – here are my favorite picture books of the year:
Tessa's Favorite Picture Books of 2018
This year there were some great (and seriously needed) books focused on breaking gender norms (Pink is For Boys, Julián Is a Mermaid and Teddy's Favorite Toy) and some very touching stories about serious issues that can be difficult for children to understand, like a grandparent's memory loss (The Remember Balloons [good luck not crying through that one]) and the refugee crisis (Marwan's Journey).
There was also some very strong books promoting acceptance and understanding (All of Us and All Are Welcome), books about feeling like you might not fit in (Neon Leon and Neither) and adorable confidence boosters (I Am Enough and The Day You Begin). Of course, there were also some books with show-stealing illustrations (Yellow Kayak and Ocean Meets Sky) and heartfelt plots (Run Wild and Dad By My Side).
But out of all these top picture books, there could only be one favorite, and it certainly stood out. Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung is perfect for storytime or one-on-one sharing. This important book serves as a childhood primer on a difficult topic for most people to discuss: the social construct of race.
With simple yet stylized illustrations, Mixed tells the story of how "colors" have their differences and some might not always get along. But when these colors start to blend (and blend, and blend!) – they realize the world becomes a pretty colorful and beautiful place. I can think of few things more special than that.