2016-2017 SC Picture Book Award Nominees

Blizzard by John Rocco

Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood's immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy's expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.

Breaking News: Bear Alert cover art

Two bears awaken from hibernation and go to town—literally. During their visit, they eat at a diner, dress up at a department store, and stop a couple of bank robbers, all the while mistaking the townspeople’s terror for friendliness.

Dog vs. Cat cover art

Dog and Cat do not get along. But when they're forced to share a room, they agree to be on their best behavior...until Dog won't stop sniffing. Cat won't stop primping. Dog won't stop howling. Cat won't stop scratching. And when it comes to the litter-box...sharing is not an option! What will it take to bring Dog and Cat together? Find out in Chris Gall's comic clash that brings out the best (and worst) in two very different pets.

E-I-E-I-O! book cover art

The Little Red Hen gives old MacDonald some pointers on composting — and a legendary farm is born — in this rhyming, rollicking read-aloud.

Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard — a yard he didn’t want to mow. But under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom with the help of some mud, garbage, horse poop, and worms! Judy Sierra’s spirited verse, paired with Matthew Myers’s exuberant illustrations, yields a fresh take on a children’s classic, complete with raised-bed gardens and an organic farmers’ market—making this a perfect story for armchair gardeners and devoted locavores of all sizes.

Flight School book cover art

A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of Red Hat and Red Sled.

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly! Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

Gaston book cover art

This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips — never slobbers! He yips — never yaps! And he walks with grace — never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters.

But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park — Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette — reveals there's been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right, but they don't feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses — and their hearts — to find where they belong?

Going Places book cover art

A go-cart contest inspires imagination to take flight in this picture book for creators of all ages, with art from New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

It’s time for this year’s Going Places contest! Finally. Time to build a go-cart, race it—and win. Each kid grabs an identical kit, and scrambles to build.

Everyone but Maya. She sure doesn’t seem to be in a hurry...and that sure doesn’t look like anybody else’s go-cart!

But who said it had to be a go-cart? And who said there’s only one way to cross the finish line...

Here Comes the Easter Cat book cover art

A cat with flair to spare, an Easter Bunny with a job to do, and a hilarious break from sticky-sweet Easter fare for fans of Patrick McDonnell and the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.

Why should the Easter Bunny get all the love? That’s what Cat would like to know. So he decides to take over: He dons his sparkly suit, jumps on his Harley, and roars off into the night. But it turns out delivering Easter eggs is hard work. And it doesn’t leave much time for naps (of which Cat has taken five–no, seven). So when a pooped-out Easter Bunny shows up, and with a treat for Cat, what will Cat do? His surprise solution will be stylish, smart, and even–yes–kind.

A homage to classic comic strips from the author of The Quiet Book and The Loud Book, this Easter treat has a bit of bite, a sweet center, and a satisfying finish—sure to inspire second helpings.

I'm My Own Dog book cover art

Many dogs have human owners. Not this dog. He fetches his own slippers, curls up at his own feet, and gives himself a good scratch. But there is one spot, in the middle of his back, that he just can’t reach. So one day, he lets a human scratch it. And the poor little fella follows him home. What can the dog do but get a leash to lead the guy around with? Dog lovers of all ages will revel in the humorous role-reversal as this dog teaches his human all the skills he needs to be a faithful companion.

Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein has fans at his command with this comical dog’s-eye view of having a best friend.

It's an Orange Aardvark book cover art

Five carpenter ants at home in their tree stump hear a noise. What is it? One ant thinks it is a hungry aardvark lurking outside the stump, just waiting to eat them. One ant makes a hole in the stump to see. Orange light floods the stump—it’s not an aardvark, proclaims the ant chorus. It’s orange! So what is lurking outside the stump? This very funny picture book features die-cut holes on almost every page, suspenseful page turns, a wonderful surprise ending, and an introduction to a rainbow of colors.

Ivan book cover art

In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.

This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads book cover art

Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin', hootin' and hollerin', steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads.

Mister Bud Wears the Crown book cover art

In this next addition to an adventure Booklist called “a treat for dog lovers young and old,” canine pals Mister Bud and Zorro encounter…the cone.

Mister Bud and Zorro learned how to get along in Say Hello to Zorro! They made it through Zorro’s new wardrobe in Zorro Gets an Outfit. But how will they handle Mister Bud’s latest predicament? Because he has to wear...the cone.

Carter Goodrich, who is “brilliant at depicting doggy emotions” (School Library Journal), cleverly portrays this relatable tale of misplaced shame and the love that surpasses it.

The Monkey Goes Bananas book cover art

It’s time to go bananas!

A determined monkey spies a banana tree across the water. What happens next is an inventive romp, as the resourceful monkey attempts to grab a snack, with some hilarious consequences.

Full of energy, surprise, and strong visual storytelling, this practically wordless picture book will entice even the most reluctant reader. The Monkey Goes Bananas is fast-paced, delicious fun that’s sure to leave young readers hungry for another read.

My Teacher is a Monster! book cover art

A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She's loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won't allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day... he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem.

Each page is filled with "monstrous" details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes a universal and timeless theme, and adds his own humorous spin to create another winner of a picture book.

One Big Pair of Underwear book cover art

Count and share with…underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with hilarious pictures from the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

What’s one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common?

They hate to share.

But look out—here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

This seriously silly picture book with artwork by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site irresistibly combines the concepts of counting and sharing.

Pardon Me! book cover art

A little bird just wants some peace and quiet—but he’s about to get a whole lot more than he bargained for in this clever picture book debut, in the tradition of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in the swamp when a little yellow bird settles down on a rock—only to be interrupted as first a heron, then a frog, then a turtle ask to sit on the rock with him. As each animal says “pardon me,” the little bird’s replies get grumpier:

“I suppose I can’t stop you.”
“It’s already crowded, don’t you think?”
“Sure, the entire swamp’s here already. Why shouldn’t you be, too?”

When a fox comes by, the bird finally loses his cool. But it just so happens that fox showed up for a reason, and the little bird’s outburst leads to a surprise ending you’ll want to read again and again.

Peanut Butter & Cupcake book cover art

For fans of The Day the Crayons Quit, Little Pea, or How Are You Peeling?

What’s a little piece of bread to do when he’s feeling lonely? Find a friend, of course!

And that’s exactly what Peanut Butter tries to do. But sometimes friends are hard to come by, especially when Hamburger has to walk his (hot) dogs, Cupcake is too busy building castles in her sprinkle box, and Egg laughs so hard he starts to crack up! Does Peanut Butter have a soulmate? Young readers will know the answer long before Peanut Butter does and laugh along with each mismatched pairing.

In a story that pairs silliness with poignancy, and friendship with anthropomorphic food, Terry Border, the photography mastermind behind the Bent Objects project, makes a triumphant entrance into the children's book world. Complete with a rhyming refrain, this is sure to be a favorite family read-aloud--and laugh-aloud.

A Piece of Cake book cover art

Mouse has baked a special treat for Little Bird's birthday! But delivering it to his friend isn't easy — not when everyone he meets along the way offers to trade something for a piece.

Rags book cover art

During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog's battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend's side.