• The Best Picture Books Published in 2019
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books Published in 2019

    I love taking time to notice the year a book is published and I am noticing such a great trend in picture books. 2019 was a good year for picture books.

    I’ll admit, we didn’t read as many published in 2019 books at the end of the year but there were so many great ones at the beginning of the year that those were most of my favorites anyway.

    Curious about our favorites from years past? You can check them out here:

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2018

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2017

    * The Best Picture Books Published in 2016

     

    If you have some favorite picture books that were published in 2019 that I didn’t share here I would love to hear about them!

     

    The Best Picture Books Published in 2019

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2019

     

     

     

    Ame Dyckman is turning into one of my favorite picture book authors. Wolfie the Bunny is still my favorite of hers (because: adoption) but this one was funny and yet educational – the kids had fun retelling some of the shark stats they learned to their Dad at supper.

    Misunderstood Shark: Friends Don’t Eat Friends

    Last time on Underwater World with Bob Jellyfish…
    “SHARK ATE ME! Now get me OUT, Shark!”
    “That’s strange! I can hear Bob, but I can’t see Bob!”

    This hilarious follow-up to Misunderstood Shark by New York Times bestselling duo Ame Dyckman and Scott Magoon tackles what it really means to be a good friend. Bob is already irate that Shark has eaten him, but when Shark doesn’t admit to eating him, Bob is so mad he declares that the ocean isn’t big enough for both of them! Friends Don’t Eat Friends is exploding with over-the-top humor and awesome marine facts! For example, when Shark overdoses on Finilla Ice Cream after fighting with Bob, we learn that shark teeth are coated with fluoride. Lucky for Shark, he can’t get cavities! Join Shark and the gang for another story and find out if Shark learns his lesson about friendship, or if he really is just misunderstood — again!

     

     

    The illustrations in this book remind us so much of Julie Morstad’s (my daughter even noticed it without me pointing it out) and we love a book with so many possibilities.

    BE A MAKER

    How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we make–and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.

     

     

    This book had my kids laughing so hard!

    Undercover Ostrich

    Animals can be sneaky. But do you know who is especially sneaky? Undercover ostriches! They’re everywhere, and they’re masters at going undetected. You’ve probably seen one and just assumed it was another woodpecker or owl. The narrator of this book is on the case, following a single ostrich on his many adventures. Not until the final twist does author and illustrator Joe Kulka let the readers in on the narrator’s true motivation: a peanut collection mission involving undercover elephants.

     

    I love the words in this book but also the diversity in the colors of the children. The cover is my favorite because it looks like my two kids!

    When I Pray For You

    With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world. Paired with Kimberley Barnes’s vivid and playful illustrations, When I Pray for You is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life.

    When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them.

     

     

     

    I’ve had a desire to have backyard chickens for years now, though I’m not sure if I would like it if they would be able to talk . . .

    Chicken Talk

    The chickens on the farm have a message for their farm owners! They’re tired of arugula salad, how about putting a fan in their hot coop, and HEYwatch out for that snake in your tent.

    As the children walk around their beloved farm, they discover more and more chicken talk scratched into the dirt. The family can hardly believe it. What will the chickens possibly say next!?

     

    As a cat owning family this book was not only hilarious but also very relatable.

    How To Give Your Cat a Bath: In Five Easy Steps

    Step one: fill the bath
    Step two: put the cat in the bath
    Step three: put shampoo on the cat
    Step four: rinse the cat
    Step five: dry the cat

    Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath–it’s the whole house!

    This spoof on an instruction manual features an increasingly bewildered human, a nonchalant cat and a know-it-all narrator . . . who really doesn’t know it all. How DO you give a cat a bath? Read on to find out!

     

    The Bell Rang

    Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.

    An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.

     

     

    We Are the Gardeners

    From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything!), and all the knowledge they’ve gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. There are always new lessons to be learned in the garden!

    You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family’s story of becoming gardeners in Joanna’s first children’s book—starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family’s love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden.

     

    Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

    A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again.

    Informed by the author’s background in marine science, Sea Bear is a vivid and moving page-turner with a vital message about our changing planet. This is a gorgeously illustrated book, with the perfect marriage of scientific fact and poetry, that shows the reality of climate change and how it poses a threat to animals of the Arctic.

     

    If you have some favorite picture books that were published in 2019 that I didn’t share here I would love to hear about them!

  • book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Children’s Books for December

    Here we are at the end of monthly book lists! I can’t believe how fast this year went by!

