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.