It’s when I make lists like this that I realise how many books I read each year. It makes me deeply conscious of how privileged I am to be able to devote so much time each year to reading. Year after year, I read more books. More often than not, I don’t buy them – it’s impossible to buy every book I want to read – but libraries, online platforms like StoryWeaver, Kindle Unlimited … These are a great source of stories. Many of these stories were not published in 2018; they’re just books I read last year. It was difficult to make this list, but here goes, in no particular order …
Author: Swati Shome
Illustrator: Sayan Mukherjee
When a lion walks into a salon for a haircut, what happens? Here’s a story that shows you why lions don’t go for haircuts! I enjoyed it tremendously.
Author and illustrator: Rajiv Eipe
This was the book that made me fall in love with Rajiv Eipe’s wonderful illustrations! How can you not love Ammachi in this crazy, fun story?
May I also sneak into this list another one by Rajiv Eipe that I loved? It’s called Anand. Read it!
Author: Sowmya Rajendran
Illustrator: Debasmita Dasgupta
I adore stories with powerful female characters! This is a picture-book that I see myself reading and re-reading ad infinitum!
Author: Bridget Krone
Illustrator: Heidel Dedekind
This book completely justifies for me the idea of waiting until 2019 before making a list of my favourite picture books of 2018 – I read this in the very last week of 2018! A wordless picture book, this adorable story is as simple, straightforward and funny as it gets. I love stories featuring independent little girls!
Author: Maegan Dobson Sippy
Illustrator: Jayesh Sivan
When Farida fills her tiffing box with broken biscuits, uncooked rice and squashed tomatoes, what exactly does she have in mind? I had a smile on my face and wonder in my eyes right through this lovely story!
Author and illustrator: Michael Foreman
This is a story I’ve read and reread more times than I can count, and I intend to keep doing so. Whether I read it with adults or children, it never fails to entertain, and that is the hallmark of the best kind of picture book.
Author and illustrator: David Barrow
I reviewed this book earlier this year, but it’s well worth remembering because of what a fun story it is. Look at the cover! I’m sure you can imagine what the book is about! I don’t see elephant anywhere; do you?
Author: Jeanne Willis
Illustrator: Tony Ross
As I recall another book that I reviewed earlier this year, I realise (again) that I love picture books with animal protagonists. And a boa constrictor makes for a unique lead character! All the presents Boa gets for his birthday are disappointing, but a surprising one turns out to be the best one of all!
Author: John Kelly
Illustrator: Steph Laberis
A sweet picture book about fitting in – and once more, with animal protagonists. I usually dislike books with overt morals, but the way this one is told, together with the colourful pictures made it the exceptional picture book that taught me a moral in a way that I quite enjoyed.
Author and illustrator: Sir Quentin Blake
Inclusive literature that brings in all kinds of characters are wonderful. Ollie wears round dark glasses. Mario happens to be in a wheelchair. And all five children in this story are amazing. I love this story!