My Top 10 Favorite Picture Books of 2022

The end of each calendar year always brings lots of round-ups, listicles, and best ofs… (Spotify unwrapped anyone?) I thought I’d jump into the mix but with a literacy twist! How about some favorite picture books?

I love really good picture books! Today I want to share with you some of my favorite new picture books that were released this year. These books will all be great to share in your classroom as read-alouds, to put on display, and to keep in your classroom library. 

Here are my 10 favorite new picture books of 2022:

1. Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty

I’ve never tried to bathe a cat but if it’s anything like bathing my dog, it’s a wreck! In this book, the cat does NOT want a bath, so when he sees it’s on one of the dads’ to-do list (written in magnetic letters on the fridge), the cat rearranges the letters to make a new to-do list that is absolutely bananas: feed the floor, bathe the lawn, mop the fish. . . your students will love this funny book!

It also serves as a great reminder to reread your writing! 😆

2. Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon

I’m sure many teachers and students can relate to the character in this book, busy Betty. She’s adorable but has tons of energy and gets distracted easily, which leads to difficulty focusing and finishing her tasks. She reminds herself to focus and her friend helps her realize that her “busy”ness and creativity are actually good things and can lead to great accomplishments.

This is a great book to talk about strategies to help keep us focused!

3. Climb On! by Baptiste Paul

In this book, a little girl and her dad go on a challenging hike. They come across a few obstacles, but they work together to make it to the summit.

Your students will love the illustrations of their adventures! Every time they look, they’ll notice new things.

I also love the brief text (with some Creole words sprinkled in). Together with the detailed pictures, it allows for making inferences.

ACTIVITY IDEA: Making lists is great for beginning writers because they practice stretching out words and focusing on one topic. Have your students make a list of supplies they would need for a hike!

4. How to Eat a Book by Mr. and Mrs. MacLeod

OK, I have mixed feelings about this one. I love that it’s an analogy to illustrate how you can devour a book and get totally wrapped up in fun adventures. . . but I think the story is a little disconnected and hard to follow. So I love the concept, but it was a bit confusing to me. I don’t know, you be the judge for this one. Let me know below if you like it!

5. One Boy Watching by Grant Snider

Hitch a ride on bus #4 as it travels down country roads and through city streets. The illustrations are vivid and your students will love watching what passes by through the windows. This is a great book for counting and being mindful about noticing things in the world around us!

ACTIVITY IDEA: Ask students to pay extra special attention to what they notice on the way home from school, whether on the bus, car drive, or walk home. They can count what they see as well. Have them share, then illustrate and label a picture about their discoveries.

6. Set Sail for Pancakes by Tim Kleyn

Margo and her grandfather want pancakes for breakfast, but they don’t have the ingredients! What can they do? Go across the world for the perfect ingredients! This book is fun, heartwarming, and adorable. You’ll also find a recipe for the best-ever banana pancakes at the end. You can send it home with your students or make them together as a class!

7. The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster by Mo Willems

When I was younger, I loved roller coasters… now, not so much! In this book, as Pigeon waits to ride the roller coaster, he experiences a range of emotions like excitement, then nervousness, then… disappointment. This is a great story to open discussions about anticipation and expectations. Plus, kindergarteners just love Pigeon (and you probably know how much I love Mo Willems!).

8. The Sour Grape by Jory John and Pete Oswald

You’re probably familiar with Jory John’s books if you teach kindergarten or first grade! They are adorable, funny, and teach important lessons with the cutest characters. This one is no different! The sour grape gets a taste of his own medicine when his friend holds a grudge against him and he realizes there are just too many great things in the world to focus on the negatives. I think it’s a good reminder for us all at times!

9. The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett

This is a really funny one, a hilarious take on the beloved classic. I’m sure you’ve heard the story before, but this time it’s presented as a fractured fairytale. Great to use for comparing and contrasting or just for fun!

10. The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson

This book illustrates the power that each of us has to face the challenges of each day with confidence. On a rainy spring day, two siblings are encouraged to use their imaginations to lift themselves up out of boredom. This book is a perfect read-aloud to encourage your students to use their imaginations. 

Check out more book Round-ups…

Take a look through some more of my book lists to find read-alouds you and your students will love:

On to 2023…

I hope you found some new books to add to your classroom library this year! What were your new favorite new picture books to come out in 2022? Are there any picture books you’re eagerly anticipating in 2023? Let me know below!

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