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March Madness For Picture Books

March Madness for Picture Books

How about a little March Madness for picture book fans? Yeah, I thought it would be fun too, so welcome to the first-ever 12 x 12 March Picture Book Madness!

It is important for writers to read contemporary picture books, so I chose books for the brackets that were all published within the past calendar year. I did NOT choose any 12 x 12 member books because: 1) there are too many of you! and 2) I didn’t want any competition, however friendly, in the group. (To see 12 x 12 member published books, click here).

Here’s how the contest will work. Everyone is welcome to follow along here on the blog, but voting is restricted to 12 x 12 members (Not a member yet? Join 880 of your picture book writing peers, but hurry! Tomorrow, February 28th, is the deadline to join for 2017).

The voting for each round will take place on the 12 x 12 Facebook group. Discussions about the books and rationale for voting one way or the other will be held on the 12 x 12 Forum. Once the voting is complete for each round, I will post the winners here on the blog along with some analysis from our discussions. At that time, I’ll launch the next round.

The rough schedule is as follows:

Round 1 Reading: Now – March 13

Round 1 Voting: March 10 – 13

Round 2 Launch: March 14

Round 2 Reading: March 14 – 19

Round 2 Voting: March 17 – 19

Launch Round 3: March 20

Round 3 Reading: March 20 – 25

Round 3 Voting: March 24 – 26

Launch Round 4: March 27

Round 4 Reading: March 27 – 30

Round 4 Voting: March 29  – 30

Winner Announced! March 31

To vote on any bracket, you MUST read both books in that bracket. If you’ve only read one (or none), just skip voting for that bracket. Here are the first round books and brackets in case you can’t see them on the image.


Best Frints in the Whole Universe, by Antoinette Portis

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat


This is Not a Picture Book, by Sergio Ruzzier

The Journey, by Francesca Sanna


Drum, Dream Girl, by Margarita Engle

The Night Gardener, by the Fan Brothers


One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree, by Daniel Bernstrom

Du Iz Tak, by Carson Ellis


School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex

Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie


Best in Snow, by April Pulley Sayre

The Bear and the Piano, by David Litchfield


We Found a Hat, by Jon Klassen

Chicken in Space, by Adam Lerhaupt


Pink is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

Ready, Set, READ!

This Post Has 10 Comments
    1. Hi Trine,

      You’ll be able to participate in the discussions of the books on the Forum, but FB has a built-in poll system that will make voting tons easier. Want to join us in FB? It’s not scary, I promise. 🙂

  1. I wasn’t able to get all of these from my library but I was able to get many of the other books mentioned in ReFoReMo. My plan is to read one a day with my 10th graders, to see who emerges the winner. We started today with Penguin Problems by Jory John, and it was a quick hit.

  2. I Iive in China and have very limited access to picture books, just the school library. Will see if they have any on the list but if they’re published in the last year I doubt it : (

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