2024-2025 SC Picture Book Award Nominees

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The South Carolina Picture Book Award nominees are chosen to encourage students to read good quality contemporary literature. Each title is appropriate for a 4K-3 grade level. Visit SCASL's SC Picture Book Award page to learn more about past nominees and other materials.

Book Cover of Abdul's Story

Abdul’s Story

By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Abdul loves to tell stories. But writing them down is hard. His letters refuse to stay straight and face the right way. And despite all his attempts, his papers often wind up with more eraser smudges than actual words. Abdul decides his stories just aren’t meant to be written down…until a special visitor comes to class and shows Abdul that even the best writers—and superheroes—make mistakes.

Book Cover of Be A Bridge

Be a Bridge

By Irene Latham & Charles Waters

In this upbeat picture book, two children head to school and learn about the many ways they can build loving connections with other students and their community.

Book Cover of Beneath


By Cori Doerrfeld

Finn is in a horrible mood and doesn't want to talk about it. After some persuading, though, they agree to go for a hike with Grandpa. Throughout their forest walk, they see many different things: big, strong trees with networks of roots growing underneath, still water with schools of fish swimming below, and an expectant bird with eggs nestled under her. It’s when the pair pass fellow hikers that Finn realizes that people, just like the elements of nature, are more than they appear. Grandpa explains that sometimes beneath a person who seems like they won't understand, is someone who knows exactly how you feel.

Book Cover of Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme

Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme

By Avery Monsen

There once was a youngster named Chester van Chime Who woke up one day and forgot how to rhyme. Chester loved rhyming, in poem or song. It always felt right, but today it felt...not right. VERY not right.

Chester van Chime is usually the BEST at rhyming. He can normally tell you all about cats wearing hats and snails delivering mail, but today, something has changed. Today there's no dog on a log. No duck in a truck. Just a Pomeranian on a sideways tree and a waterfowl in a full-size pickup. What's a kid to do?!

Book Cover of Don't Eat Bees (Life Lessons for Chip the Dog)

Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog)

By Dev Petty

Are you a dog in need of advice? Fear not: Chip the dog is ON IT in this super-silly guide to living your best canine life. Chip is seven; he knows things. Like what to eat (important papers, the fancy bird the humans cooked for the fancy dinner, Grandpa’s teeth), and what not to eat (bees). He won’t get those mixed up, will he?

Book Cover of Donut: The Unicorn Who Wants to Fly

Donut: The Unicorn Who Wants to Fly

By Laura Gehl

When Donut, a fluffy, scruffy unicorn with a colorful horn, spots a bird in the air, she thinks, “Why can’t I be up there, too?” And so she jumps off of a log. But thump she falls down to the ground. After many attempts at flight, Donut schemes with the other animals in the field, and comes up with an ingenious solution. Finally, her perseverance pays off–and Donut flies! 

Book Cover of How to Hug a Pufferfish

How to Hug a Pufferfish

By Ellie Peterson

A picture book about a group of underwater friends who learn to ask for permission before showing their prickly, pufferfish pal some love.

So, you want to hug a pufferfish...Who could blame you? That friendly, gap-toothed grin is hard to resist! Only, when Pufferfish is hugged or touched unexpectedly by their friends, things can get a little…spiky.

Book Cover of I'm Hungry! Tengo Hambre!

I’m Hungry! Tengo Hambre!

By Angela Dominguez

When a bluebird comes upon a dinosaur who’s down in the dumps, he asks what’s wrong.

“¡Tengo hambre!” says the dinosaur. I’m hungry!

Does the dinosaur want a banana?
“¿Plátano? No.”

“¿Pescado? No, gracias.”

Nothing seems to do the trick! What does dinosaur want to eat? This delightful bilingual picture book is about finding just the right food—and just the right friend.

Book Cover of John's Turn

John’s Turn

By Mac Barnett

It's John's big day at school today--a performance for Sharing Gifts time. His bag is carefully packed and prepared, his classmates are ready, and the curtain is waiting to open. John is nervous, looking out at all the other children staring back at him. But he takes a big breath and begins. Mac Barnett's compassionate text and Kate Berube's understated and expressive art tell the story of a kid who finds the courage to show others his talent for dancing.

