I was going through our old stash of children’s books… organizing our bookshelves… and I found myself lost in a daze of the sweet sweet memories of reading picture books to my children. Oh how I loved that.
Although we have evolved into reading chapter books now, there are so many great children’s books that I found along the way that I want to hold on to. I thought I’d share some of the gems I discovered with you all here, since I know there are mama’s out there with kids young enough to sit on their lap and enjoy a good picture book.
Oh how I miss those moments! Give the top of your kids’ heads an extra sniff for me, would you? Love that baby smell.
I still lean over my children’s heads every day to breathe in their scent… although now I have to sneak up from behind them when they are sitting down to get that moment. Sitting on my lap, their heads tower above mine!
So I have lots of classics, you know them… The Runaway Bunny, Ferdinand The Bull, Goodnight Moon, etc… but I wanted to share with you today some books that don’t get as much billing, but they are true gems nonetheless.
1. Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems — I love this book! All the naked mole rats were discouraging Wilbur from wearing clothes. They said that naked mole rats must be naked, it was a rule that naked mole rats do not wear clothes. Wilbur asks… why? If you like to teach your children to march to their own rhythm, find their own happiness, this book illustrates the simple power in asking “why?”
2. Wallace’s List, by Olof Landstrom — best. book. evah! This is a story about two mice… one likes to adventure and one likes safe little lists. The cute adventure they have together illustrates there is no good or bad way to do anything… that both ways are valid… and helps illustrate that we are all connected by love. A very cute book that promotes tolerance and diversity.
3. The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, by Leslea Newman — the message of this book is, well… FABULOUS! Although I don’t love the illustrations, the message is just off the charts phenomenal. This book shows the power of looking on the positive side, and how one bright light can illuminate the world!!! Learning to look through the eyes of joy is a gift to everyone whose path you come across…
4. The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart — lovely and sentimental book about a young girl, who is sent to live with her Uncle during tough times (the Great Depression.) Absolutely breathtaking… this book illustrates so beautifully how one person can plant a small seed of love and kindness and completely change an entire town. Sincere and genuine, this is an absolutely beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations.
Okay, have to mention my own book, along with these gems. Certainly, my book ranks as one of my all time FAVORITES and I truly wish I would have had my own book to share with my kids when there were even younger. It would have helped me to illustrate what I believe to be the key to life — enjoying where you stand. Hopefully I illustrate that to my kids by how I live… but for times when I need the reminder myself, we all reach for this book.
There are so many children’s books out there that teach lessons and share morales, but I wanted to find children’s books that INSPIRE, not simply teach!!!!
That is what I believe each book in the list above does… they are absolutely stand out, amazing, unique books. And that is what I set out to create, when I began to paint my own book… I wanted a children’s book that would inspire anyone who reads it to reach for joy. Parents and children alike. The result is this:
5. Jake, A Guinea Pig Finds Adventure, by Laura Koniver, MD — a cute book that shows how attitude can make the difference between living life in a cage or in a sanctuary. He finds adventure, not by going out… but by going in.
Thanks for reading my list of favs… got any to share? What was your favorite childhood picture book, or a hidden gem, not mentioned here? xoxo