When Henry was just a baby, I posted about some of our favorite children’s books. Perhaps obviously, at that time, we were solidly in board books, but we have always been a family who reads and our book collection has grown and grown and grown over the years. Currently, my kids are 2 and 5 so, while my 2 year old still enjoys some board books, she’s entering the full-on picture book phase. And my 5 year old, now a self-taught and avid reader, is moving into chapter books, but he still loves a good stack of picture books (doesn’t every kid?). So, while this list cannot possibly be complete, I have compiled it based on both of their shared interests at the present time. In other words, these are books that both kids love to read.
For parents and grandparents trying to grow their own home libraries, here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years of collecting:
- Hardcover books are more expensive, but they are worth the extra money! Hardcover books get read more because the spine is clearly visible on the bookshelf. Softcover books tend to get hidden in the shelves and most don’t even have a spine so the only way to find out what they are is to pull them out and look at the cover. We always read the hardcover ones first because the spine is what my kids see and read when they are picking out stories from the shelves. They also hold up better in overall use so factor in longevity, especially if you plan on having or have more than one child.
- Always check consignment shops for books. They are so cheap (!!) and are usually still in decent to good condition. I know our favorite authors so it’s easy to scan through quickly and see if there are any books that we’d like.
- I keep a list of books we love but we don’t own yet on Amazon where it’s super easy to keep tabs on any sales or price shifts.
- Books are a great reward/incentive instead of toys. We have plenty of toys, but if I have to choose between the two, I’ll any day spend money on books over toys.
- The best way to find your favorite books is to use your library! Books that we keep repeatedly checking out are books that we usually end up buying. We have checked out thousands of books at our local library and we keep finding new favorites every time!
- Lastly, pick and read stories to your kids that include a variety of ethnicities and cultures! The best way to start teaching inclusivity and anti-racism to really young kids is with books that show lead characters in a variety of skin colors, clothing and hair styles, and traditions.
100 of Our Favorite Children’s Books
A Baby Sister for Frances – Frances is always so child-appropriately dramatic. I love it. In this book she has a new baby sister and she’s feeling very forgotten. One morning when there are no raisins for her oatmeal, Mother didn’t have time to iron her favorite dress, and she’s told to not sing so loudly, she decides that “things are not very good around here anymore” and she will run away after dinner that evening. Not to worry, she runs away to beneath the kitchen table where she sings her made-up songs (which are always a riot). I remember reading this as a child and stories that are still clever 30+ years later are extra special to read to my own kids.
A Birthday for Frances – One of the funniest children’s books I’ve ever read. We laugh out loud every time we read it. Also, it’s very accurately describes the sass and hilarity of a child so from an adult perspective, it’s got a lot of hidden gems. Henry really loves when Frances misspells things and I really love that she cannot remember how the gum got into her mouth.
Ada Twist, Scientist – We love Rosie Revere, Iggy Peck, and Ada Twist (the picture books and the chapter books!)! This one is, obviously, about Ada. She’s got a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? It’s inspired by real-life scientists such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, which makes it extra special to my feminism-supporting self.
Adèle & Simon – A beautiful hide-and-seek style of book because Simon loses something on every page. It’s also just a beautiful, sneaky way of introducing a different part of the world to your kids. This book has Adèle & Simon going throughout Paris, but there are two others–Adèle & Simon in America and Adèle & Simon in China–that are also equally interesting!
All the Ways to Be Smart – Oh, how I love this story. It celebrates the many ways for kids to be smart–being empathic, artistic, athletic, and inquisitive. It’s such a wonderful message for kids about self-esteem.
Andrew Henry’s Meadow – Andrew Henry is an inventor and his family doesn’t appreciate his inventions, haha, which take over the house in every way imaginable. He decides to run away and ends up in a meadow, building himself his perfect house. Many other children in the neighborhood feel the same way–alone and unappreciated–and join him, where he builds each of his friends a unique house of their own (the illustrations are so fun!). Obviously, the families in town start to panic about all the missing children and try to find them.
