Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Requesting Recommendations! Picture Books for Pre-Schoolers!


With Christmas just around the corner, I'm always in the market for books for Greyson. He may not ask for them. He may not list them himself when I ask what he wants, but by God, the kid is getting some books.

Don't get me wrong...he loves to sit and read books with me, and he loves to "read" them back, but he's quite picky about his picture books, and he most definitely goes through phases where we read the print off the pages and then maybe not pick one up for a week or two (at home...they read every day in pre-school).

Some of his faves so far:



  • Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barret
  • Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
  • Red and Yellow's Noisy Night by Josh Selig

We already own a lot of classic children's books like Where The Wild Things Are and Dr. Seuss books because of my own time studying children's and adolescent literature in grad school. Greyson's individual tastes seem to run toward...
  • Books that repeat (like Brown Bear, Brown Bear)
  • Super colorful books with big, yummy illustrations
  • Books that he can easily repeat or "read" back to me (see Bears in the Night and Go, Dog. Go!
  • Books about animals
All recommendations are welcome!





47 comments:

  1. The Easter Bunny gave Jude *Aliens Love Underpants* and that has been a huge hit. Boys love anything underwear / potty related. Ha. He also loves *I Want My Hat Back* and all of the *Dont Let the Pigeon..* series books. This one is weird to my adult eyes and so simple and blah, but he LOVES the *Little Critter* series. They are super simple, but all of the characters are animals, and every one has a problem to solve by the end. They are cheap and he loves to collect them. I think they will translate well to early readers in another two years or so when he begins to read himself. Anyway, those are our favorites! I'll let you know if I think of others. :)

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    1. Thanks for all the input, Katie! I knew you'd have some good stuff for me. I've already bought Brown Bear Brown Bear (because he looooves a Halloween version they did for school). I also picked up Flotsam by David Wiesner (for me as much as him) and There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly. We have a Thanksgiving version of that one in rotation now.

      I've been curious about the Little Critter series, and that definitely sounds like something Greyson would like. Greyson is especially fond of animals, so DONE! And he's also super into aliens right now, so Aliens Love Underpants sounds great! Thank you so so so much!

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  2. I recommend checking out the reviews and lists on Jama's blog: http://jamarattigan.com - also, it is the best children's picture book blog ever! :--)

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    1. Thank you! I definitely will. Debbie from Readerbuzz is awesome, too!

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  3. Check out All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon. It is so beautiful. Also, anything by Barbara Helen Berger (especially Grandfather Twilight). She has a longer book, Gwinna, with chapters, but it still has gorgeous illustrations.
    Anything by Leo Lionni, and of course Jan Brett.

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    1. Awesome! These are wonderful. Thank you, Marie!

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  4. We're Going on a Bear Hunt and The Smartest Giant in Town were two of my nephews favourites from last christmas (he was 2 and a half at the time). Neil Gaiman and Anthony Browne are also well worth checking out. Funnybones was my favourite book as a child, I reckon I was 4 or 5 when I read it.

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    1. Katrina! He LOVES We're Going on a Bear Hunt. They read it at school quite often, so I should definitely add that one to our home collection. He's the cutest thing saying, "We're going on a bear hunt! The bear has BIG GREEN EYES, and a FUZZY LITTLE TAIL." Cracks me up. I haven't heard of The Smartest Girl in Giant Town, but it sounds fun! Thank you again!

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  5. Ahh! I have tons :)!
    The Mischievians by William Joyce
    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
    The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
    Fox and Squirrel by Ruth Ohi
    The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen
    How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco
    Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
    How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
    The Snatchabook by Helen and Thomas Docherty

    For starters :).

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    1. LOL, I knew you would, Chelsea! I've already been on your instagram because I was trying to remember the Mischievians (sp?)! THANK YOU for these!!!! I shall look for them.

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  6. My son is long past that age so I can't help you out, but I adore that photo of Greyson! Could he possibly be any cuter?

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    1. LOL, thank you! He is pretty cute. He was having some Elton John inspiration in this pic, methinks.

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  7. All right, this is totally random and maybe weird, but I've been thinking lately about one of my favorite books from childhood: The Giant Jam Sandwich. Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what about it so completely captured my imagination, but it remains such a happy memory of my bygone youth! (Heh.) I think Greyson neeeeeeds it.

