My kids are getting older, they turned 8 and 12 this year, and they’re no longer really into picture books. But for many years, we went through piles and bags and mountains of picture books (it’s a good thing we have access to a library!), and over the years I compiled various lists of some of the kids’ favourite titles. In honour of International Children’s Book Day, I’d like to share some of those titles here. The pictures are all of our own books, well-read and well-loved through the years.
Mooncake, by Frank Asch
This book was left behind by the previous owners of the house we live in. It was well-loved by their kids, and much loved by mine as well: it was read so much it eventually fell apart. It’s a simple but quite ingenious story about a bear who wants to get a taste of the moon. Beautifully written and illustrated.
Kidogo, by Anik McGrory
This book about a baby elephant is set on the African plain, and features lots of different animals from the area. It’s a great story for young kids!
Raindrop, Plop!, by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This book includes counting (up to 10 and then backwards from 10), gorgeous illustrations and rhymes (can you tell my kids love rhymes?).
The Road to Mumbai, by Ruth Jeyaveeran
My daughter loved this story about a little girl who flies off in her bed, with her pet monkey to get to a monkey wedding in Mumbai. It’s a great fantasy tales for young kids and the descriptions of India are lovely as well.
Strega Nona, by Tomie dePaola
There are several books about Strega Nona, and old wise-woman living in a village in Calabria. My kids loved these stories, and the illustrations are fantastic too.
Green Eggs and Ham & The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
My son was a huge fan of these books, and he was really into Dr. Seuss’ brand of humor. I still love reading Dr. Seuss: because the rhymes are so great and really flow.
Rain, by Manya Stojic.
This is a great book with very colorful and vivid illustrations, all about what happens when the rains arrive on an arid plain somewhere in Africa. My daughter loved this book when she was about 3, 4 years old.
Flotsam, David Wiesner
A really amazing picture book without any text to read, just some absolutely spectacular images that tell a fantastic story all on their own. Highly recommended!
The Cow Who Clucked, by Denise Fleming
The kids really enjoyed this story about the cow who loses her “moo” and tries to find it. The illustrations are beautiful and very detailed: there are lots of little things to find each time you read it!
Not a Stick, by Antoinette Portis
Even now, the kids get a kick out of this book. How many different things can a stick be? Well, a lot of things, let me tell you! Just not a stick.
Skunkdog, by Emily Jenkins
This book, about a dog without a sense of smell that ends up befriending a skunk, used to one of my daughter’s favorite reads. It’s a fun and actually rather touching story about how being different can make it tough to make friends, but that friendship can be found in unlikely places.
Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!, by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe
Dinosaurs and rhymes: two of my kids’ favorite things and thus a big hit in our house.
Wallace’s Lists, by Barbara Bottner
This is another great story about friendship, and about making friends with someone who might seem quite different from you. Wallace, who never does anything without a list, and Albert, who never plans ahead, end up having quite an adventure together.
Wag a Tail, by Lois Ehlert
My son fell in love with this book when he was starting to read. It’s mainly made up of fun, dynamic pictures with simple text, but I think he liked it because he it was easy and fun to read by himself. Silly dogs and lots of action on every page contributes to the fun as well.
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble
This beautifully illustrated book tells a very original and captivating story about a young native American girl and her love of horses, and the horses that come to love her.
The Very Busy Spider & The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
My kids had lots of favorite board books when they were younger, but these two books by Eric Carle (who is a genius of the genre) were always their top picks.
Read more about International Children’s Book Day.