Arthur’s Honey Bear – This was a book that Henry memorized when he was younger and he would spend entire nap times not sleeping, but “reading” this to himself. His favorite part is when Norman rides up on his bicycle and tries out the yoyo that doesn’t yoyo.
Be Still – A great way to introduce a Bible verse to your kids by breaking it down piece by piece. We love all the books in this series!
Blueberries for Sal – An old classic (it was awarded the Caldecott Honor in 1949!), this is about little Sal and her mother going berry picking. Ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk. I love how Robert McCloskey writes sounds. On the other side of the hill, a mama bear and baby bear are also berry picking and they two children (Sal and the bear) get mixed up, surprising both of the mothers.
Book Hog – Greg Pizzoli can always cook up a great story. This one is about a pig who loves books—the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell–and he’ll grab whatever he can find. But he’s got one big old secret.
Boxitects – Meg is an artist. She makes fabulous things out of cardboard boxes. She goes to Maker School to hone her talent for building, but when Simone, another boxitect, arrives they become so competitive they nearly ruin everything. Henry was very inspired to start building with boxes after reading this book.
Bread and Jam for Frances – One of my favorite things about all Frances books is how she makes up little rhyming songs. “Bread and Jam for Frances” is straight out of my childhood and it’s so much fun to now read it to my own kids. Although I feel like I always eat a snack afterwards because the pinpointed descriptions of food makes me hungry. “Jam on biscuits, jam on toast, jam is the thing that I like most.”
Chicken In School – The best part of this is how they use pie to do math.
Children Make Terrible Pets – Lucy! Squeaker!! This book is the cutest! And proof that children are both adorable and terrible. Lucy finds a human (“Squeaker” because he squeaks) and begs her mom to let her keep him. They do everything together but it starts going south when she can’t potty train him and he jumps on the furniture and is generally naughty. In the end, she loses him and finds him at his house with his family. Lucy realizes that he’s better off there and also leans the valuable lesson that “children really do make terrible pets.”
Circle – This book is about Circle and her friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type – This was the first Doreen Cronin book we got (it’s one of many now) and I just fell in love with these negotiating animals. I didn’t realize how ornery duck would become in other Click, Clack books, but clearly he gets his start here with the diving board.
Corduroy – A classic story about a bear in a department store who discovers he has a missing button, goes to find it, and eventually gets a home and a friend. “I think I’ve always wanted a friend.”
Curious George Rides a Bike – Every child should probably have a Curious George book and if you’re going to get them, skip the new versions and go straight to the originals, which are long, winding stories, each one containing several misadventures within. This is one of our favorites, though we do admittedly have the originals collection in one book (that is now falling apart). Our favorite part of this book is where George makes himself a whole fleet of paper boats and we’ve used those instructions a few times to make our own newspaper boats to take to the park and float on the pond.
Dear Boy – Dear Boy, is an open love letter to the special boy in your life. Boys, too, need a gentle reminder that they are cool, clever, compassionate, and one of a kind.
Dear Girl – “Dear Girl, This book is for you. Wonderful, smart, beautiful you. If you ever need a reminder, just turn to any page in this book and know that you are special and you are loved.” This book is a gentle reminder for young girls that they are powerful, strong, and hold a valuable place in the world.
Do Not Wash This Bear – When a dad who is not very good at doing laundry ignores a smelly teddy bear’s “Do not wash” label, a very different Bear comes out of the washing machine. Thankfully, when Mom comes home, she knows just what to do.
Do You See a Mouse? – A MOUSE!!!!! At the Park Snoot Hotel!!! What a scandal! What a calamity! Everyone at the Park Snoot said, “No. No, no, no, there is no mouse here.” But if you look closely, you can find the sneaky mouse on every page. And finally, the hotel owner hires Hyde and Snide “the foremost mouse catchers in all the world” to catch the mouse. They are a regular Laurel and Hardy with their antics and they never ever find the mouse (in plain sight) so they certify–no, double certify–there is no mouse there.
