Book Lists Book Reviews Picture Books

8 Great Picture Books for All Ages

March 26, 2015

My natural inclination is to go-go-go all the time (I see this reflected back to me in Ella who has a nervous breakdown if we aren’t dressed and ready for the day at a decent time), but I’m trying to take it a little easier during these days of a new baby and give myself permission to just enjoy these quiet days with my three little girls.

So most mornings, if Bart isn’t around to feed the girls breakfast and let me sleep for another hour, I have the two older girls gather up some picture books and we read a bunch in our pajamas, snuggled in my bed.

I am loving this season of our little family – just busy enough to feel fulfilled and productive, but calm enough to have plenty of time to stay at home, with nowhere to be.

These have been some of our favorite book over the last month, and they are especially good for reading in your pajamas.

Fantastic new picture books your whole family will love

The Nice Book by David Ezra Stein – We got this as a gift when Star was born, and it’s just so sweet. I love David Ezra Stein and this little board book about treating others kindly, all illustrated with animals, is perfect for when there is a new fragile baby around.

Monty’s Magnificent Mane by Gemma O’Neill  The illustrations on this one blew me away. They are so bright and vibrant and when the lion roars near the end of the book and it fills nearly the whole page and has you turn the book vertically? It’s pretty impressive. Just seeing the cover in our library basket makes me happy.

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton – This was a Junior Library Guild selection (I frequently troll their lists for recommendations) and it was a mega hit. It’s a simple little story about four. . .I have no idea if they are supposed to be humans or trolls or what.  . . that go out trying to capture a brightly colored bird. Except one of them is less interested in the capture and more interested in making friends with the bird.

Henry Finds His Word by Lindsay Ward – This book makes me feel just a tiny bit better about Star growing up, because it’s so ridiculously cute when babies learn to talk. Henry’s parents are obsessed with wondering what his first word will be, but Henry doesn’t know where to find it or even what he’s looking for.

How to Lose a Lemur by Frann Preston-Gannon – There are lemurs at the science museum in Durham and last year, the girls couldn’t stop talking about them and their “creepy eyes.” So this book was instantly popular when a lemur starts following a little boy and is soon joined by more lemurs. And getting rid of those lemurs proves to be more difficult than you’d think.

Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien – Ani LOVES this book. The owl wants everyone to know that not only is he extremely wise, but he’s also a master of disguise and he’s going to use his disguise skills to capture himself some dinner. Except, he’s having a hard time catching anything. Until he finds a pizza that might be fooled by his clever costume. Funny and original, this is one I really loved.

And Away We Go! by Migy – This has been Ani’s other favorite book in the past few weeks. When Mr. Fox’s hot air balloon arrives, he’s ecstatic because he’s ready to sail off to the moon. And when his friends want to join, he invites them aboard, one after another. Except how much weight can an air balloon hold? The illustrations have a fun retro-urban feel to them that I really love. Plus, it’s not text heavy, so I’m happy to read it time after time.

Tea Rex by Molly Idle – I love Molly Idle (did you know her book Flora and the Flamingo was the first Caldecott nod Chronicle has ever gotten?) and this book of hers about a little girl and her brother who host a T-Rex for afternoon tea is terrific. You can see how much Ani loves it here.

P.S. I share more book recommendations every day or two on Instagram, so if you’re looking for more suggestions, feel free to follow along!

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  • Reply missris March 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    "My natural inclination is to go-go-go all the time (I see this reflected back to me in Ella who has a nervous breakdown if we aren't dressed and ready for the day at a decent time)" um yes this is me–both your description of yourself and your description of Ella. I guess I'm glad to know I'm not the only one? 🙂

  • Reply Helen March 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Great recommendations! I've been meaning to add Tea Rex to our library list for a while, and now that Ani has endorsed it, I'll definitely add it to the list! 🙂

  • Reply Paige Flamm March 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    These are definitely getting checked out next time we go to the library. Which will happen once we figure out where the library is 😉

  • Reply Laura March 27, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you! You always have such excellent recommendations.

  • Reply Laura March 27, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you! You always have such excellent recommendations.

  • Reply Leslie Seror March 28, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I always love your recommendations. Thank you!

  • Reply Abby April 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I have to thank you for recommending Hoot Owl. My 2.5 year old son has been running around saying he's a master! He's hoot owl! And he has a dangerous beak! So funny. It's a great book.

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