Here are our family’s favorite picture books published within the last twenty years. We have read these countless times and they never get old. Hope you enjoy them too!
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Want to know what worm life is really like? Worm describes his surprisingly relatable life as he goes to school, plays with his friends, wakes up from a bad dream, and so much more! The text is simple but clever, and full of funny situations your little ones will love! Although this book is a work of fiction, it may give your little ones a better appreciation for worms and all the good they do for the earth!
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
This adorable counting book counts backwards from 10 to 1, and with each turn of the page, a ladybug “disappears.” The book includes plastic ladybugs on each page for kids to touch, making it a great way to practice counting and one-to-one correspondence. Its cute rhyming story makes it a fun read-aloud, too!
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
While Little Pea is generally a “happy little guy,” there’s one thing he cannot stand - and that’s CANDY! Throughout this hilarious tale, his pea parents do all in their power to force him eat his candy before getting his dessert! It’s clever, funny, and cute.
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus is another hilarious book that will be sure to have your children laughing and interacting! The bus driver asks readers to watch his bus while he takes a short break, with only one rule: Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! Once he’s gone, the pigeon tries all sorts of arguments, including begging and pleading, to get his way, and it’s up to the readers to hold firm on the driver’s request. Not only is the story engaging, but the simple, expressive illustrations are perfect for a great laugh.
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Press Here by Herve Tullet is one of my favorite interactive picture books.The book asks the reader to press, shake, tilt, and blow on the pages. After each of these actions, the following page magically transforms. The concept and art are simple, but so effective and fun for kids. I love watching my son's excitement as he makes things happen in this book. So fun!
Snuggle Bunny by Kate Dopirak
Snuggle Bunny is an sweet tale about a sleepy little bunny who wants to stay in bed! His mama and papa “know just what to do,” and quickly join this snuggle bunny in bed, along with brothers, and before too long, animal friends from all over town! Not only is this book a fun read-aloud with adorable illustrations, but there are also extra text and bonus questions to engage your little ones. Questions such as “Do you have a special bedtime buddy?” or “Who do you like to snuggle with?” help children develop critical thinking skills and extend the learning of the text. Plus, at the end of the story, the book includes even more ideas and activities - including fort building fun, ideas to create your own holiday, rhymes, and riddles!
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Extra Yarn begins in a cold town where all one can see is white snow and black chimney soot. Then a little girl named Annabelle discovers a box of colorful yarn, and she begins to knit. She starts with a sweater for herself, and then she makes one for her dog. With more and more leftover yarn, she creates more and more projects. That is, until the archduke realizes the magic of the never-ending yarn box and attempts to steal it! Readers will enjoy how the story unfolds, as well as the transition from muted illustrations to more and more color as Annabelle completes her projects. I love the magical elements of the story, and the illustrations are beautiful.
After the Fall by Dan Santat
This is my new favorite picture book. Most people are familiar with the original Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme—this one will make you rethink the classic tale while also giving it a positive spin! It’s a beautiful story about perseverance, facing your fears, and following your dreams. The ending gives me chills every time I read it. I highly recommend this book for children AND adults! LOVE IT!
I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
Reading more like a story, I’m Trying to Love Spiders is a perfect nonfiction choice for every non-spider-lover out there! Readers will learn all about how fascinating and amazing spiders really are. There may also be a few hilarious accidental “spider squishings” along the way, as the narrator attempts to overcome her own fear of the crawly critters. And when it comes to illustrations, the beautiful watercolors direct and focus the reader’s attention on the spiders. Overall, this is a clever nonfiction book that many of us can relate to!