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Top 10 Circulated Picture Books of 2016

Top 10 Picture Books

I know I made everyone jealous with my teacher’s lounge snacks in my last post.

Top 10 Circulated Graphic Novels of 2016

Allow me to turn the screws a bit more. I walked into the lounge this morning and saw this glorious sight:

Cheetos Crate

Yep – crate full of Cheetos.

But enough with the important stuff – let’s get to the fluff. The most popular picture books of 2016 in my K-4 school library.

Epic Yarns

10. Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back by Jack and Holman Wang

We don’t add many board books to the collection, but when we do, we make sure they have hand-made felted Star Wars characters.

Nighttime Ninja

9. Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young

You’ve heard me ramble on about this book before. It’s the perfect combination of subject matter, spare text, and a cover with big eyes looking at you – don’t underestimate a cover that has big eyes looking at you. See also:



See? It works.

Day the Crayons Quit

8. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Has this book swept all 50 state book awards yet? It won ours in Michigan and every time I turn around it’s taking home another prize: Blue Bonnet, Red Iris, Orange Chrysanthemum (I’m just making up state book award names now). It has maintained it’s popularity at my school as well. I can’t fully tell you how funny kids find this book.

Frozen Little Golden Book

7. Frozen by Victoria Saxon

I could go on a tirade about how every Little Golden Book seems to be a film tie-in these days, but I’m not in a grumpy mood. I’m in a “hey, I’m glad we have something to offer that kids are digging” mood. Oddly specific mood.


It won’t be found on any mood chart that I’m aware of, but that’s where I’m at.


6. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Why has this book been such a hit in my library? Hm. Well, the story seems to be one that connects with readers. Santat’s illustrations are as appealing as ever. Also, the Caldecott Medal doesn’t hurt at my school, where we talk about such things as being cool.

Scaredy Halloween

5. Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies by Mélanie Watt

These Scaredy Squirrel guides are probably the most popular of all the S.S. books at my school. And this one most of all.


Mix it up

4. Mix it Up! by Hervé Tullet

Tullet’s Press Here Trilogy has really caught on this year in my school. I think kids dig the playfulness, and that they can join in the action. They join in hard:

Mix It Up Broken

(I’ll get right on this job, Mr. Tullet)


3. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

The power of an author visit! Bob Shea visited my school district a couple months back and his books have been getting read like crazy.


2. Frozen by Bill Scollon

See, this is how you know I didn’t tamper with this list – the second appearance of Frozen. I should say here that I think Frozen is great. I am no Frozen hater.

Pete the Cat Bedtime Blues

1. Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues by Kim Dean, illustrated by James Dean

Ho-HO – you thought you wouldn’t see Pete this year, didn’t you? This is how Pete rolls nowadays – the guy doesn’t get out of bed for anything less than the top slot.

More Top 10 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.


  1. “The Day the Crayons Quit” just won the Primary level the Golden Sower Award, the state book award for Nebraska!

  2. Checked circ stats for my library – top 10 Easies (11 because of ties):
    Mix It Up
    The Day the Crayons Quit
    Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth
    LEGO Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
    The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! – tied with:
    The Pigeon Needs a Bath – and:
    Press Here
    Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library! – tied with:
    The Adventures of Beekle
    There Is a Bird On Your Head – tied with:
    Waiting Is Not Easy