Young Hoosier Book Award 2023-2024: Picture Books

The Young Hoosier Book Award Program encourages self-selected reading among elementary and middle school/junior high students. Teachers, librarians, and students from all across Indiana vote on their favorite recent books. This program is run by the Indiana Library Federation (ILF).

Check out the list of the 2023–2024 Picture Book nominees! Recommended for ages 5–8.

Compiled by:
Jon S.
Brains! Not Just a Zombie Snack

Stacy McAnulty
J 612.82 Mca

Delicious brains! A zombie chef struggles with not eating her favorite food—brains! Along the way, she learns all about our most important wrinkly organ.

Chez Bob

Bob Shea
Ej She

Now open: Bob the alligator’s new restaurant! There’s only one catch—it's located on his snout! Can the birdies resist visiting this new dining experience, or, can Bob resist them?

Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter

Jamie Michalak
Ej Mic

Dakota is a mouse living in a museum who searches for treasures each night. Follow her adventures as she collects treasures for her own museum!

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

Joanna Ho
Ej Ho

A young Asian girl notices her eyes don’t look like her friends. That’s when she discovers how special her eyes really are.

Hornswoggled! A Wacky Words Whodunit

Josh Crute
Ej Cru

Imagine waking up and discovering that part of you has been switched with something silly! Join Deer and his friends as they discover how they were.

Invasion of the Unicorns

David Biedrzycki
Ej Bie

An alien unicorn, Bubble07, is given an important mission on Earth—should he and his fellow unicorns invade? To decide he poses as a stuffed animal in a young Earthling Daughter’s home.

Kick Push

Frank Morrison
Ej Mor

Skateboard fanatic Epic must find his way around his new neighborhood to make new friends. He discovers the secret is to just be YOU!

The Leaf Thief

Alice Hemming
Ej Hem

Uh-oh! What happened to Squirrel’s beautiful leafy tree? Who could be stealing his leaves?

The Midnight Fair

Gideon Sterer
Ej Ste

Just outside the city is a fairground. After everyone has left for the night, the animals take their turns having fun!

The Mysterious Sea Bunny

Peter Raymundo
J 594.32 Ray

Look at this one inch long sea slug species as it crawls slowly across the ocean floor. Learn some amazing facts, like how it can crawl upside down and how it protects itself from predators.

Norman Didn't Do It (Yes, He Did)

Ryan Higgins
Ej Hig

Norman the porcupine and Mildred the tree are best friends until one day the unexpected happens. What did Norman do?

Not Enough Lollipops

Megan Maynor
Ej May

When Alice won an enormous basket of lollipops, she was so excited! Then, came the decision of how to share them. Oh no!

Princesses Versus Dinosaurs

Linda Bailey
Ej Bai

Princess book? Dinosaur book? What kind of book is this? Will the princesses and dinosaurs ever decide?

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog

David LaRochelle
J-ER Lar
Series: See the Cat

This is Max the dog. Max is NOT a cat! So why does the book keep telling readers to “see the cat”? These three stories show how bothered Max really is.

A Sky-Blue Bench

Bahram Rahman
Ej Rah

In her old school, Aria had a bench to sit on. Now she must sit on the floor which makes her leg hurt. Using her ingenuity, she resolves to have a bench again.

Something's Wrong! A Bear, A Hare and Some Underwear

Jory John
Ej Joh

Jeff the bear knows there’s something wrong—he just can’t figure out what people are talking about until his BFF Anders the rabbit clues him in.

There's a Ghost in This House

Oliver Jeffers
Ej Jef

The girl who lives here has never seen a ghost. What do they look like? White with holes for eyes? Can you even see them? Turn the pages as you help her search her haunted house for them.

Tiny Tales: Shell Quest

Steph Waldo
J-ER Wal
Series: Tiny Tales

Wanting to fit in, a little slug goes on a quest to find a shell like the others. How difficult can it be to just be like everyone else?

The Very True Legend of the Mongolian Death Worms

Sandra Fay
Ej Fay

Bigfoo, Chupacabra, and Mongolian Death Worms? Is it true that Beverly, Trevor, Neville, and Kevin are really deadly creatures?

The Witchling's Wish

Lu Fraser
Ej Fra

When a young witch discovers the spell for a true friend requires the fur of a teddy bear, how will she convince Lilly to give up her bear?