One of my favorite things to do with my girls is read to them. I really do enjoy reading good picture books. Even the process of going to the library to pick out new books that we haven’t seen yet is fun to me. The quiet that comes when we sit down at home perusing the pages of each book, trying to decide which book to read first are some of my favorite moments. I love the illustrations in good picture books, and I respect the imagination that went into creating each book. Sharing that imagination with my girls in my own voice is pretty fun. My seven year old can, of course, read to herself, but she still enjoys me reading to her. I so hope that she always will! This is something I completely enjoy and selfishly really, really want my girls to enjoy too!
Now, there have been times that I have gone to the library and been at a complete loss of where to even start to find good books that my girls will enjoy. I end up grabbing books based on the cover, and then come home with my stack of books only to find out that none of them are interesting or fun. I want to get books that are engaging to my kiddos, and I want new books to offer them. I am going to make the assumption that you are the same way.
To aid you in your next library trip run (or bookstore run!), here is a short list of picture books I have enjoyed reading and my girls have enjoyed listening to:
The Man in The Moon, William Joyce. So much imagination went into the writing of this book. I love books that try to explain a child’s question with pure imagination. Where do balloons go when they float away? To the Man on the Moon. Genius. The drawings are absolutely beautiful and so creative.
The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story, retold by Joseph Bruchac. This is a story about love, anger, forgiveness, and strawberries. I enjoy it because the illustrations are of the Cherokee people which prompted questions from my girls about their clothes, their homes, and other items that the people in the illustrations were handling. The story is very sweet, and my girls ask me to reread it often!
The Big Blue Spot, Peter Holwitz. This is the story of a lonely spot looking for something more. My girls and I enjoyed this book because of the interaction the book called for from us. The big blue spot rolls off the page, so we made sure to move the book the way the spot was moving.
Yaks Yak, Linda Sue Park. This is a seemingly simplistic book that pictures animals acting out the verbs made from their names. Each page has a definition of the verb within the beautifully detailed animal scenes. Very fun, clever read, and helps expand vocabulary!
The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt. Instead of being in a story format, each page in this book is a written as a letter from each color of crayon. What an interesting way to write a book! My girls loved the pictures and I thought Daywalt put in perfect drawn details on each page.
The Book With No Pictures, BJ Novak. This is a funny book that will make your children laugh! As the title suggests, there aren’t any pictures in this book, but the words are illustrated in a way to make you emphasis them in certain way. The way you read this book is how you make it fun!
Bink and Gollie, Kate DiCamillo. This adorable picture book is about little girlfriends who are very different, but very much the same. The book is broken up into short chapters, but you can easily finish the entire book in less than ten minutes. Throughout the chapters, DiCamillo pops in higher level vocabulary that my girls question, which is awesome!
I could go on! I included books that are not as well known as others, though there are many well known books that we love (such as Make Way for Ducklings and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)!
Once you cruise through this list, don’t forget that librarians are a great source of information. I have asked what books they recommend, and I usually find a quite a few good books that way. Another way to find engaging picture books is to go on Goodreads.com. Type in a book that you already know your child loves, and then find the books that are suggested from there. Happy picture book hunting!
What are some of your (or your child’s favorite) picture books?