Lissa linked to this list somewhere or other last week. I excitedly clicked over because I love beautifully illustrated picture books. Alas, none of my favorites were on the list, so I decided to write my own! These might not be the most artistically sophisticated, but we treasure every one (and so many more).
Ox-Cart Man - Tops the list. We love every picture.
Children of the Forest - It's hard to say which Elsa Beskow is our favorite. Really, her books could occupy all ten spots on this list. Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip is probably tied for first, only edged out because Children of the Forest was our introduction to Beskow.
Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way - This was our first Smithsonian Backyard Book, all of which are beautifully illustrated, and our introduction to the world of Monarch butterflies. The artist nailed the Morning Glories - and everything else as well.
Sky Tree - I think some of Thomas Locker's illustrations can border on overly sweet, but this one is simple and he captures the light of each season so well. We linger over each page and each choose our favorite tree.
Oliver Finds His Way - Fall is beautiful in Texas, but not in a hit-you-over-the-head Norman Rockwell kind of way. Oliver Finds His Way is concentrated autumn - earthy, rich, and cozy.
A New Coat for Anna - These illustrations are almost childlike, but smooth, cohesive, and detailed.
A Farmer's Alphabet / A Gardener's Alphabet. I caught a biography on Mary Azarian on an old Martha Stewart during my first year as a mother. Thankfully, my sister caught the show as well and sent me A Gardener's Alphabet. The illustrations in both books have a a quiet humor. We can look at the pictures for ages, just imagining the skill that goes into carving each woodcut print.
This Land is Your Land - I am drawn to folk art and these illustrations are so beautiful they literally made us gasp.
The Little House Picture Books - These are just sweet, homey, and comfortable. I was so nauseated by some of the descriptions in Little House in the Big Woods that, if not for these picture books, we would have bypassed Little House entirely. I want to be in that room!
In November - These illustrations capture the quiet beauty of the month so nicely - especially the last page.
The Bunny Who Found Easter is on the list too but I can't find it to add a photo!
I'd love to hear about your favorites but I'm not going to ask because asking for reader contributions is the only guaranteed way to have no one comment at all. But if you feel so inclined....