Forrest has taken a big interest in books over the last year, and I am thrilled to do whatever I can to encourage him. We head to the library each week for story time and to fill up our library bag, and these visits are always a highlight of the week.
I’ve noticed something unfortunate that will probably not be a big surprise to any of you who are the parents of excited young readers: there are lots of crappy picture books out there. And I’ve gotten so tired of accidentally bringing home boring picture books that I’ve started researching books each week to make sure I only get ones he and I will both love.
So to help any others who have gotten frustrated with reading not-great picture books to their kids, here are 10 of our favorites—some of the books that we read over and over, that we both enjoy.
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle – A sweet story, fantastic illustrations, and perfect as a read-aloud. Plus it’s about a truck, so of course this one is a favorite for many little boys.
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein – A funny bedtime read about a chicken who just can’t make it through his own bedtime story without interrupting to change the story’s ending.
Any of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems – Forrest loves all of the Elephant and Piggie books (there are many!), and knows exactly where to find them on our library shelves. They are so clever and lovable, and Forrest has become very particular about how, exactly, their voices should be read.
The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems – While we’re chatting about Mo Willems, might as well mention his Pigeon books, too. Forrest loves them, particularly this one.
The Seven Silly Eaters by Marla Frazee – I hoped this funny book about 7 picky siblings would touch Forrest’s stubborn, picky heart. It did not, but it’s a great little book anyway.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak – I was skeptical about this one—what is the point of a pictureless picture book?—but it is fantastic. The creative type and clever writing have you providing all the silliness, and Forrest asked me to read this one over and over.
No, David! by David Shannon – This book is short on words, but will get you both giggling anyway. Particularly hilarious for Forrest was having his name substituted for David’s. He laughed so hard, every time.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems – The illustrations in this one are so fun (cute cartoon-y drawings over black and white city photography), and to my surprise, Forrest noticed immediately when Knuffle Bunny, Trixie’s precious stuffed bunny, went missing. Which of course makes me terrified at the thought of Forrest ever losing his own precious blankie.
When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach – Forrest seemed to like this one when he heard it at story time, so I checked it out and we must have read it a dozen times together. Such a great book, and perfect for little dinosaur lovers.
Otis by Loren Long – This cute farm story reads like a vintage book, but is fresh enough to keep Forrest involved (he generally gets bored when I try to read older books with him). He also really loved An Otis Christmas at Christmas time.
I’d love to hear your favorite pictures books, too! I’m always looking for new ones.