By Carter.

I know it’s not quite the end of the year yet, but I’m already eager to share some of my 2012 favorites. This bunch runs the gamut from sweet and spare to all out wacky, and isn’t that the beauty of the picture book?

1) Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt
Not all dogs love bones. This odd (and adorable) dog loves apples. And he hates the idea of sharing. Stylish pictures and a quirky tale.

2) Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
Everyone knows that dragons love tacos. But if you’re having a party, be very, very careful when adding the spicy salsa!

3) More by I.C. Springman and Brian Lies
A parable about materialism, this beautiful book exercises its own restraint. Sparse words and gorgeous illustrations create a quiet wonder. A magpie, some mice, and a lesson in when enough is enough.

4) The Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer
Hey, who’s in charge of this story? The characters? Or a stubborn pen with a mind of its own? A clever cautionary tale with a hefty dose of artistic inspiration.

5)  Looking At Lincoln by Maira Kalman
Koseli just shared a dear story about hearing Maira Kalman speak, and oh, how much I wish I had been with her!  This book is a history of America’s 16th president, but the vibrant pink color palette weaved in with lesser known facts make it a fresh perspective. Did you know he loved apples and Mozart?

6) Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino
This story of friendship is endearing enough to rival old Frog and Toad. Add in some applesauce, oil cans, and accidental naptimes and ask yourself: is Boy + Bot an instant classic? AFFIRMATIVE.

7) Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes and Sanjay Patel
Oh, the pictures in this book. Eye-catching and alive, and very, very sweet. A loose rendition of a popular Hindu myth joined by a dashing mouse and jawbreaker ladoos!

8) Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
When you see green, don’t you think of life and growth? This gem explores the many kinds of green, asks you to interact with its tactile pages, and will surprise you at every page turn.

9) I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ohi
Leave it to a potato to turn the tables on a kid’s favorite saying. A potato? A potato bored of KIDS? Why not? An ultimate triumph for imagination.

10) The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf and The Brothers Hilts
Ever had a hard time falling asleep, but find yourself in awe of the magical rhythms of the night? Then meet the Insomniacs. The illustrations are as mysterious as the dark, and just as beautiful as the words.

Rough day in the terrible two trenches? Snuggle up with Boy + Bot. Need a gift for that hard to please little one? I’m Bored will surely get you some extra hugs. Tired eyes need a pick me up? Stare at the gorgeous pages of Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth. Hard time falling asleep? Settle in with The Insomniacs. And if you’ve ever wanted to write a different ending to your story, sit a while with The Obstinate Pen.