Recommended Reads

I know, I know, this is awesome! A place you can go to get nice, quick book recommendations. Not reviews, simply recommendations. Browse through my growing list to find all manner of children’s literature, but rest assured, it’s only the good stuff! I read lots, and I mean LOTS, so I thought it’d be useful if I left you a nice and quick impression of some of my favorites. Enjoy!

NOTE: For the sake of transparency, while I stand 100% by the books on this list, some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Again, these are books I DO enjoy, so if you value my opinion, then by all means, feel comfortable I’m pointing you in the right direction. 

And So Much More

Written by Jessica Collaco & Illusrated by Simon Estrada

Grumpy Monkey

Written by Suzanne Lang
Illustrated by Matt Lang

Grumpy Monkey is an entertaining and well-illustrated book about a young monkey who won't admit he's in a grumpy mood, despite wearing his emotions on his sleeve, as the saying goes. Everyone around (all forests animals) sees his grumpiness and questions him why he's so grumpy throughout the book. It ends on a hopeful message, teaching kids that it's not only okay to be in a grumpy mood, but that it's natural, and that if we let it pass, the sun will come up again.

The Color Monsters

Written by Anna Llenas
Illustrated by Anna Llenas

The Color Monsters is a neat story about learning how to take a step back, breathe, and then begin to understand our own feelings by separating them into digestible chunks, rather than the confusion that oftentimes comes from being overwhelmed by emotions. This book has a neat craft look to its illustrations, almost like a kid is drawing them before cutting them out and then pasting them on paper.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

Written by Ryan T. Higgins
Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

Absolutely loved the illustrations, the way the main characters were vibrantly colored and juxtaposed on a more monochromatic background, was delightful. The story, about a young T-Rex named Penelope, who simply can't stop trying to eat her human classmates at her new school, was a delight. Thankfully, she's unsuccessful, and thankfully, this story reads as well as the pictures look.

I Wish You More

Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

At first, the illustrations in this book were uninspiring, but it was more of a personal taste, than a quality issue. In fact, the simplicity of the illustrations went well with the simplicity of the story, so in that regard, they were fitting and grew to be essential to the storytelling. This is a book about wishing, as the title says, for more. "More bubbles than bath". "More umbrella than rain". Sending more beautiful messages to the young one being read to and further emphasizing that love is infinite.

Be Quiet!

Written by Ryan T. Higgins
Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

Another book by the author of We Don't Eat Our Classmates, and another great job. The illustrations are equally impressive, with a great style. The book itself, about a crotchety old mouse who wants to have a book with no words, is foiled by two highly talkative mice. The old mouse brings lots of jokes that parents will understand while the talkative mice will appeal to children, making the two a perfect blend and choice for story time with your little one.

What Do You Do With An Idea?

Written by Kobo Yamada
Illustrated by Mae Besom

This New York Times Best Seller is absolutely splendid. Its illustration style is very well done. Using a minimalist approach with colored pencils, each page is beautifully done with mostly brown shades. But, the "Idea" is personified as a little egg with legs that glows with vibrant color. This contrast is great, as since the words to this book are so beautifully written that it's not too distracting. As the book continues, more color is slowly welcomed into the world as the Egg grows bigger with nourishment and brighter as a result. This isn't a funny book, but a book meant to tell a beautiful story with life lessons. It succeeds on all fronts.

What Do You Do With A Chance?

Written by Kobo Yamada
Illustrated by Mae Besom

This is definitely one of the more inspiring books on the market. Again, like the book before it (What Do You Do With an Idea), it's color-pencil sketched illustration style is very well done, with a beautifully written, crisp story told in first person from a boy who regrets passing up on a chance, but then learns to chase it. Perhaps children won't get the full extent of the message, as since they've yet to accumulate very many true missed opportunities, but as an adult, this book sunk its teeth in deep. Great read.

What Do You Do With A Problem?

Written by Kobo Yamada
Illustrated by Mae Besom

This is the third book in the What You Do Matters trilogy, and as equally impressive as the two books that preceded it (What Do You Do With An Idea & What Do You Do With A Chance). Yet again, the color-pencil sketched illustrations are fantastic, depicting a wonderfully whimsical story in an artistic way. The sparse use of color (mostly done in a brownish monochromatic fashion) is great, and when color is introduced into the illustrations, it's done to great effect. This is a story about a nagging problem that grows and grows until the boy musters up the courage to face it, making us proud of him and his bravery in the process.

Never Let A Dinosaur Scribble

Written by Diane Alber
Illustrated by Diane Alber

The story itself is about a little boy who hears to never let a dinosaur scribble, and he becomes curious as to why not... Come to find out, there's a very good reason! I absolutely loved the art style. The settings were all white and simple, with the dinosaur being a vibrant shade of green. Even the boy, the main character and narrator of the book, wore red shorts with just a tinge of color in his cheeks. This helped keep the focus off him and on the dinosaur where it should have been.

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