For some reason I thought it would be fun to compile this list of our favorite picture books from A-Z ! I am nuts. Do you know how many books we’ve reviewed? Yeah , I haven’t kept count either. Also for some reason there are a huge amount of great books that start with A? I had a terrible time deciding which to choose. Since I didn’t have a suggestion for X I was a little loose with the rules. I hope you like this list because if you don’t I’ll cry. By clicking the title you will be taken to the original review .
Part of learning to read is learning all about why we read. For pleasure, for directions, and for information. Most young children use the words story and book synonymously by introducing them to non fiction books you are opening their minds up to another use for books and print. So next time you are at the library checking out books if you don’t already know where the non fiction books are find out and grab a few . These are some of our favorites.
A Picture Book of Helen Keller (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler tells the story of this great heroine in a simple way without loosing the magnificence of her life. From her illness as a young toddler, to meeting her “miracle worker” Anne Sullivan and earning the first degree ever awarded to any deaf and blind person all of the amazing things that Helen Keller accomplished are covered. The author doesn’t sanctify Helen though , they talk openly about her tantrums as a child and her naughty behavior. My son sat for this whole book, it opened up a bedtime talk about blindness to which we turned off the light and experienced a little ourselves. I am hoing reading this book will open more doors of empathy for my son, to recognize that we are all different with different abilities but are all capable of great things.
Imagine You’re a Knight! by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in tis series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits , reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3 year olds might find it to be too much.
Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!
Little Shark by Anne Rockwell is another accessible non fiction book from one of our favorite authors. We follow a shark from birth until it’s full grown in this book filled with fascinating shark facts. I like that it reads like a story because it sucks the reader in instead of just spouting off cold facts about these cool and scary ( to me) animals. I loved that my son was rather shocked that sharks don’t stay with their moms or their many siblings, and are instead solitary. I loved how it explained a little bit about the food chain in the ocean and how we get oxygen from air but fish get it from the water. Add this one to your shelf!
Baby on the Way by William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN and Christie Watts Kelly has been the very best baby book we’ve found. It explains much of pregnancy from nausea, to aching feet and even nesting. It also describes labor in a really kid friendly non intimidating way. I love that it explains that in mommy’s belly is a baby holder called a uterus. My son has been asking me how my uterus is since reading this daily for the past week. Explaining contractions, that others will likely be taking care of them for a little while and what mommy is doing when she is not with you is all really useful. It also goes on to explain what babies will do , like nursing, crying and what that funny crinkled thing is on it’s belly! The book also offers many many resources for expectant parents.
Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of recyclable garbage from this book!
I love David Shannon Books and so have every child I have ever had the pleasure of reading them with. When I volunteered for Frontier College when I was in university my reading buddy would choose No David every time it was available. If you are new to this author / illustrator I hope you check his books out soon.
A Bad Case Of Stripes is about a little girl so worried about impressing others that she keeps changing and looses who she really is. This story is a cautionary tale about being yourself, and not being yourself. A great book for older preschoolers and young elementary aged children. At 4 my son is starting to get the message of this book, but has enjoyed reading it and giggling at the antics for sometime now.
Alice The Fairy is such a sweet book about a fairy who is still learning the ropes. I love the spells she casts and kids relate to her type of magic, I promise! I love that this book is about a fairy but not the Disney idea that we are so often bombarded with. It’s fresh, fun and I can’t wait for my daughter to enjoy doing more than using it as a teether because I know she will love it.
Duck on a Bike tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals .
No, David! is probably the author’s best known book, in it we follow the misadventures of little David and his eventual dicsiplining and hug from his mom! This book is a wonderful gate way into talking about rules with a class, I have successfully used it as a reminder about rules and why we have them. Kids love watching other kids do naughty things , so this book is always a hit with toddlers on up.
Too Many Toys In Too Many Toys, little Spencer has way too many toys, a sight all too familiar. The toys cover the floors and spill down the hallway. They cover the yard and the bathroom. But, Spencer’s toys were becoming a household hazard. Spencer’s mom (perhaps one of the most relatable moms in a picture book ever) finally loses it when she trips on railroad tracks while carrying a load of laundry. She haggles, bribes, coaxes, and threatens Spencer to start getting rid of toys. Spencer’s mom is victorious when there’s a giant box full of toys to be banished, but when she returns from a tea break, she discovers the toys emptied all over the hall. There’s Spencer, astronaut helmet on, sitting in his new cardboard rocket. Forget all the toys – the box is the best toy EVER! ( review by Amy Kraft )
Nothing makes you feel like a horrible parent faster than that little voice in your head saying ” I am so sick of that book, maybe he’ll want to watch TV instead”. Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks that sometimes. Some books are just bad and for whatever reason kids find the worst in the bunch and fixate on them. To avoid that mishap read great books, like these from author/illustrator Melanie Watt that will make you and your kids giggle.
Have I Got a Book for You! is really tongue and cheek! It’s like an infomercial but on paper, complete with a salesman wearing plaid pants. After I skimmed through it I wondered if my 4 year old would get it, since it’s humor while appropriate for young kids might be over their heads. He thought it was hilarious and the little twist at the end was a huge hit too. I don’t want to give it away so I can’ say more but trust me this is a fun and silly read aloud to enjoy.
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.
Scaredy Squirrel at Night I love Scaredy Squirrel. His crazy anxiety, tendency to play dead and hilarious facial expressions never fail to make me laugh out loud while reading. I love this installment because it talks about something very topical in many preschooler’s life – nighttime anxiety. I was expecting a funny book but it was also really touching and useful in regards to conquering fears. I must say for any new parent the bits about sleep deprivation will hit home, trust me.
Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend is hilarious! I laughed from start to finish, my son who was 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!
You may have noticed I have never done a Groundhog Day post before. I forget about it every year. This year I remembered the books but our schedule was packed and a craft wasn’t in the cards. I will not force my son to do them and unless it was something I could do from a car in a ferry line up it simply wasn’t happening. Although that might make for an interesting post some day. Instead yesterday we had a wonderful playdate with dear friends and today I am linking to some great Groundhog Day crafts from other blogs to go with my books we read .
Groundhog Day Craft Links
I love this toilet paper roll Groundhog Day craft from Momstown
Another similar craft comes from Artists Helping Children
I just saw this one this morning – from Oopsey Daisy
Another similar one comes from Scribble n’ Splatter
Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by Susan Blackaby is a brand new book that was sent to me by the publisher to review. Although it’s a new release the art work by Carmen Segovia takes readers back to the 40s with the rich shades of blue, red and brown used. The story itself is sweet and although my son was a little worried that the fox was going to eat the groundhog it became obvious early on that the groundhog would find a way to outsmart the fox. Not only did the groundhog out smart the fox but they found a solution to both their problems without anyone getting eaten. Good book to talk about compromise and problem solving with young kids.
Groundhog Gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow is such a great book about groundhogs , I can’t tell you how much I didn’t even know I didn’t know about the rodent. Did you know they can run as fast as an average 4th grader? Yeah me neither. The story itself is all about how the groundhog is sad that his holiday is only one day and no one seems to care about all the other great things about him beyond his shadow. The book is long and honestly my son got fidgety but it’s the type of book that you can skip a page here or there and it won’t ruin the experience. I admit I think groundhogs are pretty cool after reading this book.