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One of my favorite parts about being a parent is having the perfect excuse to visit the children’s section of a bookstore. While stepping down the romance and YA section makes me light up with joy, stepping into the children’s section tugs at that part of me that still believes in magic and adventure. And the best part? I get to watch my son and daughter’s faces light up whenever a novel captures their interest. I get to see the way their expressions grow dreamy as they fall helplessly- and joyfully- into a story that engages their mind and sparks their imagination. I get to tag along on their journeys as they encounter dragons, monsters, unicorns, feats of daring, epic adventures, and humorous jaunts through food-inspired worlds.
Below, in no particular order, I have listed 10 children’s books that are favorites in my household:
1. Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney. (Age range: 5 and up) (Grade level: K-2)
This epic journey takes you through a humorous and exciting jaunt through food-inspired landscapes as Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast race to make it to the final drop of maple syrup. This fun read is a repeat bedtime story!
2. The Day the Crayons Quit
written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Age range: 3 to 7) (Grade: Preschool-2).
This story consists of a series of letters written to a boy named Duncan by crayons who are tired of being used for the same types of pictures. Blue crayon doesn’t just want to color the ocean and purple doesn’t just want to cover grapes, and peach crayon…well, he just doesn’t want to be naked anymore! Naturally, this inspires Duncan to create a picture that is entirely unique!
3. Orgo Runners Glider Attack
written by R.J. Furness and illustrated by Amy Leslie. (Age range: 5 to 9)
This story is a recent favorite in our household. It is a fun epic adventure about a small group of orgo runners who need to deliver food to another town and are waylaid by flying creatures. Glider Attack is an exciting read for any child who enjoys action and adventure!
5. Seriously, Just Go to Sleep
by Adam Mansbach. Illustrated by Ricardo Cortes (Grade level: 1-5. Age Range: 1 to 10).
This children’s book is a good read for children and adults alike. While the kids get lulled into a dream-like state with some of the descriptive and lyrical prose on wildlife, parents get to chuckle in understanding over the parent’s frustration in the story.
6. How to Catch a Monster
written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton (Age range: 4 to 8) (Grade level: 1-3).
We’re a family of monster lovers! Perhaps my kids got it from me, but they love a fun spooky tale. This particular book adds a whole lotta fun to catching monsters! Don’t be surprised if you wake up the next day to homemade, creative “monster” traps in your kid(s) room after reading this book together.
7. If You Give a Moose a Muffin
written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond (Age range: 4 to 8) (Grade level: preschool-2).
What happens when you give a moose a muffin? Well, a whole series of comic events that are sure to make you and your little ones’ giggle. This is a particular favorite in my house as our state (Maine) has plenty of moose!
8. The Book with No Pictures
by B.J. Novak (Age range: 5 to 8 years) (Grade: K-3)
My son actually read this one at school one day and immediately asked me to get it for him. Naturally I acquiesced to his request because- well, I can’t say no to a book demand. Once I purchased it, he asked me to read it to him. I was skeptical at first- a children’s book with NO pictures? I shrugged and decided to give it a chance…and LOVED it! Half way through I couldn’t stop laughing. Neither could my son. Trust me- you need to add this to your library.
9. Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice
written and illustrated by Judy Schachner (Age: 3 to 5 years)
A fun, spunky cat, lyrical and catchy phrases, and space! This is a great story to pick up if you’re looking for a fun, fast, and humorous read. Make sure to add silly voices into the dialogue to make it even more fun.
10. Uni the Unicorn
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brigette Barrager (Age range: 4 to 8 years) (Grade level: preschool-3).
My daughter, if left in charge of choosing the novel for the night, will almost always choose this one. This sweet, endearing story is about a young girl wishing for a unicorn, and a unicorn wishing for a young girl to be best friends with. If you’re looking for a magical tale on friendship and wishes that come true, then this is the perfect story for you!