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    1. OMG!!! I'm so glad you said this! I adored this book as a kid, too, and he TOTALLY needs it! I have mental pictures of books I loved in childhood (like this one), but I rarely remember the titles. There was another one...about a giant's toe? I need to Google that one.

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  8. If he likes to be scared, my daughter loved We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury. Her very favorite is Harold and the Purple Crayon.

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    1. He LOVES that book (Bear Hunt)! They read it at school and he comes home and acts it out for me. lol I think we definitely need a copy at home.

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  9. I have no children, but love children's books and always give books with gifts. Doreen Cronin's books, in order, 'Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type', 'Giggle Giggle Quack' and 'Duck for President' are too wonderful for words. Anything by Mo Willems because that man is a genius and, one of my all time favorites, There's A Monster at the End of this Book (starring lovable, furry old Grover). The quality of children's and picture books these days is amazing. 'Grandpa Green' is very good, too.

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    1. Fantastic list! I can't wait to research these more, JoanneMarie!

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  10. Oh, I love picture books. I have a massive collection, it's the best part of being a primary school teacher! I don't know how well known they are in the US, but I love anything by Oliver Jeffers (particularly Lost & Found, about a sad penguin who needs a friend) and Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson, which is about characters from books coming to life. Michael Rosen's We're Going on a Bear Hunt is fun too, especially as you can also watch the video online and act it out together.

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    1. Yay! Thank you so much for your suggestions, Sam! I am definitely adding We're Going on a Bear Hunt and some others!

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  11. I've read dozens of picture books this year (though I don't have kids!), and these are some of my favorites. I've written reviews for all of these, and I'm slowly posting them on my book blog, if you're interested.

    Exclamation Mark, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld (Ill)

    Creepy Carrots!, Aaron Reynolds, Peter Brown (Ill)

    The Scrambled States of America, Laurie Keller

    Clink, Kelly DiPucchio, Matthew Myers (Ill)

    Say Hello to Zorro!, Carter Goodrich

    Zorro Gets an Outfit, Carter Goodrich

    One Cool Friend, Toni Buzzeo, David Small (Ill)

    Too Many Toys, David Shannon

    Interrupting Chicken, David Ezra Stein

    Sick Day for Amos McGee, Philip Christian Stead, Erin E. Stead (Ill)

    Dragons Love Tacos, Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Ill)

    Big Plans, Bob Shea, Lane Smith (Ill.)

    Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg, Lori Mortensen, Michael Allen Austin (Ill.)

    I also adore the Olivia books, the Don't Let the Pigeon... books, Duck for President (the duck sharpening a pencil CRACKS. ME. UP.) and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Wm Joyce's new book, The Mischievians, is wildly imaginative (though it might be for bigger kids).

    I hope you'll write a followup post on what you buy and what Greyson likes best.

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    1. This is an AMAZING list! Thank you so so so much! I've already bought There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and Flotsam by David Wiesner. I found them all on BookOutlet.com for great prices. I'm busy hunting all these suggestions to see if I can find some more great deals!

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  12. Anything by Peter Brown is excellent (a few will be a bit long at this age, but one's like "You Will Be My Friend" and "Children Make Terrible Pets" are great). All Aboard the Dinotrain is one my 2 year old has fun with (his name is Grey, btw). I love the classic literature to board book series that have been coming out (Dracula, Jane Eyre, and Moby Dick are hits in our house). I second the person who said anything by Oliver Jeffers (This Moose Belongs to Me is excellent). Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Churchill's Tales of Tails are good too.

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    1. Rory, I adore those BabyLit books! His favorite right now is Dracula because it reminds him of Batman and he's WAY into counting. :) I love all of your suggestions! Thank you!

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  13. There are three books C really loves that I've reviewed this year (in case you want to see screenshots or know more):

    Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
    The Giant Cabbage by Cherie Stihler
    Z Is For Moose by Kelly Bingham

    All feature animals, and The Giant Cabbage has a repeating part (it's one of those cumulative type deals). It's a sweet story. Z Is For Moose and Dragons Love Tacos are just plain FUNNY!

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  14. I'm going to be paying attention to the recommendations you get- I've got a nephew to spoil this holiday season! :)

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  15. My own dear son loved If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.

    My brother loved Curious George, ever a favorite still with children at our school.

    Have you tried Traction Man? Scaredy Squirrel? Little Pea? My personal favorites are these...seriously, you would love them.