Doctor De Soto – Oh my gosh, I love these brilliant little mice who outfox the fox. Doctor De Soto (a dentist) and his wife (who is also his assistant) treat all kinds of animals, big and small, but never any animals that are enemies of mice (cats, foxes, etc). But when this fox is weeping is pain outside the office, they decide to treat him. The fox is initially very grateful but the temptation gets to be too much and he decides after they fix his tooth, he will eat them. The De Sotos come up with a brilliant plan to keep themselves alive while also finishing the job they started.
Don’t Push the Button! – There’s only one rule in Larry’s book: don’t push the button. (Seriously, don’t even think about it!)
Dragons Love Tacos – Dragons love tacos. They love beef tacos and chicken tacos and big tacos and little tiny tacos. If you want a bunch of dragons to come to your party, serve tacos. (How many? Pantloads. The best way judge the proper amount is “to get a boat and fill the boat with tacos.”) But dragons do NOT love spicy salsa. So what happens at said party when they find the mild salsa that has spicy jalapeño peppers in it? Welllllll, you might have to have the dragons help you build a new house. 🔥 P.S. This book will make you hungry.
Duck On a Bike – A duck on a bike? That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen! But just you wait…
Flight School – This adorable penguin has “the soul of an eagle” and longs to soar so he signs up for flight school. After much training, he leaps (“Geronimo!”) but falls miserably. He is heart broken until the instructors finally figure out a way to make him fly. 🐧
Frog & Toad – I can’t possibly pick a favorite story out of these; we love the whole collection! But we do love Cookies (it really resonates with me and my lack of self-control) and sometimes when we’re outside, we’ll yell, “Hey birds, here are cookies!”
George & Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends – Oh man. George and Martha make us laugh so much. We particularly love the story about the snake, the tightrope, and the dancing. These two are such a delight!!
Giraffes Can’t Dance – This is an oldie; it was one of the first books I memorized when Henry was a teeny tiny baby. Gerald is the klutziest giraffe you’ve ever seen and all the other jungle animals make fun of him cause he can’t dance. So he sadly walks from the jungle dance floor and then a wise cricket spots him in the jungle all sad and stuff and tells him that “sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song” and Gerald starts to dance and it turns out, when he loses himself in the music of the jungle, he is the best dancer the rest of the animals have ever seen. So they ask him how he learned to dance like that (because now they’re jelly, even though they had just made fun of him) and Gerald twirls around and finishes with a bow and lets them in on his secret.
Give Thanks – A great tool for helping kids memorize the Bible. This book is about Psalm 136:1 and it breaks down each part of the verse into tiny pieces with lots of beautiful repetition. This whole series is wonderful and so, so calming!
Goodbye to Goodbyes – Jesus knew how scary it is when someone gets really sick. He knew how sad it is when someone dies. Jesus cried when his friend, Lazarus, died. But he did something at his friend’s tomb that changed everything. He showed that he came to give his friends life after death.
Here We Are – A beautifully illustrated book about space, our earth, and the importance of taking care of it.
Horrible Bear – Bear didn’t mean to break a little girl’s kite, but she’s upset anyway–upset enough to shout “HORRIBLE BEAR!” Bear is indignant. He doesn’t think he’s horrible! Then Bear gets a truly Horrible Bear idea.
I Can – A great tool for helping kids memorize the Bible. This book is about Phillipians 4:13 and it breaks down each part of the verse into tiny pieces. This whole series is wonderful!
I Love You, Stinky Face – Kids come up with the most imaginative ideas and this boy is basically testing his mother’s love with outrageous ideas of “what if”…and his mother patiently and cleverly reassures him at every point. “But mama, but mama…”
I Want My Hat Back – That red hat?? Gimme one in my size!!
