Not Your Average Children’s Books

As a first grade teacher I have definitely put in my time perusing my school’s library, our local library-and any other library in my path-for great children’s books. They are the perfect way to teach writing, to show examples of what a good author does, and to help my students begin to love reading.

I have found a good share of amazing books, but probably even more that I’m not sure how they even got published. Not to hate on any books, total #bookgeek over here, but some just really stick out above the rest.

Now that I have Brooks I have been slowly collecting those that I truly love and making sure they are on his bookshelf, ready for the day when he can pick out which ones to read together. There will be no bad books in our household! So since I know many parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts and uncles-anyone-may also be on the hunt I thought I would offer my opinion on some of the VERY best picture books that both kids AND adults will fall in love with.


  1. Jon Klassen is a genius. Seriously. I love every single one of his books. My favorite is his hat series: I Want my Hat Back, This is Not my Hat, and his newest We Found a Hat. They are so incredibly clever and his simple pictures make them great for younger kids. He finds a way to sneak in a little humor geared towards adults all the while kids will be cracking up until the end. I can’t say enough good things!
  2. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead illustrated by Erin E. Stead. A perfect book about friendship with amazing pictures.
  3. Oliver Jeffers. Another genius author in my opinion. Funny pictures, funny stories, entertainment for all! Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me are my favorite.
  4. Along those same lines Oliver Jeffers also does the pictures for The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home–which are  both equally hilarious and are written by Drew Daywalt. These ones have my class in stitches as we read and were the perfect gifts for my book loving nephew.
  5. Another author that has a good series of books is Herve Tullet. These are interactive so kids think they are fun, and the pictures are simple and colorful. Press Here is my absolute favorite but Mix it Up and Let’s Play are also excellent.
  6. Spoon by Amy Krause Rosenthal and Scott Magoon. How can a book about silverware be good? Just trust me. Plus there is a sequel called Chopsticks which is just as cute. Love it. Love it. Love it.
  7. There is not one single book by Mo Willems I do not like so I won’t bore you with all of them. Some stand out favorites for me are EVERY Elephant and Piggie book (every one, seriously), the Pigeon books, and Leonardo the Terrible Monster. Honestly though, just do yourself a favor and start collecting every book he has written. He’s so funny.
  8. The series written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts is one of my newest finds and I can’t get enough of it. So far they have Iggy Peck, Architect, Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist. They all have such a good message for kids, follow your dream! The pictures are great, the message is great, they rhyme (which I love), and are so entertaining. These are so worth adding to your library. I already have a set for my classroom and a set for Brooks’ bookshelf.


I take my children’s books seriously and these really are a cut above the rest. Happy reading! Any books I should add to my list?



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