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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Picture Books We Love

Top of the Shelf: Best Picture Books of 2011

It's been quite the year! I've compiled a list of the books reviewed by our Shop Talk bloggers to create an easy glance at all of the picture books we thought were Top of the Shelf material in 2011. Click the link after each title to read our review.

Fiction Picture Books AGES 2-4:

1. LITTLE WHITE RABBIT by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books) Review here and here. 2. STARS by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane Books) Review here and here. 3. TEN LITTLE CATERPILLARS by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Beach Lane Books) Review here. 4. PRESS HERE by Hervé Tullet (Chronicle Books) Review here. 5. RED SLED by Lita Judge (Atheneum) Review here. 6. THE UMBRELLA by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert (Lemniscaat) Review here and here. 7. TELL ME THE DAY BACKWARDS by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail (Candlewick Press) Review here. 8. RED WAGON by Renata Liwska (Philomel) Review here. 9. RRRALPH by Lois Ehlert (Beach Lane Books) Review here. 10. THE LOUD BOOK by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Review here. 11. BLUE CHICKEN by Deborah Freedman (Viking) Review here. 12. TWEAK TWEAK by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier (Clarion Books) Review here.  

Fiction Picture Books AGES 4-6:

13. GRANDPA GREEN by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press) Review here. 14. MOUSE & LION by Rand Burkert, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert (Michael di Capua Books) Review here and here. 15. OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle Books) Review here. 16. STREGA NONA'S GIFT by Tomie dePaola (Nancy Paulsen Books) Review here. 17. OH, HARRY! by Maxine Kumin, illustrated by Barry Moser (Roaring Brook Press) Review here. 18. HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT by Edward Lear, Masterminded by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Calef Brown (Chronicle Books) Review here. 19. PERFECT SQUARE by Michael Hall (Greenwillow Books) Review here. 20. ME...JANE by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown) Review here. 21. ANTS IN YOUR PANTS, WORMS IN YOUR PLANTS! (Gilbert Goes Green) by Diane deGroat (HarperCollins) Review here. 22. THE SECRET RIVER by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) Review here. 23. HOMER THE LIBRARY CAT by Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Candlewick) Review here. 24. NEVILLE by Norton Juster, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Schwartz & Wade) Review here. 25. I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press) Review here.  

Nonfiction Picture Books AGES 4-8

26. HEART AND SOUL: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins) Review here. 27. BEFORE THERE WAS MOZART: The Story of Joseph Boulogne,  Chevalier de Saint-George by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome (Schwartz & Wade) Review here. 28. MEADOWLANDS: A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F. Yezerski (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Review here. 29. CELEBRITREES: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Henry Holt & Co.) Review here. 30. QUEEN OF THE FALLS by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Review here. 31. HATCH! by Roxie Munro (Marshall Cavendish) Review here. 32. NIGHT FLIGHT: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh, paintings by Wendell Minor (Simon & Schuster) Review here.  

Books for Older Readers

33. AROUND THE WORLD by Matt Phelan (Candlewick Press) Review here. 34. THE CHRONICLES OF HARRIS BURDICK by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton Mifflin) Review here. 35. ROBERT MCCLOSKEY: A PRIVATE LIFE IN WORDS AND PICTURES by Jane McCloskey (Seapoint Books) Reveiw here. What a list! There's still so many more 2011 titles that we loved and didn't get a chance to talk about. Was there a new book from 2011 that you wished we reviewed? Let us know and maybe we can squeeze in one or two more before our 2012 reviews start. Here's to another great book-filled year!


Katie Ahearn (Secrets and Sharing Soda)
Wednesday, January 1, 2012 - 9:15 am
What a great list! So many of my favorites on here: Grandpa Green, Stars, Perfect Square, Red Sled - all excellent recommendations.

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