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Top 10 Circulated Picture Books of 2018

Top 10 Picture Books


Sidewalks are getting chalked, folks. You know what that means – the end of the school year is coming. Time to see which books got checked out the most in our K-4 school library. First up, the ten most popular picture books.


10. Mix it Up! by Hervé Tullet

All the paint books by Herve Tullet continue to get a bunch of check outs in our library. And, in general, I’m not pushy about them – kids are finding them on their own and loving them.


9. Tek: The Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell

This was the second most asked about picture book in our library this year (#1 is further down the list). I’d guess that the design of this book added to the appeal – students were fascinated by a book that looked like a piece of technology (which happens to contain a story about the hazards of too much tech).


8. Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by Kimberly and James Dean

If there’s a top ten list of popular picture books, there will be Pete.

Peter Rabbit

7. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The old movie boost in action. Students frequently check out our Beatrix Potter books (due in large part to their tiny size) but this one had an additional bump this year. Too bad the movie didn’t do the book proud.

Monsters Go Night Night

6. Monsters Go Night-Night by Aaron Zenz

Aaron Zenz visited our school last year, and the popularity of this book is still going strong. If you haven’t read this aloud to students yet, you should.

Look! Cover

5. LOOK! by Édouard Manceau

I really love that this book is on the most checked out list. It’s such a fun book. Part viewfinder, part delightful tactile experience, this is a book that gained popularity via word of mouth. There were a lot of “Can I check out the book (student) had last week?” requests.

Pete the Cat Cupcakes

4. Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by Kimberly and James Dean

When two popular things get together, the result is bound to be popular.


3. Monster Trucks by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg

It’s so clear why this book is on the list:

  • Great title
  • Great cover
  • Great illustrations
  • Great story

It’s really just so simple. So simple!! People who make picture books! Follow the above steps very closely and you can expect the same level of reader adoration (you’re picking up on my sarcasm, right?).

Creepy Underwear

2. Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown

While this book ended up in the number two slot, it was by far the most asked for book in our school library this year. It also helped buoy its predecessor, Creepy Carrots to a ton of checkouts as well.


1. Words by Christoph Niemann

Not surprised. Not at all. I knew this would happen. It has a great cover, sure, but the irresistible part is the 352 pages. It’s by far the longest book in our picture book section, and kindergarteners would walk around with this thing like a badge of honor. And one that many of them could read themselves as well.

More top ten circulated lists coming soon . . .

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.