You WANT to read to your children, but you would rather do ten loads of laundry before having to read Good Night Moon and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom one more time. Do not fear! We have a list of picture books that not only are your toddlers going to love, but you are going to enjoy reading aloud too!
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Llama Llama Mess Mess Mess by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan
This popular series uses bouncy rhymes and colorful illustrations to share the many life lessons a little Llama learns. In this installment, Llama doesn’t want to pick up his toys and Mama Llama encourages him to imagine what their house would be like if she never cleaned. The pictures of Mama Llama creating her own mess are laugh-out-loud funny and will hopefully leave children with the inspiration to clean up their own playthings!
Fly by Mark Teague, 2019
(Ages 3 – 8)
No words are needed to understand the hilarious conversation between a mother bird and her baby in Mark Teague’s new book, FLY. When a mama robin encourages her little one to fly on his own, the hatchling comes up with several comical alternatives. This wordless wonder made both my children and me laugh at the comical interaction between parent and child and the sweet ending always resulted in a warm embrace.
Once Upon a World series by Chloe Perkins
This charming new series takes classic fairy tales and breathes new life into them with multicultural characters. The stories themselves stick to the traditional telling, but the settings are changed to foreign countries including Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, and the Caribbean. While the author remains the same, each book is beautifully illustrated by a different artist who expertly captures the culture of each country. With diverse heroines, many little girls will love seeing themselves reflected in the famous fairy tale characters.
Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake
When a stubborn toddler insists on getting dressed by himself and becomes stuck in his shirt, he imagines what life would be like if he remains in his shirt forever. Obstinate children are sure to find a kindred spirit in this character and adults will relate to this situation all too well!
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz; illustrated by Eda Kaban
Trucks, construction vehicles, girl power and a catchy tune… these are just a few of the things that make this children’s book a standout. This clever adaptation of the old folk song reveals that in addition to farmyard animals, Old MacDonald also has numerous construction vehicles including excavators, cement mixers, and bulldozers, as well as a wife that is not only a talented mechanic, but also a monster truck driver. Pure fun!
Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller ; illustrated by Patrice Barton
Eloquent rhymes inspire young readers to be themselves, find their talents, and pursue them. The beautiful artwork featuring a diverse group of children perfectly compliment the lyrical text.
The myriad of positive messages in this timeless book makes it a perfect story to share with a loved one.
King Baby by Kate Beaton
The hilariously accurate portrayal of parents serving their child’s every whim makes for a highly entertaining picture book. I honestly don’t know who will laugh more from this story adults or children. The entire concept is hysterical, heightened by the over-the top narration that is so much fun to read aloud.
No! Said Rabbit by Marjoke Henrichs; published by Peachtree, 2021
NO! SAID RABBIT plays upon this common parenting problem of control battles and offers a terrific prompt for starting conversations. From requests to get dressed to sitting down to eat, little Rabbit loves to say, “no”. The patient parent doesn’t force Rabbit to participate in any of the actions, but allows him broach the tasks on his own terms. In the gratifying ending, Rabbit finds one thing he cannot resist saying yes to; hugs from his mother!
Children will love chiming in on the refrain of “no’s” while parents will love pointing out how Rabbit actually wants to do the activities. This endearing story is also a great way to prompt conversations on better ways to communicate.
Share, Big Bear Share by Maureen Wright; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Bear has found a large pile of blueberries and is about to dig in when a large tree reminds him, “Share, Big Bear, share!” With each prompting, Bear mishears the tree and performs a comical task. When Bear finally understands the tree’s message, he happily shares with his forest friends. Toddlers will love joining in on the refrain and parents will enjoy the positive message of sharing presented in such an engaging manner.
Three Grumpy Trucks by Todd Tarpley; illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
Upbeat rhymes, exciting onomatopoeia, and bright illustrations fill the pages of the humorous story of three toddler-like construction trucks who throw a tantrum when it is time to leave the playground. Adults and children are sure to see aspects of themselves in this sweet story.
LMNO-Peaquel by Keith Baker
Keith Baker’s series about an adorable group of anthropomorphic peas who
playfully teach children about letters, numbers, colors, and months is a staple for many classrooms and families. This latest installment uses whimsical illustrations and rhyming text to introduce lower-case letters. Parents will love the advanced vocabulary presented and both children and adults will enjoy pouring over the detailed illustrations of the busy peas performing tons of eye-catching tasks. As an added bonus, there is a ladybug that appears on each page that is fun to hunt for.
Beep, Beep Go to Sleep by Todd Tarpley
A little boy tries to put three rambunctious robots to bed only to be met with silly hijinks. The robots are reminiscent of toddlers, which will cause children and adults to chuckle at this cute rhyming story that is perfect for bedtime.
Box by Min Flyte; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
When four toddlers are given toys, they quickly discard their new gifts and instead focus on the boxes. With a little imagination, each box is transformed into something new including a castle, a boat, a plane, and a rocket ship. The thick pages and fold-out features make this a fun book for little hands to explore while inspiring their own creativity.