Book cover of Like


By Annie Barrows

A colorful, witty reminder to young readers that even though human beings have a lot of differences, we have many more things in common. With simple, funny language that teaches compassion, this story of contrasts recognizes the variety in people's looks, skills, and abilities, and encourages readers to see the fun and camaraderie in shared traits.

Cover of Little Good Wolf

Little Good Wolf

By Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel

Little Good Wolf does not fit in with his family. No matter what Papa Wolf and Mama Wolf try, he is always cleaning his room or even playing with piggies! They have no choice but to send him to Bad School to learn to be a big, bad wolf.

But Little Good Wolf's teachers think he's hopeless, too. Wicked Stepmother cannot get him to be selfish, and Mr. Troll cannot teach him how to be rude. Will he ever be BAD enough? Or just maybe, there is a way to be a wolf while being GOOD?

Book Cover of LOU


By Breanna Carzoo

As a fire hydrant, Lou thinks he has a less than desirable role in society. Lou gets a lot of visitors but even though they don't stay for long, they usually leave a lasting impression. But what happens when a fire breaks out and the neighborhood is in need of help? Lou finds out he's more than what's been left on his surface.

Book Cover of Mary Had a Little Plan

Mary Had a Little Plan

By Tammi Sauer

Fashion-forward Mary is known for adding flair everywhere she goes. When she spots an abandoned lot in her neighborhood, Mary knows she can use her stylish talent to spruce it up. Soon she's rallying neighborhood shops and calling on her friends to help. With Mary leading the way, this group carries out her little plan that has a big impact on her community!

Book cover of Out of a Jar

Out of a Jar

By Deborah Marcero

Llewellyn does not like to feel afraid or sad, angry, lonely, or embarrassed. And so he comes up with a brilliant plan: he tucks each of his feelings into jars and hides them away where they won't bother him anymore. But when he gets in trouble in class, Llewellyn finds he needs to put away excitement too. And when joy is quickly followed by disappointment, he decides to get rid of joy as well. After a while, Llewellyn walks around not feeling much of anything at all. And what happens when his emotions refuse to be bottled up any longer? Llewellyn soon discovers that life is more colorful when he sets his emotions free. And only then, by facing and embracing each of his feelings, is he finally able to let them go.

Book Cover of Pigeon & Cat

Pigeon & Cat

By Edward Hemingway

One day, Cat discovers an unbroken egg too beautiful to eat. Soon, out pecks Pigeon, and they become fast friends. Cat is happy to share his box with Pigeon. But when Pigeon flies far away from where they live, Cat must brave the city in order to rescue his friend.

Book Cover of The World Belonged to Us

The World Belonged to Us

By Jacqueline Woodson

It's getting hot outside, hot enough to turn on the hydrants and run through the water--and that means it's finally summer in the city! Released from school and reveling in their freedom, the kids on one Brooklyn block take advantage of everything summertime has to offer. Freedom from morning till night to go out to meet their friends and make the streets their playground--jumping double Dutch, playing tag and hide-and-seek, building forts, chasing ice cream trucks, and best of all, believing anything is possible. That is, till their moms call them home for dinner. But not to worry--they know there is always tomorrow to do it all over again--because the block belongs to them and they rule their world.

Book Cover of Tiny Dino

Tiny Dino

By Deborah Freedman

A small but mighty bird declares it is a dinosaur! But no one believes that dinosaurs still exist. How can it be a dinosaur when it is so little? Dinosaurs didn’t have feathers . . . or did they? This tiny dino is here to explain to its animal friends that birds are, in fact, dinosaurs, and all creatures are connected to one big animal family.

Book Cover of When the Sky Glows

When the Sky Glows

By Nell Cross Beckerman

Uncover the science behind the beautiful and vast array of natural events that make the sky glow all over the world in this enlightening nonfiction picture book.

Book Cover of Yoshi and the Ocean: A Sea Turtle’s Incredible Journey Home

Yoshi and the Ocean: A Sea Turtle’s Incredible Journey Home

By Lindsay Moore

the remarkable true story of Yoshi, a loggerhead sea turtle who traveled an astounding 25,000 miles after being released from the aquarium that rehabilitated her. Informational and awe-inspiring, Yoshi and the Ocean is a gorgeous picture book about patience, perseverance, the ocean, and finding your way home. A transformative story about the incredible journeys animals make and the interconnectedness of the natural world.