18 Days of Picture Books

18 Books I Loved Reading to My Son

by Lisa


As a parent and when it comes to Picture Books, it's wonderful to find ones you like since you'll be reading them over and over and over again. My son Jack LOVED reading and being read to from a young age, so we spent hours each day reading and rereading these wonderful books. Thanks to the amazing children's book authors for making these books so enjoyable for children and parents alike.

Jack's and my "Top 18" include:

The Antlered Ship by The Fan Brothers

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"Is it better to know what's going to happen?" wondered Marco. "Or better to be surprised?"

Just One More by Jennifer Hanson Rolli

"and what's this? Just one more kiss?"

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

"The world is so big! I want to go see it, Daddy. You and me together."

The Rainbow Goblins by Ul de Rico

After seven goblins try to steal it, the Rainbow is careful never again to touch the earth. - Penguin Random House

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The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney’s wordless adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he’d planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher’s trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes. - Little Brown and Company

Herbert the Timid Dragon by Mercer Mayer

"Icky, sticky dragon soup-UHG!" cried the princess, and she threw it in his face.

Pirate Pete's Talk Like a Pirate by Kim Kennedy

Steam Train Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker

The team behind the #1 New York Times bestseller Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site returns with another fabulous book for bedtime! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Sweet and silly dreams are guaranteed for any budding train enthusiasts! - Chronicle Books

Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the circus animals must stagger to the shore of a small island. At first the townspeople view them with suspicion, but it’s not long before locals and animals are sharing the island in harmony. Loosely based on a true historic event, The Circus Ship is a story about the bonds of friendship and community. - Chris Van Dusen

The Kissing hand by Audrey Penn

Here is the story of a little raccoon who confronts the first day of school and needs reassurance. Mother Raccoon finds an unforgettable way of communicating the message that everyone most needs to hear. The perfect book for any child taking the plunge into school, endearing illustrations are as soothing as the simple story.School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called “the Kissing Hand” to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. - Scholastic

In My Heart A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek


Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.
The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling. - Abrams Publishing

Otis and the Kittens by Lauren Long

On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn't rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valleyan orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire!

As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat's worries--her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That's when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends.

Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama. - Penguin Random House

World on a String by Larry Phifer

"I miss you, friend," he whispered into the sky, "but I know your light was meant to fly."

Iggy Peck, Architect by Audrey Beaty

Some kids sculpt sand castles. Some make mud pies. Some construct great block towers. But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer. It looks as if Iggy will have to trade in his T square for a box of crayons . . . until a fateful field trip proves just how useful a mast builder can be. - Abrams

Outside by Deidre Gill

With a little snow and a lot of imagination, anything is possible in this wondrous book about a winter adventure. - Scholastic

The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the biggest, baddest monsters around. Then along came an even bigger monster who changed their minds. All it took were two little words. - Scholastic

Locomotive by Brian Floca

"The engine HUFFS and Hisses, the engine Bangs and Clanks! Metal rolls on metal and the Locomotive MOVES."

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis

Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down—booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard. Su! - Penguin Random House