Young Hoosier Book Award 2024–2025: 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 2024–2025 Picture Book nominees! Recommended for ages 5–8.

Compiled by:
Jon S.
100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli

David LaRochelle
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lar)

In the high mountains live 100 awesome dragons all named...Broccoli? Discover what happens to all of these dragons while counting who’s left until the final dragon and the terrifically funny end!

Bathe the Cat

Alice B. McGinty
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mcg)

The cat hates getting baths and does anything to escape his determined family. Rather than spending cleaning day cleaning, they must find a way to catch the cat for his bath!

Best Brother Ever

Janee Trasler
(Juvenile Early Readers - ER Tra)
Series: Figgy & Boone

In this easy reader, Figgy the mouse and Boone the rat learn that family can sometimes be found in the most surprising places.

Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme

Avery Monsen
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mon)

Chester LOVES to rhyme, but one morning, he wakes up forgetting how! No dogs on logs, or snails with mail. Follow along as Chester learns it's okay to not always be at your best.

Don't Eat Bees!

Dev Petty
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pet)

Chip the dog (who’s seven and knows things) gives life advice to fellow canines—like don’t eat bees!

I Cannot Draw a Horse

Charise Mericle Harper
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Har)

This cat really wants a horse, however, the book can’t draw a horse—it can only draw a squirrel, beaver, or bunny. How will the cat get its horse?!


Van G. Garrett
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Gar)

If you love shoes, read on! This book celebrates sneakers of all types and the words we use to describe the best of the best!

Knight Owl

Christopher Denise
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Den)

A clever owl who achieves his dream of becoming an actual knight helps solve a mystery at the castle.

Pick Me!

Max Amato
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ama)

Five funny ice cream cone flavors want to be the one chosen until they find out what being chosen means!

Pigeon and Cat

Edward Hemingway
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Hem)

When Cat stumbles upon a beautiful unbroken egg, he decides not eat it, and soon, out pops Pigeon. The unlikely pair become friends until Pigeon flies away. Cat becomes lonely and goes searching for his friend whom he must rescue and bring home.

Poopsie Gets Lost

Hannah E. Harrison
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Har)

A nosy narrator convinces Poopsie the cat to be more adventurous by exploring outside her backyard. Will she find her way back home?

Punky Aloha

Shar Tuiasoa
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Tui)

Punky loves doing new things, except going out and meeting new people. So when Grandma asks her to go and get butter to make her famous banana bread, will Punky have the courage to do it?

Rick the Rock of Room 214

Julie Falatko
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Fal)

Rick, a rock found on the playground, becomes a fixture on the nature shelf in Room 214. One day, he learns what adventurous lives rocks can have and decides to explore the possibilities. Will he decide to stay in Room 214?

A Spoonful of Frogs

Casey Lyall
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lya)

A witch finds a recipe with frogs as the main ingredient. But catching the frogs is a whole other problem! Find out what she tries in her quest to make her favorite food!

Watch Out for the Lion

Brooke Hartman
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Har)

This book warns readers about a ferocious lion it has seen that could turn you into a cheeseburger, however, it also allows you to face your greatest fears and find the humor in them.

Wombat Underground

Sarah Thomson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Tho)

Wombat watches helplessly as his Australian forest is engulfed by flames. This story shares the surprisingly true tale of how wombats actually ended up sharing their homes with other animals looking for a safe haven from the 2019–2020 Australian wildfires.

Yetis Are the Worst!

Alex Willan
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wil)

Gilbert the Goblin is determined to prove how horrible Yetis are....if he can find one! How hard can that be?