    For this month’s book list I wanted to stick with the reason behind this season and focus on books that prepare us for the Christmas season.

    I am always looking for more great Christmas books that keep Christ at the center so if you have some that aren’t on this list let me know so I can check them out!

    If you are looking for Advent resources you can find some here.

    You can also check out a similar themed list (with almost completely different books) I wrote three years ago!

     

    The Best Children's Books for December

     

    The Children’s Books for December

     

    The Jesus Storybook Bible

    I think this (the Bible) is the best place to start in December. It was apparently unintentional but it just so happens that they are 24 readings leading up to the Christmas story! This is my favorite children’s Bible, I found it so impactful reading it an an adult.

    While other Kids’ Bibles contain stories from the Old and New Testaments, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible, pointing to Jesus as our Savior. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will clearly see that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too.

     

    Jotham’s Journey

    I’ve heard about this series for so many years I am glad to finally read this one this year!

    In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

     

    Song of the Stars

    An another amazing work by Sally Lloyd Jones, such a good book for this season!

    The skies shouted it to the seas that thundered it to the waves that roared it to the great white whales that sang it to the starfish in the deep. And tiny sandpipers danced it on shining sands… “It’s time! It’s time!” On one quiet night, creation whispered a secret. Grass and bees, robins and trees all spread the word. Sheep told their young while angels sang the song to the shepherds. Hushed news of a miracle echoed to the ends of the earth. The moment had come. The long-awaited child had arrived! Creation cried out in celebration, but only a few people heard. Only a few joined nature’s chorus, a song in praise of the newborn King.

     

    THE CRIPPLED LAMB

    This one is so sweet, I loved it when I was younger and I love reading it now!

    In this timeless bestseller, readers experience the tender love God has for those who feel alone and different. Joshua was a lamb with a crippled leg who felt left out because he couldn’t run and play like the other lambs. But God had a very special plan for Joshua’s life, as He does for all who feel alone. Readers can expect a gentle tug on their hearts as the little lamb’s prayers are answered in an amazing way. Original oil-painting illustrations by Liz Bonham brilliantly capture the beauty and warmth of this endearing story.

     

    The Littlest Watchman: Watching and Waiting for the Very First Christmas

    Benjamin is a Watchman. It’s his job to watch for the sign that all God’s promises are coming true. It’s his job to watch a stump.

    Trouble is, it’s hard just waiting. And one night, Benjamin finally gives in and stops watching. But that same night, as he sits outside Bethlehem, he gets to watch something wonderful.

    A Very Noisy Christmas

    Some think that Christmas was a “”Silent Night””. Far from it. It was filled with shouting, singing and screaming! It was as noisy as any of our Christmas celebrations.

    This fun and fresh retelling of the Christmas story comes with sound effects so that children can join in as parents read to them. But it also shows children that at the heart of the Christmas story is something we should all be quiet and see: God’s son Jesus was born, so that we can be friends with God forever. Now that’s something worth shouting about!

     

    From Eden to Bethlehem

    Your family will love this unique board book! Using colorful, engaging artwork, From Eden to Bethlehem introduces little ones to the coming messiah – from fall to prophecy to Incarnation – using the animals of the Bible to tell the story.

    Children will delight in the beautiful illustrations and learning about key animals in the Old and New Testaments. The creatures featured in From Eden to Bethlehem follow the narrative arc of Scripture and help children understand Jesus’s coming as the central story of the Bible.

    You will appreciate the artistic design, theologically sound content, and helping your little one gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom, as well as the coming/establishing of God’s kingdom on earth.

     

    The Christmas Promise

    A captivating retelling of the Christmas story showing how God kept His promise to send a new King. Superb illustrations by Catalina Echeverri and faithful, Bible-centered story-telling by Alison Mitchell combine to make this a book that both parents and children will love.

    A long, long time ago so long that it’s hard to imagine God promised a new King. He wasn’t any ordinary king, like the ones we see on TV or in books. He would be different. He would be a new King; a rescuing King; a forever King!

     

    The Silent Noisy Night

    The night Jesus was born is frequently referred to as a silent night. But how could it possibly have been silent if Jesus was born in a manger, with cows and sheep and donkeys and probably chickens and mice and birds all celebrating His birth? How could these creatures keep quiet?

    The Silent Noisy Night takes on a new twist to the Christmas story by exploring what the night may have been like if all the creatures and people celebrated the birth of Jesus in their own God-given, special ways. With cows mooing and donkeys braying, it may have been a very noisy night.

     

    What are you favorite children’s Christmas books?

