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Eight Picture Books You and Your Little Ones Should be Reading

Everyone has a favorite children’s book—and often, those are the stories that are passed on from generation to generation. And while there’s no denying the appeal of decades-old classics like “Goodnight Moon,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” sometimes they can overshadow the huge crop of equally wonderful picture books published in recent years.

Check out some of the BC staff’s favorites—from the ultra-quirky to the unbelievably cute.


“Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsey Lewin

In this Caldecott Honor-winning book, Farmer Brown’s cows happen upon a typewriter…and aren’t afraid to use it to tell the Farmer what they want—electric blankets for the barn, to start. The result? A peaceful protest that will surprise and delight young rebels and their parents alike. (Simon and Schuster)


“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems

When the bus driver goes on a break, he only has one request for the reader—don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! The pigeon, however, has other ideas, and spends the rest of this hilarious, adorably illustrated story trying to convince the reader to let him take the wheel. Will he succeed? Well, that’s up to you! (Scholastic)

“Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer

It seems like sweet puppy George is perfect in every way. But when his mom asks him to bark, little George doesn’t let out a “woof,” “ruff” or even an “arf.” Instead, he meows—then quacks, oinks and moos. A trip to the veterinarian reveals the surprising source of George’s funny proclamations, but the mystery isn’t solved just yet. (HarperCollins)

“Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)” by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim Miller

Poor Snappsy. The snippy alligator was just minding his own business when someone (in this case, a persistent chicken acting as a narrator) had to go and write a book about him! This entertaining story is definitely different than anything else young readers have seen—making it an awesome addition to your bookshelves. (Viking Books for Young Readers)

“Goodnight Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann

This charming title is a picture book in the truest sense—it’s essentially wordless, save for the titular phrase uttered by the zookeeper at the story’s beginning. Make up your own narration or let the illustrations speak for themselves as the mischievous gorilla makes his way through the zoo after hours. (Pearson)

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by John Sciezeska and Lane Smith

This outrageously clever take on the classic tells the Big Bad Wolf’s side of the story, a hilarious self-defense that will leave fairy tale fans howling (pun entirely intended). Clever newspaper clips and rich illustrations add a second layer of irreverent fun. (Puffin Books)

“I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen

The title says it all: The bear wants his hat back, and he’s willing to do just about anything to get it back—or, at the very least, politely ask each of the animals he comes across in his travels if they’ve seen it. Klassen’s simple, beautiful illustrations and deadpan writing make for an amusing read with a truly unexpected ending. (Candlewick)

“The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

If you or your kids took personal offense to Crayola’s retirement of the “Dandelion” crayon, this story is for you. When Duncan opens his box of crayons to color, he finds nothing but notes from the disgruntled art supplies, each quitting for its own reason (Blue, for example, is tired of being used only for oceans and skies). We can’t overstate how charming the tale is, and the way the marvelous work of Oliver Jeffers brings the colorful crayons to life is nothing short of mastery. (Philomel Books) BC

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