My favorite 32 non-fiction picture books of the decade (2010-2019)

Last week I presented my list of 52 favorite fiction picture books of the decade. And now here are my 32 favorite non-fiction picture books released from 2010 to 2019, alphabetical by title. For this list I gave myself a rule: each author and illustrator could only have one spot. I did this to spread the wealth and celebrate a variety of styles. (Note: the terrific Kwame Alexander IS on here twice, but that is because the beautiful and gorgeous Out of Wonder includes work from other poets as well.) Creating non-fiction picture books for a young audience is a challenge. This amazing group of 32 books are prime examples of picture book creation at its very best.

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachin Spring, illustrated by Brian Floca, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordon, published by Flash Point, ISBN: 978-1596433380.

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Day Parade, illustrated and written by Melissa Sweet, published by HMH Books for Children, ISBN: 978-0547199450.

The Beetle Book, illustrated and written by Steve Jenkins, published by HMH Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0547680842.

Bird & Diz, illustrated by Ed Young, written by Gary Golio, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-0763666606.

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh, published by ABRAMS, ISBN: 978-0810997318.

Dreamers, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales, Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, ISBN: 978-0823440559.

Soñadores (Spanish edition): 978-0823442584.

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building, illustrated and written by Christy Hale, published by Lee & Low, ISBN: 978-1600606519.

Drum Dream Girl, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Margarita Engle, published by HMH Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0544102293.

Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, published by little bee, ISBN: 978-1499801033.

Gravity, illustrated and written by Jason Chin, published by Roaring Brook Press, ISBN: 978-1596437173.

In The Past, illustrated by Matthew Trueman, poems by David Elliott, published by Candlewick Press, ISBN: 978-0763660734.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown, published by Lee & Low Books, ISBN: 978-1600608988.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, illustrated by Júlia Sarda, written by Linda Bailey, published by Tundra, ISBN: 978-1770495593.

Me…Jane, illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0316045469.

Music Everywhere!, written by Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, and Cynthia Pon, published by Charlesbridge, ISBN: 978-1570919367.

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPre, written by Barb Rosenstock, published by Knopf, ISBN: 978-0307978486. 

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability, written by Shane Burcaw, photographs by Matt Carr, published by Roaring Brook, ISBN: 978-1626727717.

Nothing Stopped Sophie, illustrated by Barbara McClintock, written by Cheryl Bardoe, published by Little, Brown and Company, ISBN: 978-0316278201.

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, poems by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth, published by Candlewick, ISBN:  978-0-7636-8094-7.

Parrots Over Puerto Rico, created by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, published by Lee & Low Books, ISBN: 978-1620140048.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, written by Barry Wittenstein, published by Neal Porter Books (an imprint of Holiday House), ISBN: 978-0823443314.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0316213882.

Raindrops Roll, photography and text by April Pulley Sayre, published by Beach Lane Books, ISBN: 978-1481420648.

Rise!: From Caged Bird to the Poet of the People, illustrated by Tonya Engel, written by Bethany Hegedus (with a foreword by Colin Johnson), published by Lee & Low Books Inc., ISBN: 978-1620145876.

Seeing Into Tomorrow, biography and illustrations by Nina Crews, haiku by Richard Wright, published by Millbrook Press, ISBN: 978-1512418651.

Snakes, photos and text by Nic Bishop, published by Scholastic, ISBN: 978-0545206389.

Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, published by ABRAMS, 978-1419714658.

The Truth About Bears, illustrated and written by Maxwell Eaton III, published by Roaring Brook (A Neal Porter Book), ISBN: 978-1626726666.

The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, poem by Kwame Alexander, published by VERSIFY (an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), ISBN: 978-1328780966.

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, illustrated and written by Shane W. Evans, published by Roaring Brook, ISBN: 978-1596435384.

What Miss Mitchell Saw, illustrated by Diana Sudyka, written by Hayley Barrett, published by Beach Lane Books, ISBN: 978-1481487597.

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, written by Laban Carrick Hill, published by Roaring Brook, ISBN: 978-1596435407.

 

My favorite 52 fiction picture books of the decade (2010-2019)

Wow, what a fabulous decade for picture books! I now present an alphabetical (by title) list of my favorite 52 FICTION (I will have a list of 32 favorite non-fiction picture books next week) from 2010 to 2019. A rule I made myself though: only one book per illustrator on this fiction list (in a quest for a mix of artistic styles). These fantastic, fabulous, all around terrific group of books kept me on my toes and kept surprising me. I see something new every time I look at them. Thank you to the illustrators, authors, designers, editors, publishers and production teams for this absolutely brilliant 52.

Accident!, illustrated and written by Andrea Tsurumi, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN:  978-0544944800.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated and written by Dan Santat, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0316199988.

All the Way to Havana, illustrated by Mike Curato, written by Margarita Engle, published by Henry Holt and Co., ISBN: 978-1-62779-642-2.

Alma and How She Got Her Name, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal, published by Candlewick Press, ISBN: 978-0763693558.