  • The Best Picture Books to Read in November - picture books about snow, hibernation and the arctic
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books for November

    Wow, the year is almost over already! I can’t believe we’re already on to the November picture book list!

    Most November picture book lists floating around on the internet include a large number of Thanksgiving books but I knew I wanted to make this list different, not that I am anti-Thanksgiving, but because as a Canadian we celebrate the holiday at the beginning of October.

    If you are looking for a list of Thanksgiving picture books you can find that here.

    So, this list will include a list of some introduction to winter books. For the record, I know that winter doesn’t technically start until halfway through December but we’ve got a pretty decent cover of snow here already so I hope you’ll forgive me if I just dive right in to all things winter.

     

    The Best Picture Books to Read in November - picture books about snow, hibernation and the arctic

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS FOR NOVEMBER

    In November

    In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.
    Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.

     

    Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

    As leaves fall from their trees, animals huddle against the cold, and frost creeps across windows, everyone knows―winter is on its way!

    Join a brother and sister as they explore nature and take a stroll through their twinkling town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with everything from the setting sun to curious deer, they say goodbye to autumn and welcome the glorious first snow of winter.

     

    Winter Walk

    Slide, step, and stomp through the snow with “Grammy” as she takes her grandkids on a winter adventure. As they explore the woods, they spot a cardinal, learn why some trees are green all year, and build a tall snowman. At the end of the day, they learn how to build a pinecone bird feeder.

     

    I love this look into a farm preparing for winter!

    Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter

    A captivating exploration of how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter, Sleep Tight Farm lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. This beautiful and informative book paints a fascinating picture of what winter means to the farm year and to the family that shares its seasons, from spring’s new growth, summer’s heat, and fall’s bounty to winter’s well-earned rest. All year long the farm has worked to shelter us, feed us, keep us warm, and now it’s time to sleep.

     

    You really can’t go wrong with Jan Brett . . .

    The Snowy Nap

    Snow is on the way, and as Hedgie trundles around the farm all his friends tell him of the winter-time fun he will miss as he hibernates–Icicles decorating the chicken coop! Lisa making snowmen! The pond turned to slippery ice! It sounds so amazing, Hedgie decides to stay awake instead of going to his burrow. But then a snowstorm starts. Luckily, Lisa finds him and brings him inside so Hedgie gets to see the wonders of winter from inside the cozy house.

     

    I remember this book from when I was young and the pre-Christmas season seems like the perfect time to read it. I especially enjoyed watching the mice scenes at the bottom of the book.

    Something From Nothing

    The blanket Joseph’s grandfather made him is transformed into many things as the years go by: a jacket, a vest, a tie, a handkerchief–and finally a button. 

     

     

    Stella, Queen of the Snow

    Winter was never so magical as in this marvelous book about Stella and Sam discovering a familiar landscape transformed by a heavy snowfall. Sam makes his very first snowstorm, and, as usual, he has lots of questions: Where do snowmen sleep? Can you eat a snowflake? Do snow angels sing? Older and bolder, Stella knows all the answers, and she delights in showing Sam the many pleasures of a beautiful winter’s day. Young readers are enchanted as Stella and Sam build a gigantic snowman, then they go skating and sledding and make beautiful snow angels in a fluffy, white, magical, and wondrous world.

     

    Sea Bear

    A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again.

     

    The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail

    In the winter of 1925, Nome, Alaska, was hit by an unexpected and deadly outbreak of diphtheria. Officials immediately quarantined the town, but the only cure for the community of more than 1,400 people was antitoxin serum and the nearest supply was in Anchorage-hundreds of miles of snowbound wilderness away. The only way to get it to Nome was by dogsled.

    Twenty teams braved subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions to run over 600 miles in six days in a desperate relay race that saved the people of Nome. Several of the dogs, including Togo and Balto, became national heroes. Today their efforts, and those of the courageous mushers, are commemorated every March by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

     

    Bear Has a Story to Tell

    It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.
    But first, Bear had a story to tell…

    Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

  • The Best Book Lists (Picture Books and Chapter Books) from Intentional Homeschooling
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades,  picture books

    The Best Books – A Guide to the Best Book Lists

    If you’ve been around here for any length of time you’ll have noticed that I share a few book lists (the understatement of the year).

    I thought it would make sense to create a place to share some of the best and most popular of the book lists so that’s what this space is!

    This is by no means an exhaustive collection of all the book lists on this site, I also have many book lists by grade, monthly book lists, seasonal book lists, our monthly reading wrap up and a lot more. You can see all the lists here.

