During the course of one year, the library receives many wonderful picture books. So, I want to highlights some of the items that you may have missed during 2012. I will be continuing this process during the next few weeks. If you had a new favorite, please post a comment below to share with others.
Gem Holly Hobbie.
Look carefully. There may be a gem in your garden. For nearly four decades, watercolorist Holly Hobbie has drawn inspiration from the wonders of nature. During one especially hard winter, she found herself imagining the story of a determined toad's spring journey. Her vivid depiction of this endearing creature's glorious yet fragile world is a sparkling celebration of survival and renewal. From the muddy brown road outside a farmhouse to the sweet-smelling garden to the cool lily pads in the pond, readers will feel their senses rejuvenated by Holly Hobbie's gemlike, detailed paintings in this nearly wordless work.
Puss in Boots Jerry Pinkney.
Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney brings a beloved fairy tale to new life Jerry Pinkney, one of the country's most celebrated picture book creators, is a master at reimagining classic tales. Now he has turned his talents to Puss in Boots , and he is at his best with this lively, cinematic version. For generations, children have delighted in the tale of the clever cat who tricks both a king and a sorcerer in order to win a castle and a princess for his penniless master. The humor, the magic, and a lush Renaissance setting are all on glorious display, and a well-placed gatefold adds to the drama. This elegant new edition of Perrault's fairy tale will quickly join the list of essentials for every child's library.
Island: a Story of the Galápagos Jason Chin.
Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain? Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist Jason Chin is an epic saga of the life of an island; born of fire, rising to greatness, its decline, and finally the emergence of life on new islands.
Each Kindness  Jacqueline Woodson
Each kindness makes the world a little better Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different, she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya. This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side  (a personal favorite), and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon . With its powerful message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.
Mossy Jan Brett
Who will help Mossy return home to Lilypad Pond? Mossy, an amazing turtle with a gorgeous garden growing on her shell, loses her freedom when Dr. Carolina, a biologist, takes her to live in her Edwardian museum. Visitors flock to see Mossy, but it is Dr. Carolina's niece, Tory, who notices how sad Mossy is living in a viewing pavilion. She misses the outdoors and her friend, Scoot. Dr. Carolina finds a way to keep the spirit of Mossy alive at the museum. She invites Flora and Fauna to paint Mossy's portrait. Then she and Tory take Mossy home, where Scoot is waiting for her. Jan Brett fans will pore over the colorful paintings of Lilypad Pond and lush borders displaying wildflowers, ferns, butterflies and birds in contrast to elegant spreads of the museum filled with visitors in stylish Edwardian dress and exquisite borders of shells, rocks, crystals and birds' eggs. MOSSY gives readers a fascinating look at nature in the wild and on display in a natural history museum.
Bear Has a Story to Tell  Philip C. Stead
It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell... Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story? This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead's last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee , winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.