Spanish edition: Alma y Cómo Obtuvo Su Nombre, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal, published by Candlewick Press, ISBN: 978-0763693589.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, published by World of Eric Carle, ISBN: 978-0399257131.

Big Cat, little cat, illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper, published by Roaring Brook, IBSN:  978-162672-3719.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, illustrated and written by Grace Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company, ISBN: 978-0316404488.

Blackout, illustrated and written by John Rocco, published by Disney/Hyperion, ISBN: 978-1423121909.

blue, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, published by Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, ISBN: 978-1626720664.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes, published by Bolden (A Denene Millner Book/An Agate Imprint), ISBN: 978-1572842243.

Daniel’s Good Day, illustrated and written by Micha Archer, published by Nancy Paulsen Books, ISBN: 978-0399546723.

Draw!, illustrated and written by Raúl Colón, published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, ISBN: 978-1442494923.

Du Iz Tak?, illustrated and written by Carson Ellis, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-0763665302.

Each Kindness, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, written by Jacqueline Woodson, published by Nancy Paulsen Books, ISBN: 978-0399246524.

Egg, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes, published by Greenwillow Books, ISBN:  9780062408723.

The Field, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara, written by Baptiste Paul, published by North South, ISBN: 978-0735843127.

Finders Keepers, illustrated and written by Keiko Kasza, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0399168987.

Firebird, illustrated by Christopher Myers, written by Misty Copeland, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0399166150.

Flora and the Flamingo, illustrated by Molly Idle, published by Chronicle, ISBN: 978-1452110066.

Grandma’s Gift, illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez, published by Bloomsbury, ISBN: 978-0802735362.

Hank Finds an Egg, created by Rebecca Dudley, published by Peter Pauper Press, ISBN: 978-1441311580.

If I Built a House, illustrated and written by Chris Van Dusen, published by Dial, ISBN: 978-0803737518.

Interrupting Chicken, illustrated and written by David Ezra Stein, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-0763641689.

It’s a Tiger!, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard, written by David LaRochelle, published by Chronicle, ISBN: 978-0811869256.

It’s Only Stanley, illustrated and written by Jon Agee, published by Dial Books, ISBN: 978-0803739079.

Leave Me Alone!, illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol, published by Roaring Brook Press, ISBN: 978-1626724419.

Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-0763669003.

Spanish edition: Mango, Abuela y Yo, ISBN: 978-0763680992 (paperback).

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, illustrated and written by Peter Brown, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0316200639.

Mr. Wuffles, illustrated and written by David Wiesner, published by Clarion, ISBN: 978-0618756612.

My Footprints, illustrated by Basia Tran, written by Bao Phi, published by Capstone Editions, ISBN: 978-1684460007.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña, written by Isabel Quintero, published by Kokila (an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC), ISBN: 978-0525553410.

Spanish edition: Mi Papi Tiene Una Moto, ISBN: 978-0525554943.

Nana in the City, illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo, published by Clarion, ISBN: 978-0544104433.

The Night World, illustrated and written by Mordicai Gerstein, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0316188227.

Niño Wrestles the World, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales, published by Roaring Brook, ISBN: 978-1596436046.

Ocean Meets Sky, illustrated and written by The Fan Brothers, published by Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 978-1481470377.

The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van Thahn Rudd, written by Maxine Beneba Clarke, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-1536200317.

Pokko and the Drum, illustrated and written by Matthew Forsythe, published by Simon & Schuster (A Paula Wiseman Book), ISBN: 978-1481480399.

Princess Super Kitty, illustrated and written by Antoinette Portis, published by HarperCollins, ISBN: 978-0061827259.

The Rabbit Listened, illustrated and written by Cori Doerrfeld, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, ISBN: 978-0735229358.

The Ring Bearer, illustrated and written by Floyd Cooper, published by Philomel (an imprint of Penguin), ISBN:  978-0399167409.

Round Is a Tortilla: A Book About Shapes, illustrated by John Parra, written by Roseanne Thong, published by Chronicle, ISBN: 978-1452106168.

Saturday, illustrated and written by Oge Mora, published by Little, Brown and Company, ISBN: 978-0316431279.

They All Saw a Cat, illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel, published by Chronicle, ISBN: 978-1452150130.

They Say Blue, illustrated and written by Jillian Tamaki, published by Abrams, ISBN: 978-1419728518.

This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, published by Candlewick, ISBN: 978-0763655990.

Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Joanne Schwartz, published by Groundwood Books, ISBN:  978-1554988716.

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market!, illustrated and written by Raúl the Third, colors by Elaine Bay, published by VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN: 978-1328557261.

The Very Impatient Caterpillar, illustrated and written by Ross Burach, published by Scholastic, ISBN: 978-1338289411.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, illustrated and written by Ryan T. Higgins, published by Disney/Hyperion, ISBN: 978-1368003551.

When Aidan Became a Brother, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, written by Kyle Lukoff, published by Lee & Low Books, ISBN: 978-1620148372.

When’s My Birthday?, illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Julie Fogliano, published by Roaring Brook, ISBN: 978-1626722934.

Wolf in the Snow, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, Feiwel & Friends,  978-1250076366.