    I will keep this list updated and share the best of the best book lists from the blog here.

    Have an idea for a future book list topic? Let me know!

     

    If you love reading and discovering new books I would also highly recommend signing up for my monthly book-ish newsletter where I share all sorts of book-ish things:

     



     

    The Best Books for Kids - great book lists with over 150 book recommendations for babies, preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and adults!

     

    PICTURE BOOKS

     

     

    MONTHLY THEMED PICTURE BOOKS

     

    CHAPTER BOOKS

     
  • The Best Picture Books Published in 2019 - so far - part two
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books of 2019 – Part Two

    Every year I like to make picture books of the best books published that year.

    I take my job very seriously and read a ton of picture books.

    Many of them do not make these lists.

    Some times it surprises me what actually gets published, there are some truly terrible picture books out there!

    But there are also some great ones!

    Earlier this year I made a part one to some of our favorite picture books published this year and today I am sharing part two!

    If you have some favorite picture books that have been published in 2019 that I haven’t shared on either list, let me know, I’ll definitely check them out and maybe they will make the next list!

     

    The Best Picture Books Published in 2019 - so far - part two

     

    THE BEST PICTURE BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2019 (SO FAR) – PART TWO

    This is a new release this year and is one of our favorites from the year! The illustrations remind us so much of Julie Morstad’s (my daughter even noticed it without me pointing it out) and we love a book with so many possibilities.

    BE A MAKER

    How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we make–and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.

     

    Perfectly Polite Penguins

    Penguins are always polite. They say “please” and “thank you,” they wait their turn patiently, and they always help to clean up when playtime is over. But one day, Polly Penguin decides that being polite is boring. So she interrupts when others are talking, refuses to clean up, and makes a mess at the dinner table. Soon, all of the penguins copy Polly and lose their good manners, too! Can Polly help make things right again?

     

    Brave Molly

    What do you do when no one can see your monsters but you? At first, Molly runs from them. But they follow her down the sidewalk, getting in the way when she tries to make a new friend, popping up unexpectedly out of shadows, and multiplying. Until finally…Molly faces her fears.

     

    This book had my kids laughing so hard!

    Undercover Ostrich

    Animals can be sneaky. But do you know who is especially sneaky? Undercover ostriches! They’re everywhere, and they’re masters at going undetected. You’ve probably seen one and just assumed it was another woodpecker or owl. The narrator of this book is on the case, following a single ostrich on his many adventures. Not until the final twist does author and illustrator Joe Kulka let the readers in on the narrator’s true motivation: a peanut collection mission involving undercover elephants.

     

    When I Pray For You

    With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world. Paired with Kimberley Barnes’s vivid and playful illustrations, When I Pray for You is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life.

    When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them.

     

    How To Give Your Cat a Bath: In Five Easy Steps

    Step one: fill the bath
    Step two: put the cat in the bath
    Step three: put shampoo on the cat
    Step four: rinse the cat
    Step five: dry the cat

    Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath–it’s the whole house!

    This spoof on an instruction manual features an increasingly bewildered human, a nonchalant cat and a know-it-all narrator . . . who really doesn’t know it all. How DO you give a cat a bath? Read on to find out!

     

    The Bell Rang

    Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.

    An ode to hope and a powerful tribute to the courage of those who ran for freedom, The Bell Rang is a stunning reminder that our past can never be forgotten.

     

    Say Something

    The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something!

    In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!

     

    It’s Not Hansel and Gretel

    Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure! And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch! As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight—after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread!

     

    We Are the Gardeners

    From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything!), and all the knowledge they’ve gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. There are always new lessons to be learned in the garden!

    You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family’s story of becoming gardeners in Joanna’s first children’s book—starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family’s love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden.

     

    Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

    A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again.

    Informed by the author’s background in marine science, Sea Bear is a vivid and moving page-turner with a vital message about our changing planet. This is a gorgeously illustrated book, with the perfect marriage of scientific fact and poetry, that shows the reality of climate change and how it poses a threat to animals of the Arctic.

  • The Best Picture Books Published in 2019
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books for October

    It’s time for another monthly book list! I can’t believe that October is almost here – we are officially close to the end of the year!

    I know that most people would lean towards a pumpkin themed list for October but I feel like those have been done so many times over I wanted to do something different.

    Things definitely start getting chillier here in October and I like to change up my own reading list, while I like to read things a little darker at this time of year (more fantasy and mystery and books involving the English moor), I wanted to be more whimsical for a picture book list.

