Monday, June 6, 2016

Tracy's Treasury of Picture Books for Toddlers & Young School-Aged Children

I hope you're ready for more of our tried-and-true, family-favorite books! Today's books are our favorite stories for little ones. They fit the following criteria: 
  • They're picture books with real pages. (This is a step up from our Sturdy Books for Babies & Toddlers.)
  • They're quality children's books (twaddle-free, well-written & well-illustrated). I'll try not to go off on a tangent about all the sub-par kids books available today which I'd liken to a junk food diet in book form. If  it's annoying or lacks redeeming qualities, it gets the boot.
  • My boys love them. These have been tested, tried and true by my boys, who have read them to pieces. They're keepers. 
Ready for some great picture books? Here we go.. 

Picture Book Read Alouds... 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - This is a classic picture book that both of my "big boys" love and have listened to over and over and over again. It provides good opportunities to talk about various lessons learned too, which is always a bonus. The story is also available in large collections with other Beatrix Potter stories, but the small, hardcover book is the way to go. It's how it was originally published, and is an ideal size for little hands and includes all the original illustrations. I think picking a couple of the little individual books (like The Tale of Jemima PuddleduckThe Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, or The Tale of Samuel Whiskersis preferable to a large volume of all of them that won't get read as much. 

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak - This is a well-loved favorite at our house. The kids like to "roar their terrible roars, gnash their terrible teeth, roll their terrible eyes, and show their terrible claws" along with the wild things in the book. 

Where oh Where is Huggle Buggle Bear? by Katherine Sully - This is a cute book about a teddy bear who's hiding when it's time for bed. 

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Francis Alexander - This is a lovely song put into book form with equally lovely illustrations. 

But No Elephants by Jerry Smath - I loved this book as a child and our children love it now. It's about a grandma who takes in animals one by one till she has quite a house full. 

The Monster at the End of This Book (and Another Monster at the End of This Book) by Jon Stone - I guarantee that your kids will crack up when you read these books to them. My brothers and I loved the first book when we were little, our kids love it now, and the sequel too. 

The Complete Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett - If I had a dollar for every time I've read this book, I'd be a rich woman. 

Curious George by H.A. Rey - Who doesn't love Curious George? 

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone - I read several versions of this story from our library before choosing the best one to buy. Some of them wreck the morale of the story and have the hen share her cake (which she worked very hard on) with the lazy animals who did no work. This one gets it right.  

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss 

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. - This was one of my favorites in Kindergarten, and my boys have enjoyed it too. It's repetitive and predictable, so they chime in with what's coming next. 

I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis and Alison Jay - This was one of our Kindergarten books that I had to re-check out from the library until they wouldn't let us keep it any longer so I finally bought it. My boys love it. 

Just One More Swim by Carolin Pitcher and Jenny Jones - this is a sweet story of how a mother bear coaxes her cubs to jump in the water and swim for the first time. The pictures are lovely and the wording is rich. It's a good one. 

The Beautiful World that God Made by Rhonda Gowler Greene - This is a poetic telling of creation. 

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers - This is the story of a little boy who finally catches a star of his very own. 

If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Joffe Numeroff (and If You Give a Moose a Muffin) - These silly stories are funny to kids because in the end they end up right back where they started. 

What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Schwartz - This is a neat little rainbow book. Every time you turn the page, another ribbon color pulls across the page, adding to the rainbow. 

3 in 1 (A Picture of God) by Joanne Marxhausen - This unique book helps children visualize God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a way that's easy to understand. Watch this You Tube video to see what it says.  

So So Sweet...

I Love You More by Laura Duksta - This book is beyond sweet. A boy asks his mom how much she loves him and she tells him in verse. Then you flip the book upside down and read it from the back cover, and the mom asks her son how much he loves her and he tells her in verse. It is so incredibly sweet, and kids love that it reads front to back then back to front. 

Hush, Little Horsie by Jane Yolen - This beautifully illustrated book shows how Mama horse comforts her baby. 

I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch - This tells the story of a mother and her son from the time he's a baby till he's an adult and she's elderly. 

You and Me Little Bear by Martin Waddell - Read how big bear and little bear spend their days together. 

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman - This magically illustrated book has a lovely flowing verse telling about how much the child is wanted and how your love will follow them anywhere. 

What Baby Needs by William Sears, M.D. - This is one of my two favorite books for children who are about to have a baby brother or sister. 

Hello Baby! by Lizzy Rockwell - This is the other one of my two favorite books for children who are about to have a baby brother or sister. 

Earth Science Read Alouds...

Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin - This book combines poetic language with a really neat introduction to the lunar phases of the moon. 

How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World by Faith McNulty - Take an adventure through the layers of the earth!

Why Does It Rain? and What is a Rainbow? by Chris Arvetis - Both of these are really old, but great books, though they may be hard to come by. 

Water Dance by Thomas Locker - This is a lovely book following water as it moves through out the earth. 

Oh Can You Say What's the Weather Today? by Tish Rabe - This is from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. 

I Can Name 50 Trees Today by Bonnie Worth - This is also from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. 

Animal Science Read Alouds...

The Bee Tree by Patricia Polocco - A girl discovers the joy of learning while on an exciting search for a bee tree! 

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller - This book is about the variety of animals who lay eggs. 

Animals Born Alive and Well by Ruth Heller - This book is similar to the previous one but is about animals born alive. 

The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen - This book is a great way to see what happens all over a farm throughout the year!

Our Animal Friends by Alice and Martin Provensen - If you like the previous book, check out this one too. It brings farm animals to life with their spunk and personalities. 

The World's Greatest Lion by Ralph Helfer - This is the real story of one lion's life (the MGM lion), and we checked it out from the library over and over again till we reached our limit. I'm planning to get it for our soon-to-be five-year-old's birthday this year. 

It's Moving Day! by Pamela Hickman - Meet all the different animals who move in and out of one burrow. 

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre - This enjoyable book follows a sea turtle's life from the time of hatching from an egg to the time of laying her own eggs. It was another library book that we kept re-checking until I finally bought it. 

Octopus' Den by Deirdre Langleland - Follow an octopus for a day through this award-winning book with beautiful watercolor illustrations. See how he moves, changes, and avoids lurking dangers of life under the sea. 

Grandma Elephant's In Charge by Martin Jenkins - Learn about elephants through this picture book that follows a matriarch and her herd. 

How to Hide a Meadow Frog & Other Amphibians by Ruth Heller - Discover the wonders of camouflage! Similar books include How to Hide a Butterfly & Other Insects and How to Hide an Octopus & Other Sea Creatures, and How to Hide a Crocodile & other Reptiles

Read and Find Out Books...

All of the following books come from the Read-and-Find-out series. Rather than classifying them as read-aloud picture books (like the entire list up to this point), I'd classify these as more formal science picture books. We used them for many of our kindergarten science discovery units, as they introduce the subjects in a very child-friendly way. 

Ant Cities by Arthur Dorros

How Do You Know What Time it Is? by Robert E. Wells

What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt

The Planets in Our Solar System by Franklyn M. Branley

Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn M. Branley

Penguin Chick by Betty Tatham

What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer 

From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman

My Five Senses by Aliki

Look and Find Books...