Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Our ten favorite children’s books from 2017

Yikes, it was so hard to narrow this list down! But here we are, our ten favorite children’s books from 2017… in alphabetical order because I can’t decide on an order =]

Ladybug Girl... B loves this series (my personal favorite is Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow) like crazy, and the rest of us like it a lot too. Lulu learns a lot of great lessons but in a subtle, non-preachy way. The illustrations are lovely and so is the text. B also dresses as Ladybug Girl all the time and frequently chooses to be Ladybug Girl when the kids play superheroes. This and Uni the Unicorn are B's two favorite books on this list. 

Mary Engelbreit’s Nursery and Fairy Tales Collection… This sweet little collection of stories is a major favorite around here. My kids call it “the red fairy tale book” and ask for it frequently. Not only does it feature favorites they’re of course quite familiar with like Hansel & Gretel, The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Thumbelina, Alladin, and many others (20 in total), it features positively adorable illustrations in Mary Engelbreit’s classic style. We love her Christmas books so my kids are already familiar fans of her artwork. These are watered-down, “sweet” versions of the fairy tales which is just the way I like them at this age. I know a lot of people don’t like that though so fair warning!

Moses: How Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom… This is such an awesome historical fiction picture book. I really like historical fiction picture books any ways but this one was such an awesome story focusing so much on Harriet Tubman’s faith throughout her courageous time spent working the underground railroad.

Nibbles the Book Monster… This is one of my son’s absolute favorites, probably in his top ten or even top five. Nibbles, a cute yellow monster, nibbles his way through books. In this book he nibbles his way through a few classics (Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Goldilocks & the Three Bears) and the illustrations bring my boy so much delight. I, too, think it’s pretty darn cute. We love that there are cutouts and pages-within-pages but because of that we keep it put away until we’re about to read it and I definitely think you’ll want to save it for when your child is at least three, maybe four.

Pete’s a Pizza… We read this book at just the right time. Pete’s father pretends to make a pizza, using Pete as the dough, and my children were so delighted with it. The next day was Christmas Eve and my son whined that he wanted to make a gingerbread man cookie. We didn’t have the stuff for that (Will we ever? I h8 baking!) and we decided to make him the gingerbread cookie instead. He naturally jumped out of the oven (couch) and shouted, “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” We’ve played this game many times since then and have of course made them pizzas too.

Redwoods… we read this nonfiction before our trip to the Redwoods and loved it so much that we’ve borrowed it from the library several times since then. The illustrations are truly gorgeous and they tell a wordless story while the actual words give a simple and typically-nonfiction overview of the Redwoods. I wish more nonfiction picture books were like this one and I hope Jason Chin eventually goes on to do one about each of the National Parks! This one is on my list of books-to-buy.

The Snatchabook… This is a cute story told in verse, about a creature called a Snatchabook coming in and stealing everyone’s bedtime stories. A and B both frequently name pretend characters Eliza Brown and A often sings a made-up song about Eliza Brown. We kept borrowing it and renewing it, and then Ryan’s aunt sent it to the kids for Christmas. We have probably read it 20 times since Christmas. It is a very clear favorite in our house.

Squirrels Leap… This is another of those cute nonfictions that just told us a lot about squirrels and provided cute illustrations… but the first time I read it was at 2am when B was sick with norovirus. She was miserable from throwing up so much and I was naturally paranoid she would aspirate and die, so I elected to stay up all night with her. I covered the couch in blankets and snuggled up with her, a just-in-case bucket, and my Kindle. She was too miserable to sleep so I turned on the light and grabbed the first simple picture book in our basket, this one. That one-on-one time made her feel very special and she of course fell in love with the book because of it. She kept telling us all about it and A and C caught her enthusiasm too. A month or two later we sat at a table in the library and watched squirrels scamper up and down trees out the window, then checked it back out and read it another 20 times.

Uni the Unicorn... I personally like-but-don't-love this book but B and C are crazy about it. I think A likes it slightly more than I do. It's a cute book with great illustrations and it's nice and simple, without any kind of deep storyline for littler unicorn-lovers to try and keep up with. (There's even a stuffed animal Uni!)

You Were the First… This precious book is one I read about on Everyday Reading. I requested it through the library and had it waiting for us after D was born. A few days after she was born, when all three girls were napping at once, I snuggled him on the couch and read it to him. I of course had tears in my eyes the whole time and he clearly loved the special attention because we’ve read it a few times since then and he frequently tells his sisters, “Did you know I was the first baby?” This is without a doubt the PERFECT gift to give your first child when you’re expecting a second… or third, or even fourth.

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