In no particular order, my favorite children’s books we read in 2016:
Bill in a China Shop—Katie McAllaster Weaver
A rhyming book (I’m partial to those) about a bull who loves fancy china plates and cups, but faces the wrath of a snooty china shop owner and battles the impossibility of an animal his size trying to navigate the delicate world of fine tableware.
EIEIO: How Old McDonald got his Farm—Judy Sierra
A modern spin on an old tale. In this version McDonald is a novice urban farmer who’s looking for a way to use his backyard for something besides mowing grass…because he can’t stand mowing grass.
Ugly Fish—Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon
Ugly fish doesn’t want to share his tank or his food or his toys, but he’s about to learn that being ugly won’t get you far in life… WARNING!! (and spoiler alert) Ugly fish eats other fish and is ultimately eaten himself—this book could be upsetting to more sensitive children. My kids…well…they laughed. So there’s that.
The Gruffalo—Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo…or is there? A tiny mouse with a big imagination and an uncanny ability to think on his feet is the hero of this story.
Waiting is a quiet story, with soft pastel illustrations, but don’t mistake its softness for a lack of substance. It uses sweet toys sitting on a shelf to softly explore concepts like seasons of the year, loss, introduction of new things, and patience. A beautiful book.
Stick and Stone—Beth Ferry and Tim Lightenfeld
Stick and Stone are very different, but together their friendship can weather any storm. A great book on the power of working together and using one’s strengths for good.
Blue Chicken—Deborah Freedman
The mischievous little chicken doesn’t start out blue, but after an accident with some unattended paint, lots of things turn blue around the farm. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations help to tell this story—an ideal book for a little person who’s working on learning his/her colors!
The Nice Book—David Ezra Stein
Very few words in this book, probably most suited for children under three years old. The nice book offers easy-to-understand illustrations of sharing and caring.
The Tree House that Jack Built—Bonnie Verburg and Mark Teague
Jack is imaginative, creative, constructive, and a lover of animals. His treehouse is a masterpiece. The story feels both adventurous and safe. This book ends with a ‘goodnight’ and would be a great book before bed—it would inspire wonderful dreams.
Now go read!!