Children’s books, I believe, are never out-grown. Picture books take you back to your childhood. They transport you back in time when loving adults read to you.
And, they remind you lovingly of your children. I used to read to my children every day and every night, long after they could read on their own. I cherish the memories of piling in one bed for story-time before lights out.
A good children’s book has a life lesson, a good-feel, and illustrations that take you out of your world and into another.
Children’s books are a beautiful combination of fantasy, realism, and of course—beautiful pictures. Throw in a few life lessons and inspiring notion, and you have a recipe for an enticing book for both parent and child. After all, the parents are who read them over and over. And, over and over, again.
Picture books can be as cozy as a blanket or stuffed animal. You can curl up with your picture book and feel hugged. And, you feel inspired. Children’s picture books can leave you wanting to be bold, brave, and noble. Or, you feel good about yourself because the main character discovered the same comfortableness in his skin.
Children’s books can be hilarious, sweet, touching, scary, dark, teaching, or engaging. And a little melancholy. But no matter, they are entertaining, and they pull you into the book’s world. And perhaps this is why we never outgrow children’s books.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more your learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
Here is a list of children’s books I am loving…
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller; Illustrated by Jen Hill
You will fall in love with this thoughtful book that teaches you to be kind. The main character goes out of her way to make a fellow student feel better and fit in with the others. Your children will learn a powerful lesson of kindness and empathy. And maybe you will, too.
Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie
I had to include this adorably sweet book about a weenie dog who doesn’t realize he is already loved and cherished. He pretends to be other than he is, as to fit in, and as a result, annoys his new family. This heartwarming book teaches the importance of being yourself. And loving yourself for who you are.
Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
This heart-warming story is based on a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. You will get a sweet lesson in survival, teamwork, loyalty, and love from a girl and her rescue dog. It is inspiring, tear-causing, and beautiful.
This Book Is Spineless by Lindsay Leslie; illustrated by Alice Brereton
A silly, spastic book from a fellow-Texan who teaches kids bravery, through the five senses, as they help the main character (the book) get through to the end of the book. This suspenseful, quirky, adorable, and interactive story encourages kids to be courageous and adventurous–and turn the pages.
The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros; illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
This story will grab your heart and might have you reaching for a tissue. James and his Grandpa have a special relationship. James learns a hard lesson when memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s impacts Grandpa. The disease is illustrated beautifully through a simple idea that memories are balloons. This is a gentle book about memory, the importance of grandparents, and the struggle and heartbreak of the disease. The Remember Balloons won the 2019 Schneider Family Award.
Giraffe Problems by Jory John; illustrated by Lane Smith
As soon as I saw this brilliant book, I fell in love. Funny and adorable, while teaching children the grass isn’t always greener, and sometimes we need to love what we have. You will be giggling along as you flip through the pages and delightful illustrations. There is even an illustration that is as long and tall as Edward’s giraffe neck.
Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora
Being the 2019 Caldecott Honor should be a clue this is a must-read. And if you want a book that teaches sharing and giving, this is your book. Omu makes herself a stew, but before she knows it, the pot is empty because she gives it away—bowl by bowl. Wait till you see what Omu has for dinner!
The Wall in The Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
A humorous picture book that will have you turning the pages in anticipation. This book teaches you that everything is not always as it seems. You will also get the not so subtle idea that walls can separate us, causing fear and separation.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winield Martin
A lovely book about the wonders of a newborn and what they will be in this world. This picturesque children’s book is a perfect example of a gift-able book to welcome a newborn. It is inspiring, uplifting, (not just because of the floating balloons!) and will mesmerize a toddler with its rhythm.
I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by David Cali and Illustrated by Anna Pirolli
Such a charming story about how silly and weird cats can be. And how cat people are actually people who belong to the cats. This children’s book is a perfect gift for any cat owner who complains about his/her cats but loves them dearly.
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book!” -Dr. Seuss
Children’s books are give-able. Gift-able. Give them as new baby gifts, give them for birthdays, graduations, and Christmas. Give them to your kids and give them to yourself. Give the gift of reading!