We’ve been reading picture books all year long and we’ve been picking favorites. These are the Best Children’s Picture Books 2018.
I have one more end of the year book list and it’s probably my favorite of all of them this year. These are our most favorite picture books of 2018!
We read a lot of picture books last year, but these were the best children’s picture books 2018. Or at least we think so. They were all published in 2018 and there are some real gems on this list.
Some of them we loved for their beautiful illustrations. Some of them made the list because we can’t stop talking about the story. And many of them just gave us a lot of good things to think about. There are laugh out loud funny books here, as well as deep and moving books that will linger in your mind long after you close the cover. Every book on this list is wonderful!
I read all of these many times with my kids. I even read most of these many times by myself. I’ll never be too old to enjoy a great picture book!
For a PRINTABLE LIST of our picks for the Best Children’s Picture Books 2018, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Best Children’s Picture Books 2018
Do you remember the wonderful message in The Hundred Dresses book? Well, this is similar, but shorter and filled with gorgeous illustrations. A beautiful book about putting people first, having empathy, and being kind.
There were a lot of wonderful children’s picture books in 2018 about empathy and kindness. This one is my very favorite empathy book of all time. It’s a wordless book, but its beautiful message will blow you away – no words necessary. (You can peek inside this one over on my Instagram grid)
And if there were a lot of empathy/kindness books in 2018, there were just as many books about emotions. I couldn’t be happier! Picture books are a uniquely useful medium for teaching, both young and old, about emotional healthy. This book about a grumpy monkey is fantastic! Sometimes you just feel grumpy, and that’s okay.
I was so impressed with this book! I’ve probably talked about it way too much to everyone around here recently. A giraffe in the zoo gets a little jealous . . . of a balloon. But the balloon is stealing attention from zoo children that should rightfully be directed towards the giraffe. Right?
What I especially love about this book is that the giraffe handles it all wrong before he finally gets it right. I love a book that shows how hard it can be to do the right thing sometimes and how easy it is to let our jealousy get the best of us. I think it’s important for kids to see this struggle. This is a must read book!
I fell in love with this book hard. This is such a FUN read aloud. There’s a wall in the gutter of the book and the little knight feels certain he’s on the right side of the wall. But as you read, it quickly becomes clear that the knight doesn’t have the full picture. There’s a message in this book, and I love it!
Oh my, this one is so beautiful. It’s a picture book memoir about Yuyi Morales’s own experience coming into this country with her daughter and how, as scared and lonely immigrants, libraries and books saved them. It’s beautifully written and the illustrations tell a large part of the story.
This is one that will give you a lot to talk about and think about. Morales says, “All of us have stories. Each of them is different.” This unique book was one of the best stories I shared with my kids this year.
I bought this one for our home library based entirely on that gorgeous cover. Luckily, the story is just as wonderful. It’s about a girl and her favorite dress, handmade by her mother. They get separated when the girl leaves Greece and immigrates to America. But don’t worry, the book has a happy ending.
I love a good picture book biography and this one is fantastic! It tells the story of Mathematician Sophie Germain and her persistence. Being a female in the field of mathematics, a traditionally male dominated field, wasn’t easy but, well, nothing stopped Sophie. I could read this one a hundred times and not get tired of it.
Hello, Gorgeous! This one follows the life of a lighthouse keeper and his wife over the course of a year. It’s a perfect picture book. Need I say more?
We have a thing for birds at our house, especially hawks. This book about a Red Tail Hawk family is a Five Star read!
This book inspired so much creativity at my house. After each of my kids read this one, I found them with stacks of paper and art supplies. My four year old filled an entire sketch book after reading this. And my 10 year old said, “I don’t know why, but this book just makes me want to draw.” It’s an amazing book!
As the book opens you see a young boy getting dropped off at his grandfather’s house. But he’s not excited to be there and you see a painful language barrier dividing them. But then, they start to draw and paint and are slowly drawn together. This book gives me goosebumps every time.
Didn’t the cover already sell you? The whole book is just as lovely as the cover too. It’s about a girl who moves to the city and is so sad to leave her garden behind. But there’s room for a garden in the city, right?
Another beautiful book about empathy and kindness. Taylor is upset about a loss and all of the animals want to tell her how to process it. But, the rabbit listened and that was just what she needed. I can’t say enough good things about this book.
There are some books that just ignite creativity and imagination as soon as you open them. This is that kind of book. I couldn’t love it more.
This non-fiction picture book is packed with gorgeous maps and fascinating facts. Everything you need to get excited about all the unique national parks America has to offer. We’ve pored over this one for hours.
This book had me laughing out loud in the book store as I flipped through it. Adam Rex is so good at that. I had to bring it home, of course, so we could keep laughing.
This is another book about kindness, but all wrapped in up in a very cute, very funny package that kids will love. It’s Penelope Rex’s first day of school and she wants to make friends . . . but humans are so delicious. She’s got a little lesson to learn.
We loved the first one – it’s been in the regular bedtime rotation for years now – and we love the second one just as much. As always, little chicken gets everyone laughing out loud. This one, and the first one, are perfect read alouds.
This book is so atmospheric, so moving. Two kids find an old abandoned house and as they walk through it try to piece together its story. Beautifully done!
I love the perspective in this book as it explores the color blue, but also how we see things. Water is blue, but when you hold it in your hands it’s clear. The water color illustrations really take this book to the next level.