Jump! – Michael Jordan was once just an ordinary little boy growing up in a North Carolina suburb, trying to keep up with his older brother Larry. Michael was always good at sports, but it seemed like Larry was always going to be bigger, quicker, and luckier. But Michael never gave up, and his practicing began to pay off. Then one summer day during a backyard game of one-on-one, Larry’s “little” brother took him–and the whole family–by surprise! We love the fold-up page of the vertical jump!
Kiki & Coco in Paris – Coco, a doll, describes the fun experiences she has with her human, Kiki, while visiting Paris, including a scary moment when Coco gets hurt after Kiki accidentally leaves her in a chair at a restaurant. The kids particularly love this because it’s filled with real photos and not illustrations.
Last Stop on Market Street – Another classic! A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
Library Lion – One of our favorite books! One of my favorite parts of Library Lion is when the lion first comes into the library, walks right past the circulation desk, and into the stacks. Mr. McBee runs down the hall to the head librarian’s office to proclaim that there’s a lion (“…in the library!”). “Is he breaking any rules?” she asks. Nooo… “then leave him be.” I want to lean against the library lion like a pillow too!
Little Bear – We have the whole collections and really love when Little Bear gets the hiccups. Also, when he tries to find a mermaid.
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion – A fun take on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood.
Lyle At the Office – What happens when Mr. Primm’s boss, Mr. Bigg, wants to put Lyle’s face on the box of Crispy Crunchy Crackles? Well, Mr. Primm gets fired for refusing. Lyle ends up saving the day while saving Mr. Bigg’s life…and Mr. Primm gets his job back.
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile – Lyle the Crocodile is the most charming reptile pet you’ve ever seen. He lives in the house on East 88th Street with the Primms and has the loveliest life. He’s always trying to make people happy and usually succeeds except for Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta. So Grumps gets Lyle put in the zoo but has a change of heart when, in an elaborate sequence of events, Lyle ends up saving him from a fire.
Madeline – “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines…” A classic.
Mae Among the Stars – A book inspired by the life of the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” I love that saying because I don’t think “if you believe it” alone is true, but the work? That’s what suddenly makes anything possible.
Make Way for Ducklings – The copy I have of this is one I received from my aunt and uncle back when I was 3 or 4 years old. It’s the classic story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their search for a safe home to raise their ducklings (Jack, Knack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack) in the Boston area. I love when Michael calls Clancy from headquarters to tell him there’s a family of ducks walking down the street and they shut down the whole street to help them cross.
Maybe God Is Like That Too – Ahhhh, this book is a beautiful one. A boy wonders where God is is their city and his grandmother tells him that God is where there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. So the boy starts noticing examples of these traits happening around him–in the kindness of a doorman holding the door for a man using a wheelchair, in the patience of his teacher helping him tie his shoes, in the love, faithfulness, and gentleness of his grandma–and realizes that if God is like that, he also wants to be more like God.
McToad Mows Tiny Island – A hilarious tale of the efforts McToad goes to every Thursday to mow Tiny Island. This book is great for any machine-loving kid!
Mercy Watson to the Rescue – This is the first of a 6-book series about a hilarious pig and the rest of the people on Deckawoo Drive. This is an excellent intro to chapter books! For the older kids, there’s another series that builds on these characters called Tales From Deckawoo Drive.
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site – A lesson on how working as a team can make a job seem small!
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – My favorite part of this book to read aloud is the part about the neighboring towns of Bangerville and Bopperville and Kipperville and Kopperville. Mike Mulligan is never quite sure if his steam shovel, Mary Ann, can actually dig the same amount in a day as a hundred men can dig in a week (as he claims), but everyone’s about to find out in this old classic book!
Mouse Soup – A clever mouse figures out how to escape being eaten by telling a few stories.
Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament – Based on the life of George Crum and the long-told story of his invention of a new treat after a customer sent back potato wedges two times–no one ever sent back food at George’s restaurant! Who knew that after he sliced them as thin as could be, fried them until they were crispy, and put more seasoning on them, they would actually be delicious? Quite by accident, he had invented what became known as the potato chip!
My Two Blankets – This is about a girl who leaves her war-torn country with her aunt to flee to a safe place. But this new land was filled with new words, new people, even the wind feels different. And she can’t understand anything in this strange new place. But one day, a girl at a park waves at her and then they play together and slowly, over time, this new friend teaches her new words and this new place doesn’t feel so cold and lonely anymore. It’s a beautiful, beautiful story of friendship and inclusion.
Number One Sam – An important lesson on why kindness is better than winning
On the Night You Were Born – I honestly think that all of Nancy Tillman’s stories are written more for parents than kids. They are so soothing and they will break your parent heart with their beautiful words. “On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same.'” And, oh, it won’t.
One Morning in Maine – I was today years old when I learned that this book features Robert McCloskey, his wife Peggy, and their two real-life daughters, Sarah (“Sal”) and Jane. This book gives a small slice of everyday life in Maine, where McCloskey and his family moved following World War II and is an especially fun book for a child with a loose tooth!
Otis and the Puppy – There’s a whole series of Otis books, but this is Perrin’s favorite!
Owl At Home – This was written by Arnold Lobel (author of Mouse Soup and Frog & Toad) and I have a video of Henry “reading” this when he was 3, a book he had memorized from cover to cover.
Penguinaut – A story about a penguin who wants an out-of-this-world adventure and, also, the joys of returning home and being with friends.
Ron’s Big Mission – Based on the childhood of astronaut Ron McNair, this story is about young Ron, an avid reader, bravely standing up against a discriminatory law that unfairly kept black people from having library cards.
Salt in His Shoes – Another Michael Jordan story, this one is written by his mother and sister. It’s about a young Michael who feels that quitting may be easier that continuing to feel like he isn’t good enough. Michael’s mother tells him that in order to achieve his dreams he needs to pray and put a little salt in his shoes.
Sam and the Construction Site – When Sam enters the construction site on a dare, he discovers he can operate the big machinery. With a surprise ending, Sam saves the day with his construction site know-how.
Secret Pizza Party – This raccoon loves people almost as much as I do and it’s full of lots of excitement as he tries to plan the perfect pizza party (but he can’t be seen because he’s a known pizza thief!). 🍕 A raccoon + pizza + a masquerade pizza party = an instant modern classic!
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In a Ball – Sometimes I like to scream ever so loud; it’s not that I’m cross, I just like how it sounds. Sometimes I like to jump high as I can to see how much noise I can make when I land. Sometimes I… This adorable book covers a bunch of funny kidisms of doing things just because they like to, not because they make any sense to adults. But at the end of the day, when the sun goes down, he does what he does best of all and curls up in a ball snuggled with his mama.
Spot & Stripe – An adorable story of two best friends who want to be alike and then learn that they actually like each other’s differences better.
Square – We love Mac Barnett’s books and we have this whole shape series! Every day, Square brings a block out of his cave and pushes it up a steep hill. This is his work. When Circle floats by, she declares Square a genius, a sculptor! “This is a wonderful statue,” she says. “It looks just like you!” But now Circle wants a sculpture of her own, a circle! Will the genius manage to create one? Even accidentally? The best thing is that these books always end on a question.
Tanglebird – All the birds in the woods have nests as round and trim as baskets…except Tanglebird. The other birds complain so loudly about his tangled nest that they force him to find another place to build his home. (Bullies!) In his search, Tanglebird goes to the big city, where he gets knotted in a group of kite strings. A little girl saves him from the tangle, takes him home, and teaches him how to play cat’s cradle and how to tie knots and bows. Tanglebird returns home with some colored string from her and weaves the neatest, most beautiful nest in the forest.
