This review contains spoilers for various picture books.
Full disclosure: I actually read these in the final days of 2015. But they're being reviewed in 2016, so I think it's perfectly reasonable to put them under the umbrella of 2016 regardless.
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman
This was an adorable and genuinely funny story about a baby wolf who is adopted by a rabbit family. His elder sister is convinced he's a threat, but she just can't get her parents to believe that he's going to "eat them all up". The scene that brings the two siblings together, though, is the real gem.
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
The illustrations are utterly adorable and ridiculous, and so was the story. It fits perfectly in a world of children who love the quirky humor and art of shows like Adventure Time and Gravity Falls--and since those shows have such a huge periphery demographic, I think that alone implies that (young) adults will get a kick out of reading this with their kids, too.
Honestly, the whole thing is spectacular, and I love it.
This Is Sadie by Sara O'Leary
Yeah, I don't get the hype for this one. It's just a girl with an imagination. Straightforward and simple, and while I appreciate the bucking of gender stereotypes, that's really all it had to offer.
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
In the sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit, Duncan gets a series of postcards from his various crayons. They've all being doing interesting and amusing things… and I just can't be fucked to care about this anymore than I did about The Day the Crayons Quit.
It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, and there's some genuinely endearing bits here… but apparently I just don't like anthropomorphic crayons. That's a weird foible to have, I'll readily admit, but it looks like that's just the way things are working out. Alas. No more crayon books for me, please.
Mesmerized by Mara Rockliff
I love this one! It's definitely one of my best books of 2015! It uses the story of Dr. Mesmer to teach children about the scientific method and the placebo effect, and that's fucking awesome.
I seriously cannot recommend this enough; I've never seen a better educational picture book. (...said with sincerest apologies to my beloved Magic School Bus series.)