Tell Me What to Read: Picture Book Edition

So. . . the last round of Tell Me What to Read just about killed me.

I haven’t even bothered to write about The Dante Club because, believe me, you do not want to read my review of it which would basically boil down to “took me eight hundred check-outs to finally finish the stupid thing.”

Also, to be completely honest, I finally just checked out the abridged audio and just powered through it on double speed. (And there was this one murder (several occur in the book) that was, I kid you not, one of the most graphic, horrible descriptions I’ve ever read of a dead body. I just had to press the “skip 15 seconds ahead” button a couple of times before I threw up). I think you might guess that I would not recommend this book.

It was a rough period of my life, and I’d prefer not to speak of it again.

So, let’s make things easy on me, shall we? I need low-commitment right now and that’s what I love about picture books. Even if it’s terrible, it’s never going to take more than about 30 minutes to get through.

Leave me the title of one of your favorite picture books and I’ll read 10 (or more if I’m feeling very very ambitious, which, I probably won’t) of them, selected at random. And then I’ll share my favorites. Get excited.

Ella thinks this is way better too. And it’ll be a fun little project for the two of us before Baby #2 makes her appearance.

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  1. I am really looking forward to seeing this list! My recommendation is The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis. It is a super sweet story about two sisters who find a creature called a bog baby. The illustrations are some of the most enchanting I have ever seen!

  2. My favorite picture book right now is Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. I think I may love it even more than my child does, which is saying something.

  3. Our favorite picture book for 2-3 year olds is Where is the Green Sheep? For 4-5 year olds I get excited when they pick The Adventures of Bert by Allen Ahlberg. (Or the next one, A Bit More Bert.) It's just a fun one to read out loud. It is out of print but I first found it at the library. For girls, I love Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. I resisted the Fancy Nancy epidemic, but she has really great parents, something you don't see in a lot of kids' books. For an activity with older kids, I love Stone Soup.

  4. Sorry I have one more! If you haven't read Fanny's Dream by Caralyn Buehner, you really should. Especially now. 😉 (I think the authors went to Utah State.)

  5. I feel so bad about the whole Dante Club fiasco! I "recommended" that book before I had read it because I was hoping that I would be able to finally read it. But I still couldn't get past page 30. I love the idea of the book, just not the execution of it.

    Now for a picture book recommendation…I promise it won't have any murders in it!

    My 3 year old Hallie loves What Makes a Rainbow by Betty Ann Schwartz. It pretty much is read every night, and we've been reading it since she was a baby. I got it as a baby shower gift. If you haven't already picked this one up, then it is a must!

  6. I love Bog Baby also but since that is already recommended I will choose two other wonderful books: Bella and Bean by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and A Tree Named Steve by Allen Zweibel.

    How very brave of you to actually finish The Dante Club!

  7. How Rocket Learned to Read, by Tad Hills. I gave this to my friends' daughter for Christmas last year, and it was really cute.

  8. because you know this is impossible for me to limit to one:
    1 – I love you stinky face and Good Night Princess Pruney Toes by Lisa McCourt
    2 – Dinosaur vs. The Potty and Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

  9. So many good book suggestions already! I am so picky about picture books, but I loved all the Kevin Henkes mouse books as a child and love most of them as an adult. My favorite (both then and now) is Chrysanthemum. I can't wait to read all these suggestions and see what you like. I also struggled (unsuccessfully for years) to get through The Dante Club. Now that I know it's not just me, I can stop moving the book from state to state and just give up.

  10. Pooh. I was going to suggest "The Seven Silly Eaters" and I see someone beat me to it! I love that book. SO, another book we love it "On Meadowview Street". That one definitely caught my daughter's attention because she'll randomly mention it every few months and I'll have to recheck it out from the library. I may consider it as a holiday gift so we have our own copy!

  11. I've been reading a lot of picture books that came out this year. One that I really love is "Goldilocks and Just the One Bear" by Leigh Hodgkinson. It's fun! This time it's grown-up Baby Bear who wanders into the now grown-up Goldilocks' family house in the big city. He basically does the things she did to his house (on accident of course) and they meet eye-to-eye and recognize each other.

  12. I also vouch for "The Seven Silly Eaters" by Mary Ann Hoberman. It's been our family's favorite for years. Some others I recommend are "Goldie and the Three Bears" by Diane Stanley and I love all the books from Bonnie Becker in her "A Visitor for Bear" series too. I could go on and on. You may need to hold Tell Me What to Read picture book version weekly!

  13. A few Christmas suggestions
    Snowmen at night
    Snowmen at Christmas
    Mortimer's Christmas manger
    My penguin Osbert
    Small miracle ( this one is all told with pictures)

  14. I've got a vehicle-crazy boy, so that will influence my recommendations: Little Blue Truck (Alice Schertle) and Tugga-Tugga Tugboat (Kevin Lewis) are both big hits in our house and really fun to read out loud.

    Strangely, his favorite this holiday weekend has been an old book of my husband's that my MIL dug out, called Professor Wormbog's Gloomy Kerploppus (Mercer Meyer). There are tons of little jokes in the artwork that older kids would get, but my son just loves the funny solution to what is wrong with the Kerploppus. I'm not sure if I should be worried that the scratch n sniff still mostly works, 35 years after publication.

  15. All of Bill Peet's books, but particularly Cowardly Clyde. Although his books require a longer attention span than most picture books.

  16. For the past six months or so (more?) we've been checking out an I Spy book (by Walter Wick) every few weeks. We LOVE them. And after so much practice, my kids are surprisingly pretty good at the actual riddles (vs me just having them look for obvious things on the page). If you're doing it this month, go for the Christmas one. Or pick any that looks good to you! LOVE THEM.

  17. We get most of our picture books from your recommendations, but one (I think) we found on our own is Me Hungry by Jeremy Tanker. Super cute and definitely shorter than a 30 min time commitment

  18. Hey Janssen. Here are a few recommendations. 🙂

    old but super fun to read – Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke
    fun for little ones – Press Here by Tullet(it's interactive and great fun)
    interesting info – Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet(about the invention of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Balloons)
    bittersweet, but one of my favorites – Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
    the one I'm reading to Kindergarten tomorrow – Not a Stick by Portis
    my favorite book to read aloud – Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
    my favorite Christmas book – December by Even Bunting (better for older kids, I think)

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