The Best of 2012, Our Top 21 Favorite Children’s Books from this Past Year

Okay, the blog post title is a bit dramatic. This list is certainly not all-encompassing. There were many other books we loved in 2012, and we probably forgot a few other favorites that we should have included here. Nonetheless…

If you follow Lookio Books on Twitter, for the past few days we’ve been tweeting our 21 favorite children’s picture books from 2012. Here we’ve compiled the list and tweets (with some minor editing) into one nice, neat package. Each has a link to purchase from our favorite bookstore – Book Cellar in Chicago. If you want to buy one of these books, order from  Book Cellar and support an amazing local business.

No, of course we did not include any of our own Lookio books on this list. That would be super lame. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t proud of the work we accomplished with the launch of three books of our own in 2012. So please do check out our personalized, custom books for kids and support another small business who would greatly appreciate your patronage!

Here’s our top 21 favorite children’s books of 2012, in no particular order:

William Joyce's picture book "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" is as good as his Oscar-winning short film.

"Hang Glider & Mud Mask" from @mcsweeneys, with two covers, kept us reading in circles. Awesome!

Henry Cole's "Unspoken" doesn't need a single word to tell a powerful and touching Civil War story.

"Green" by @lauravseeger is a beautiful and cool look at a color. We're hoping for a series.

A vegetarian sasquatch seeks out a buddy in "Larf" by @ashleyspires. Lots of great wit.

Loved "The Insomniacs" by @wolfandfox and @BrothersHilts. Best work happens after midnight.

"I, Too, Am America" by Langston Hughes and Bryan Collier. Stunning art + poetic genius = a must see.

Bobo and Earl are back in Eileen and Marc Rosenthal's "I'll Save You Bobo". Gotta love poor Earl.

Being different is all good in "The Hueys in the New Sweater" by @OliverJeffers.

Color flies off the page in "Chloe, Instead" by @MicahPlayer. A sweet story with a sweet ending.

Our son is obsessed with the moon, just like the girl in Naoko Stoop's "Red Knit Cap Girl". Love this tale!

No words needed in the gorgeous "The Island" by Marije and Ronald Tolman. Do Polar bears dream?

Team Emberley is back with another little slice of sweetness in "The Ant and the Grasshopper".

Kali finds an unexpected use for his bow in "Kali's Song" by Jeanette Winters.

How great is a boy feeding applesauce to a powered-down robot? "Boy + Bot" = gem.

Another hat thieved in "This is Not My Hat" by Jon Klassen. Worthy follow-up to his 2011 gem.

Something meta and cool is going on in Kate Banks "The Bear in the Book". Read it, you'll see.

We are thankful for everything from @toddparr, including 2012's "The Thankful Book".

The limericks pop in @MargaretMahy's charming "The Man from the Land of Fandango".

A girl comforts Honest Abe's ghost in "Abe Lincoln's Dream". Another Lane Smith gem.

You can't get much better than "This Moose Belongs to Me" by @OliverJeffers. So awesome.