2021-2022 Picture Book List

VA READS Picture Book Selections 21-22

Cannonball by Sacha Cotter. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.  (9781728217567)

A Maori boy learns to listen to his own voice and finds his courage to make the perfect cannonball after many failed attempts thanks to advice from his Nan.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going by Simran Jeet Singh. Kokila. (9780525555094)

In this biography about Fauja Singh, readers learn he ran his first marathon at age 89 and then kept on running.  He did not let naysayers or racist words deter him from running marathons.

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey. Chronicle Books. (9781452167916)

Henry, who is on the autism spectrum, is looking for the perfect friend.  He wants one who isn’t too loud, who shares and plays by the rules.

Layla’s Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie. Enchanted Lion Books. (9781592702886)

Told in a poetic style, Layla’s going to tell you what happiness is for her, what is happiness for you?

Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez. Charlesbridge. (9781580898157)

It’s not a jumping bean, it’s a caterpillar inside a seed.  Learn to count to ten in Spanish along with following the metamorphosis of larva to caterpillar to moth.

Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin. HarperCollins. (9780062798602)

Tameika is excited to audition for the part of Snow White until she overhears her classmates saying she is too brown, too tall and too chubby.

Nana Akua Goes to School by  Tricia Elam Walker. Schwartz & Wade. (9780525581130)

Zura is bringing her beloved grandmother, Nana Akua to school for Grandparents Day. She is worried what her classmates will think when they see the tribal marks on her nana’s face.

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho. Kokila. (9781984814869)

In this historical fiction tale about the Korean Haenyeo from Jeju, Grandma takes Dayeon on her first dive in the ocean.  Daeon is fearful but excited.


Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry. HMH Books for Young Readers. (9780544707375)

An old fisherman lives next door to a young girl and her granny.  The young girl and the sea are not deterred by the old fisherman’s grumpiness and a friendship grows.

Ready to Fly How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina by Lea Lyon and Alexandria LaFaye. HarperCollins. (9780062888785) 

Sylvia Townsend learned about ballet using books she checked out from the bookmobile.  She was initially rejected from ballet schools due to her skin color, but didn’t let that stop her.