That’s When I’m Happy – Another of Perrin’s favorite books that she asks for every night. “There are some days when I’m happy and there are some days when I’m a little bit sad. But now on those days, I try to find my way back to being happy.”
The Bear and the Piano – A bear cub finds “a strange thing” in a clearing one day and he puts his paws on it and it goes “plonk.” It’s a horrible noise but the bear comes back to the clearing, day after day, month after month, year and year, and becomes an amazing pianist who plays for all his forest friends. A girl and her father find him one day and tell him that it’s a piano and he would be famous in the city; he could play every piano on every stage! So he decides to leave his friends and he becomes a world-renowned pianist. But he misses his friends and eventually goes back to find them. But he never expected what he’d find back in the forest.
The Busiest Street In Town – Rushmore Boulevard is the busiest street in town, so busy that two best friends (Agatha May Walker and Eulalie Scruggs) who live across the street from each other can’t even visit. So Agatha May Walker does what every sane old woman would do (😂) and pulls her wingback chair to the middle of the street and sits there, offering fresh gingersnap cookies to people roaring by. Eulalie joins her with a piano stool, a card table, and a parcheesi set and thus begins the transformation of Rushmore Boulevard to a completely different kind of street. The kind where children play outside, a mariachi band sets up shop, and Willie Spark draws chalk art all over the street (including a big, deep hope that looked so real, none of the cars would drive over it for fear of falling in). The busiest street in town finally gets a new name: Walker Road.
The drawings are beautiful and the sense of neighborhood is so sweet.
The Case of the Missing Socks – Wembley and Boober, two Fraggle friends, set out to catch the mysterious thief who is stealing Boober’s socks and no one is more surprised than them upon finding the culprit.
The Circus Ship – By Chris Van Dusen, illustrator of the Mercy Watson books, this is a fun tale of a circus ship that crashes and the animals all swim to shore on the coast of Maine. Our favorite page is the one where the animals are all cleverly hiding in plain site. It took us several tries the first time to find all 15 of them!
The Day the Crayons Quit – Henry’s favorite part of this (what makes him laugh and laugh) is peach crayon who is naked because of a missing wrapper.
The Friend Who Forgives – This is about Peter and Jesus. When Peter messes up and says he doesn’t know Jesus, he feels terrible.But after Jesus rose from the dead, he went and found Peter and forgave him. Kids know all about failing, but they don’t always experience true forgiveness. This book points them to Jesus, the friend who will forgive them again and again and again.
The Giving Tree – A classic that is over 50 years old now tells about a tree who gives and gives to a boy who keeps growing and every time he comes back, he needs more from the tree. In the end, there is nothing left to the tree but a stump and by then, the boy is an old man and all he really needs is a place to sit. “And the tree was happy.”
The Gruffalo – This little mouse figures out how to escape certain death from a snake, a fox, and an owl by making up an imaginary and horrible creature called a gruffalo. But then he bumps directly into the worst thing he could think of (complete with the poisonous wart on his nose and knobby knees) and has to quickly outsmart him. I adore all of Julia & Axel’s clever storylines and beautiful artwork so this one quickly became another favorite. (The short movie version of this is also wonderful!)
The Nine Lives of Dudley Dog – The most fun part of this book is finding the hidden numbers on every page!
The One O’Clock Miracle – This is a wonderful retelling of the story of Jesus healing the official’s son (based on John 4). It teaches kids about the instant power of Jesus’ words. And the illustrations are just so so happy and wonderful.
The Skunk – “When I left my house there was a skunk on my doorstep.” Thus begins the escalating drama of trying to escape the skunk. Finally, in desperation, he moves to a new part of the city, buys new things, and then hosts a party to celebrate escaping the skunk. (LOL, it’s just so amazingly dramatic! I love it!) During the party, he thought about the skunk (“What was he doing? Was he looking for me? Was he back in his burrow? Was he following someone else?”) so he sets out to find him, “to make sure he does not follow me again.” 😂 This book should be on every kid’s shelf; it’s that good!