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    1. Oh, and don't forget Skippyjohn Jones!

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  16. Oliver Jeffers, Alex Latimer, Mo Willems, David Shannon, Kevin Henkes; Little Rabbit by the Klises. and one for mom/son is LeUyen’s All the Things I Love About You is a recent and marvelous discovery of mine. When you describe the big bright colors, my mind went instantly to Dan Santat's illustrations (Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show he illustrated with Michael Buckley is a riot).

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

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    1. Thank you for all the awesome recs!!! I'm going to go on a buying binge. I can feel it.

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  17. I am currently enjoying reliving childhood through library storytimes, and you've gotten some wonderful suggestions (even Grandfather Twilight!). Stuck by Oliver Jeffers is wonderful; Emma Dodd has a wonderful, curl up bedtimey book I am Small as is anything by Audrey (with or without Don) Wood: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub; The Napping House; The Little Mouse, the Red Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. Also Karma Wilson's Bear stories (The Bear Snores On, Bear's New Friend, etc.) and the biggest hit of all, Pete the Cat who is too cool for words. Have fun!

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    1. I am absolutely tickled with all the recs! Can't wait to look into more of these, pick some up for our home library, and get to some from the library!

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  18. I used to teach young French children English here at the beginning of my career. I used all the Brown Bear books and Eric Carle in general, all the Jill Murphy books with the elephant family (so cute), The Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, The Gruffalo, Meg and Mog series,...

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    1. Great suggestions! You've reminded me of some I really want to add to the stacks (The Gruffalo, The Hungry Caterpillar). Thank you, Didi!

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  19. Jamberry! I can't recall who the author is, but my girls loved this rhyming book and so did I. It's one of those things where you start reading faster and faster because the words are so delicious and they trip off your tongue. Guaranteed Greyson will LOVE it.

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    1. I have it! I saw it in a school book order and snapped it up! I loved that one when I was young, too.

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  20. Maisy stories by Lucy Cousins are an enormous success with my three year old. She also loves "Barbapapa" -- very popular in France but they also are sold in English. Both of these recommendations have colorful drawings that my daughter just loves! Hope your little one will enjoy too!

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    1. These are some new-to-me titles! Thank you so much for your suggestions.

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  21. Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino - It's about this pug who is told by everyone (the cat, fish, bird) how ugly he is and when he meets a new dog neighbor through the fence he lies and says he's a golden retriever. But in the end, it ends with him feeling good about himself and feeling very lovable. My kindergarteners LOVED it and it teaches a fab message about being yourself and not lying.

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    1. AWWWW! Unlovable sounds sooo cute, and he loves dogs, so score!

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  22. I can only echo the Mo Willems recommendations. Ohmygosh! His books - especially the Pigeon series - are a never-fail, always an absolute hit with children. I was him do a reading at NY Loves Books event and it was like The Beatles and Elvis walked on to the stage. All these kids were shrieking and clapping.

    Two other lovely books are The Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French and Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen.

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    1. I am definitely making a note! The Mo Willems event sounds hilarious and awesome!

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  23. I didn't read the other comments so maybe these have been mentioned. But my recent favs are: Oh, No!; A Sick Day for Amos McGee; I Stink!; Pip and Squeak; Tops and Bottoms; Harry the Dirty Dog; Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons; There's An Alligator Under My Bed; Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself; Harry By the Sea; Little Cloud; I Ain't Gonna Paint No More; Bark, George

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    1. I see quite a few new recs in your bunch! Thank you so much, Kim!

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  24. I haven't read all the comments so these might already be covered, but my son loves "Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site", "The Giant Jam Sandwich", "The Runaway Bunny", "Dragons Love Tacos", and any of the "How Do Dinosaurs ... " series. Also, we have an older daughter so we tend to read slightly more advanced books, but some really beautiful books are the "Katie" books by James Mayhew. They follow a little girl named Katie who can climb into classical paintings and meet the subjects. BEAUTIFUL illustrations and my son really likes them.

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    1. These are WONDERFUL!!! Thank you so much. I had forgotten all about The Gian Jam Sandwich from when I was a kid, so I'm especially glad you mentioned that one!

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  25. Here a few books that I have found very cute

    OH No George -https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12908814-oh-no-george?from_search=true

    Mr Tiger Goes Wild - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333265-mr-tiger-goes-wild

    Any Eric Carle Books

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