    If you want to check out my fall book list for adults you can find that here.

    Since we are spending more of out time indoors as the weather gets chillier I thought a list of picture books that show great imagination and imaginative play would be perfect for this month.

     

    Beyond the Book - The Paper Dolls extension activities

     

    I really believe that some kids begin more imaginative than others, but I also think that imagination can be learned. I have one child who has so much imagination she can hardly decide what to focus on first and another child who has developed his imagination over the years under the guidance of his sister.

    While I wouldn’t say that a child with great imagination is never bored, it is a lot less likely to happen, and what parent doesn’t want a child that can easily entertain themselves?!

     

    The Best Picture Books to Spark a Child's Imagination - great books to inspire imaginative play in children

     

    THE BEST IMAGINATION BOOKS TO READ IN OCTOBER

     

    This is a new release this year and is one of our favorites from the year! The illustrations remind us so much of Julie Morstad’s (my daughter even noticed it without me pointing it out) and we love a book with so many possibilities.

    Be a Maker

    How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we make–and the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.

     

     

    This is another great book about imagination, I mean, just look at that cover! (Do you see it?)

    Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

    Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

    But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

    The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

    Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

     

     

    This was another favorite book we read this year, it’s the true story of J.R.R. Tolkien told with fabulous illustrations. There is even a section in the back that shares any creative license they used while writing and illustrating to keep things as accurate as possible.

    John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien

    John Ronald loved dragons. He liked to imagine dragons when he was alone, and with his friends, and especially when life got hard or sad. After his mother died and he had to live with a cold-hearted aunt, he looked for dragons. He searched for them at his boarding school. And when he fought in a Great War, he felt as if terrible, destructive dragons were everywhere. But he never actually found one, until one day, when he was a grown man but still very much a boy at heart, when he decided to create one of his own

     

    Wallpaper

    Wallpaper tells the story of a young girl whose family moves into a new house. Outside, she can hear other kids playing, but she’s too shy to say hello. So she picks at the old wallpaper in her room―revealing an entryway to a fantastic imaginary adventure world behind the walls.

    There, she runs between the vibrant and varied environments―surrounded by birds, swimming in a frog pond, in a herd of art-deco sheep―as she finds herself chased by a monster. He is frightening at first, until it becomes clear he simply wants to be her friend. When it comes time to go back to reality, the girl feels inspired with the courage to approach the other kids and say hello.

     

    The Whisper

    When a little girl received a curious book filled only with pictures, a whisper urges her to create the words she cannot see. As the pages turn, her imagination takes flight and she discovers that the greatest storyteller of all might come from within.

     

    This is a sweet book and it is illustrated by one of our favorite illustrators: Julie Morstad!

    This is Sadie

    Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things — boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities … This is Sadie, and this is her story.

     

    One of my absolute favorite children’s books.

    THE PAPER DOLLS

    A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.

     

    What is beyond the pond? You’ll love finding out with this book!

    BEYOND THE POND

    A stunning picture book about the power of imagination. Just behind an ordinary house filled with too little fun, Ernest D. decides that today will be the day he explores the depths of his pond. Beyond the pond, he discovers a not-so-ordinary world that will change him forever.

     

    This was my favorite picture book as a child, I still have most of it memorized.

    RAINY DAY MAGIC

    One of my most cherished books from childhood! I can still quote it all. It’s a rainy day, boring as can be, until Victor and Joey decide to make their own fun. Soon chairs turn into castles, bumblebees turn into tigers, and whales and starfish frolic in a watery kingdom.

     

    This one is a classic for a reason!

    ROXABOXEN

    Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill — nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo — but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination.

     

    In this book a little girl’s creativity and imagination is used to make something useful – the most magnificent thing!

    THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING

    A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

     

    If you are a parent I’m pretty sure you already know that a box is not just a box.

    NOT A BOX

    A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.

     

    WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA?

    This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.

     

    Wild One

    Can you stretch like a cat or hang like a bat? This little one can do those things and so many more as she bounds energetically through her day. Author Jane Whittingham’s sprightly couplets take her from the park to the pool to dinner and bed, while Noel Tuazon cleverly illustrates the animal companions of a child’s imagination

     

    Watch Out for the Crocodile

    A delightful picture book about a father and daughter’s trip into the wilderness, and how children can help parents see the world in a different way.

     

    What are some of your favorite picture books about imagination?

     

    The Best Picture Books to Spark a Child's Imagination - great books to inspire imaginative play in children