The Gittle List 2014: Best Self-published Children’s Picture Books will be open for submissions soon. Follow me on Twitter @AvivaGittle and sign up for the Gittle newsletter to keep current on this year’s contest that celebrates your books!
For The Gittle List 2013: Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books, over a 100 books were considered. A few books deserved an honorable mention. Some covered important topics, had interesting illustrations or — in one case — a very different twist on a classic holiday tale. The last “Honorable Mention” category is “Unique Writing Team.” Here they are by category, but in no particular order.
The Twist on a Classic Tale
Okay, Santa: Just when you thought you had heard it all! A Johnny Bugeyes Christmas, written by Johnny Breeze, illustrated by Dallin Hawes, will delight adults and children alike. However, preview the story before you read it to the little ones. Its humor is somewhere between Pixar and South Park.
The Important Topic
Hailey’s Dream written by Jennifer Kuhns, illustrated by Patty Burgi Sneed – a girl in a wheelchair experiences the freedom of being a mermaid.
Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept written by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Craig Smith – a book that helps you broach the difficult subject of sexual abuse. The story lets your child know that it’s okay to tell.
ABC Adoption & Me written by Gayle Swift, illustrated by Paul Griffin – an upbeat book that can help you talk about adoption to your child. Ms. Swift recognizes that sometimes a child will be confused about being adopted — and that it’s okay.
Mixed Me written by Tiffany Catledge, illustrated by Anissa Riviere – a girl shares her feelings, in a positive way, about being of “mixed” race (in this case, a child of a white mother and a black father).
Still a Family written by Sandy Lanton, illustrated by June H. Blair – about a family going through divorce.
Free The Sugar Bugz written by Susanna Mosli, illustrated by Louise Liang – apparently I’m not the only child who spent more time “staging” the tooth-brushing scene than actually brushing my teeth.
Trap the Elf Anytime of Year, written and illustrated by Susan Oppelt – I’m not sure how Ms. Oppelt crafted these illustrations, but they are fascinating. Also love the “Trap the Elf” blue prints. Hey, you just have to go see it!
The Fuzzy Fella, written and illustrated by Natascha Rosina Taylor – it’s probably because I’m a fan of modern art, but Ms. Taylor’s illustrations are funky and fun. She should consider making a line of note cards with several of the drawings here. Amazon (USA) is showing the book as out of print. A Google search revealed it may be available in other countries. I will contact the author for information on where to buy it.
Unique Writing Teams
Natalie Dow teamed up with her 7-year-old daughter to write I need Movement!. The book describes how a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) needs to move in order to concentrate. It would be helpful if Ms. Dow included a brief description of the disorder inside the book and a link to more information. (At least the PDF copy she provided to me did not have this.)
Most of these wonderful children’s books are available on Amazon. (If you originate your purchase from this post by clicking on the book’s cover or book title link, I will get a small commission; I and my accountant thank you.)