Some Gifty Books


Friend R has about 800 nieces and nephews (I’m slightly exaggerating here) and two rambunctious, intelligent little boys. She asked me about some picture book recommendations, and since I had a little free time earlier at work today, I thought I’d pull a list together, culled from ones I and my coworkers have liked.

The books listed below are all either picture books or Easy Readers. Most books that are written nowadays are entertaining for the adults too, because you’re going to read Madeline five million times to your kids (and by the way, thanks for never complaining – at least in my hearing – Mama Bear and Daddio). All of them are clever and funny and meaningful in their own ways, but I’ve separated them into categories to make it easier.

Plus, a bonus grown-up recommendation at the end!

Picture Books:

Artsy Picture Books

Ballad – Blexbolex

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild – Peter Brown

The Pete the Cat series by James Dean and Eric Litman

Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share by Kevin O’Malley (he lives in my hometown of Baltimore!)

The Day the Babies Crawled Away – Peggy Rathmann

Press Here and any other books by Herve Tullet

Funny, funny, funny Books

Count the Monkeys  – Mac Barnett

The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt 

The Boss Baby – Marla Frazee (I’ve been giving this to every new parent I know; they all love it)

I Stink! and other truck-y books by Kate McMullan 

13 Words – Lemony Snicket

Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct and everything else Mo Willems ever wrote

Sweet Books

Say Hello – Jack Foreman

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace – James Proimos

Bear Has a Story to Tell – Philip Stead

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Philip Stead 

The Circus Ship  – Chris Van Dusen

The Scaredy Squirrel Series – Melanie Watt 

Wordless Books

Journey – Aaron Becker

Flora the Flamingo  – Molly Idle

The Secret Box – Barbara Lehman

Line 135 Germano Zullo


Easy Readers:

The Fly Guy Series – Tedd Arnold

The Dodsworth Series – Tim Egan


Annabelle’s All-Time Classics that Every Home Should Have, Based Solely On the Fact That These, And Many Others, Were Books That She Read a Million Times (I wish I had money enough to give all of these as a getting-started set to friends with babies):

The Puppy Book – (author unknown; the first book I ever read by myself)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Judi Barrett

Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans (see above)

Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

Tootle – Gertrude Crampton

Freight Train – Donald Crews

Strega Nona – Tomie De Paola

Go, Dog, Go – P.D. Eastman

Corduroy – Don Freeman

Bedtime for Frances – Russell Hoban

Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed – Karla Kuskin 

Curious George – H.A. Rey

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever – Richard Scarry (My parents bought me, I think, three copies of this during my childhood)

The Nutshell Library – Maurice Sendak (why is the Really Rosie DVD out of print?!?!)

Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss

Caps for Sale – Esphyr Slobodkina

The Monster at the End of This Book – Jon Stone

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst (I own her entire collection, all signed *brags*)



And if you need a book for yourselves: my favorite book ever in the whole world, ever ever ever. EVER.


9 responses »

  1. I have Monster at the End of the Book on a shelf in our kitchen/living space. it remains a favorite (silly Grover, he never learns..). I also have The Poky Little Puppy on the same shelf (and a few Shel Silverstein’s)

  2. Silly Grover never learns! You know, there were so many books I only kinda loved, so I left them out, but the world considers them classics. The Giving Tree is a perfect example of it. Maybe I should do a post on “Books Everyone Else Loved But I Never Got Into.”

  3. Librarian A, This is perfect timing, as I just learned a close friend is preggers! Also, may I request another blog of “good book gifts for college students” sub-themed by lessons the students should learn from reading the book?

  4. Pingback: Snowy Day Miscellany | LibrariAnnabelle's Blog

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