The Smartest Giant In Town – We love Julia Donaldson’s books! The illustrations by Alex Scheffler are always so wonderful too! This particular one is about a gentle giant who buys a new wardrobe, but then ends up giving it all away piece by piece to other animals in need.
The Snail and the Whale – Another Julia Donaldson book about a snail who was to travel the world and is given a lift by a whale. “But then came the day the whale lost his way.” And the snail, so small and frail, saves the life of the humpback whale.
The Sun Shines Everywhere – A beautiful story about the world, the people and animals in it, and how we all enjoy the same sun. We love this book so much, we gifted a copy to Henry’s preschool teacher.
This Is How We Do It – A wonderful story based on the lives of 7 real kids from Peru, Italy, Russia, Uganda, Iran, India, and Japan. It’s a beautiful comparison of foods, homes, schools, traditions, transportation, and clothing. I particularly love that there aren’t any kids from the United States or the United Kingdom in the book.
This Is Not My Hat – This little fish stole a hat. He thinks he’s going to get away with it for many reasons, but he’s greatly mistaken. 😂
Those Darn Squirrels – “Great Googely Moogely!” The squirrels are hilarious (I especially love when they stay up all night devising a strategy to get past the “veritable fortress” surrounding the bird feeders and they eat salt-and-vinegar chips and cherry cola to stay awake) and clever.
Three Cheers for Kid McGear – Kid McGear is the newest truck to join the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site crew, and she’s eager to help with even the roughest and toughest construction work. The other trucks think she’s too small to help out, but she proves that her size doesn’t matter at all.
Together Always – Goat and Pig are best friends who do everything together in their little orchard. But one day, Goat wants to venture out in the world…while Pig wants to stay home. The friends discover that no matter where you are, when you love each other, you’re always together in spirit.
Too Many Carrots – A cute book about hoarding. Haha, but seriously, Rabbit loves carrots and he just keeps collecting them until he runs out of room. His friends offer to help, but that ends in disaster until Rabbit discovers that sharing is really the best solution.
Toot & Puddle – There’s a whole series about these two friends and we love them all, but I’m including this one as a gateway to the joys of these two pigs. While Toot likes to travel to places unknown, Puddle prefers to stay home and revel in the joys of everyday life. Whimsical postcards (one each month) capture the excitement of Toot’s travels (Olé!), while scenes of Puddle celebrate mundane moments spent in familiar confines.
Triangle – Another in the shape series by Mac Barnett. Triangle is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so he thinks. It all backfires on him.
Waiting In Not Easy – Elephant and Piggie are a fun team and this particular book is a good lesson on patience and the reward that can come from practicing it.
We Are In a Book! – Elephant and Piggie realize they are inside a book and so they try to figure out a way to keep the reader reading forever because they don’t want the book to end.
We’re Going On a Bear Hunt – “We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared.” I adore this book. I remember this book from my childhood and I love the beautiful illustrations and the perfect repetitions. Bonus: it teaches children about obstacles, prepositions (under, over, through), and has the greatest phrases for a range of vocal intonations!
What Do You Do With an Idea? – What do you do with an idea? Especially an idea that’s different, or daring, or a little wild? This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world.
When God Made You – “YOU, you… God thinks about you. God was thinking of you long before your debut. ‘Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew that the world needed someone exactly like you!”
Where You Are, My Love Will Find You – Nancy Tillman’s words are always so soothing and this is one that is, possibly, more special for a parent than a child. I read this aloud when I was pregnant with Henry and I cried hormonal tears of love.
With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck – This is the perfect book for any machine-loving child! Bulldozers and back-hoes, pavers and plows, trailers and tractors–imagine the fun you could have if you could drive them all!