Just like in my Favorite Board Books post, I’m trying to go beyond some of the classic picture books like The Poky Little Puppy and Harold and the Purple Crayon. I’ve also excluded some that I enjoy more than my children (such as Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, although I’m hoping they’ll like this series when they’re a little bit older). In other words, I’m listing books that are favorites picture books for everyone.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
This might be considered a modern classic. Gorgeous illustrations, and lovely, gentle story, and a sweet message. While it’s available as a board book, I think the story is better suited for children just a bit older, and would definitely recommend the picture book version.
I love the creativity in how much they love each other is expressed (I don’t think they’re being competitive in it, just having fun in a way that I can see my son doing.)
Baby Bear’s Chairs by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
I’m afraid this book (and the other books featuring Baby Bear, Baby Bear’s Big Dreams and Baby Bear’s Books) may be going out of print, which is a sad sad event. Both of my children love the set, so much so that these were some of the first library books I had to buy copies for our own library rather than endlessly attempting to renew the library copies.
The illustrations are lots of fun, with plenty of things to help your children locate (my daughter loves finding the elephant on the first page of Baby Bear’s Big Dreams). Cute stories, great rhythm, and terrific illustrations make for a wonderful picture book.
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
When I first got this book from the library I was, I’m sad to admit, somewhat underwhelmed. The black and white illustrations were beautiful, and the story was cute, but I didn’t expect it to get my son all that excited.
Oh, how wrong I was. He LOVED this story. Loved finding the moon in the pictures, loved sympathizing with the poor kitten, loved that the kitten got his bowl of milk at the end. This isn’t a book that has kept his interest quite as long as some, but for about six months he couldn’t get enough of it. I think it’s past time I pulled it out to see what his sister thinks about it.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
My son is kind of obsessed with Mo Willems’ books. He has loved every one of them, to the point where I’ve found myself hiding them because I just can’t handle one more repetition that afternoon.
His books really are terrific. My son wants to discuss every page, and speculate on what’s happening, and I’d better read every word with the same inflection as last time, and I’d better hope my voice doesn’t give out because he wants to have the pigeon’s big reaction repeated with LOTS. OF. ENERGY!
There are a slew of pigeon books. We’re partial to the bus one, and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!. In non-pigeon literature, my son’s absolute favorites are Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion and Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.
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