One More Look: Favorite Picture Book Art of 2014

Minh Le

Staff Writer

Minh is the author of Let Me Finish! a debut picture book that will be published by Disney-Hyperion in 2016. By day he works in early childhood policy and in 2010 helped design 826DC‘s Museum of Unnatural History (the only place you can both support youth creative writing and get your daily supply of unicorn tears). He also writes about children’s lit at Bottom Shelf Books and occasionally for the Huffington Post and others. Follow him on Twitter @bottomshelfbks.

Amidst the flurry of end-of-year lists, I started getting to get nostalgic for all the great books that we’d be leaving behind in 2014 — then I remembered that we get to take them with us into 2015. PHEW.

That being said, before we turn our full attention to 2015 (which is already shaping up to be an incredible year for picture books), I thought it’d be fun to take at least one more look at the past year. So, without further ado, here (in alphabetical order by illustrator) is some of my favorite picture book art from the year that was.



Illustrator: Alborozo; The Acrobat (Child’s Play)



Illustrator: Princesse Cam Cam; Fox’s Garden (Enchanted Lion)


Nana in the City

Illustrator: Lauren Castillo; Nana in the City (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)



Illustrator: Jason Chin; Gravity (Macmillan)



Illustrator: Raúl Colón; Abuelo by Arthur Dorros (HarperCollins)


Little Elliot Big City

Illustrator: Mike Curato; Little Elliot, Big City (Macmillan)


storm whale

Illustrator: Benji Davies; The Storm Whale (Macmillan)


The Fox and the Crow

Illustrator: Culpeo S. Fox; The Fox and the Crow by Manasi Subramanian (Karadi Tales)


Farmer and the Clown

Illustrator: Marla Frazee; The Farmer and the Clown (Simon & Schuster)



Illustrator: Mary GrandPré; The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock (Random House)



Illustrator: Kellen Hatanaka; Work: An Occupational ABC (Groundwood)


ShhhIllustrator: Chris Haughton; Shh! We Have a Plan (Copyright © 2014 by Chris Haughton. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books London)



Illustrator: Hadley Hooper; The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan (Macmillan)



Illustrator: Icinori (Mayumi Otero and Raphaël Urwiller); Issun Boshi: The One-Inch Boy (copyright Gestalten 2014)


Harlem Hellfighters

Illustrator: Gary Kelley; Harlem Hellfighters by J. Patrick Lewis (Creative Editions)



Illustrator: Max Kornell; Me First (Penguin)



Illustrator: Isabelle Malenfant; Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino (Groundwood)



Illustrator: Nikki McClure; May the Stars Drip Down by Jeremy Chatelain (Abrams)


elsa and the night

Illustrator: Jöns Mellgren; Elsa and the Night (copyright Gestalten 2014)


Viva Frida

Illustrator: Yuyí Morales and Tim O’Meara; Viva Frida (Macmillan)


Little Melba

Illustrator: Frank Morrison; Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown (Lee & Low)


Violet and Victor

Illustrator: Bethanie Murguia; Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book by Alice Kuipers (Little, Brown)


Hi, Koo_Minh Illustrator: Jon J Muth; Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons (Scholastic)


Sweetest Kulu

Illustrator: Alexandria Neonakis; Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk (Inhabit Media)


Number One Sam

Illustrator: Greg Pizzoli; Number One Sam (Disney-Hyperion)



Illustrator: Chris Raschka; The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy Is Enlightening (Copyright © 2014 by Chris Raschka. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.)


Gus and Me crop

Illustrator: Theodora Richards; Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar by Keith Richards (Little, Brown)



Illustrator: Christian Robinson; Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle)



Illustrator: Isabel Roxas; Goodnight Songs: Illustrated by Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists by Margaret Wise Brown (Sterling)


Coming Home

Illustrator: Greg Ruth; Coming Home (Macmillan)


Hannah's Night

Illustrator: Kamako Sakai; Hannah’s Night (Gecko)



Illustrator: Anca Sandu; Churchill’s Tale of Tails (Text and illustrations © 2012 by Anca Sandu. Permission to reproduce granted by Peachtree Publishers.)



Illustrator: Dan Santat; The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Little, Brown)



Illustrator: David Soman; Three Bears in a Boat (Penguin)



Illustrator: Melissa Sweet; The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans)



Illustrator: Shaun Tan; Rules of Summer (Scholastic)


1 to 20 Animals Aplenty

Illustrator: Katie Viggers; 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty (POW!)



Illustrator: Anna Walker; Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)



Illustrator: Brian Won; Hooray for Hat! (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Hands Say Love

Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo; Hands Say Love by George Shannon (Little, Brown)


Nancy Knows

Illustrator: Cybèle Young (Excerpted from Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young. Copyright © 2014 by Cybèle Young.  Reprinted by permission of Tundra Books, a division of Random House of Canada, a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.)



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