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By Christopher Benson,
Public Service Assistant - Floater

I always enjoy picture books, and I read many wonderful titles this year! These are my favorites of 2021:


Anthony and the Gargoyle book cover

Anthony and the Gargoyle by Jo Ellen Bogart.
After a boy’s favorite rock hatches into a gargoyle, he tries to find a place where it belongs. The book is wordless and contains gorgeous illustrations of famous Parisian landmarks.

Every little kindness book cover

Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj.
Another wordless tale, this one follows various villagers as they help each other throughout the day, starting with a woman searching for her lost dog. A positive message for community support!

How to make a friend

How to Make a Friend by Stephen W. Martin.
A girl attempts to make friends via robotics, but things do not go as planned. I loved the contrast between the simple text and grandiose illustrations.

Sweater weather book cover

Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan.
A bear family attempts to put on sweaters to play in the snow, but it does not go smoothly. Adorable illustrations and almost, but not entirely, wordless.

The Dog Walk book cover

The Dog Walk by Sven Nordqvist.
Less of a story and more of an art exhibition. It ostensibly follows a child taking their dog on a walk but devolves into absurdist locales and events. There are thousands of details to notice. Wordless.

Vampenguin book cover

Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins.
When a vampire family visits the zoo, the youngest swaps places with a penguin. The text and illustrations are at complete odds. .

Despite production difficulties and supply chain issues, 2021 still produced some great content. We asked ASCPL staff to share their personal “Best of” lists from this past year, and they responded enthusiastically. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the “best” picture books, cookbooks, pop music, movies, and more, according to the experts on staff here at ASCPL. Click on any image above to reserve the item in our catalog. Enjoy!