Some of my favourite days are the days when I just get to enjoy being in the company of my children. Don’t get me wrong. There certainly are days that my children drive me absolutely batty, and leave me wanting to bail out of the house like I’m escaping Alcatraz. However for the most part those days are few and far between. Thank heavens!

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One of my favourite ways to spend our downtime together is reading books. I began reading to my children when they were newborns, and it has just become a regular part of our everyday routine.

As I read to my children, I always find them trying to enunciate the words while also exploring the pictures as we flip through the pages. It’s amazing to watch my children’s minds run a million miles a minute whenever we read. Introducing literacy at a young age has certainly helped them build and develop upon their creative, curious little minds. Trust me – when I say they never cease to amaze me during imaginative play time!

After reading my daughter her bedtime story each night, quite often my husband and I will overhear her trying to re-read the story to herself.

This year rather than spoiling my children with a bunch of unnecessary toys for Christmas, I have set aside a handful of books. By handful… I mean… I have set aside upwards of 40 books. Perhaps a little over the top, but at least I can rest assured knowing they are books that my children will not easily grow bored of. Plus, I have the benefit of tucking them away when my children do outgrow them to save and read to my Grandkids (if and when they should enter the picture in the many years down the road).

Something I have even considered introducing to my children next Christmas is a book advent calendar. Rather than purchasing a chocolate calendar, I would rather pick up 25 books, wrap them each individually and store them in a basket by the tree. Each day leading up to the holidays, the children would get to open one new book to enjoy before nestling into bed for the night.

With all of this being said, I wanted to share with you some of our favourite Children’s picture books at the moment!

If I could Keep You Little

If I  Could Keep you Little by Marianne Richmond

If I Could Keep You Little exemplifies Marianne’s real insights into the human spirit and her beautiful illustrations that will touch children and adults and that are sure to be cherished for generations to come. Taking the reader on a journey of memory and expectation.

If I Could Keep You Little showcases the fleeting little moments that reveal how a child changes and grows.
If I could keep you little, 
I’d decide on matching clothes.
But then I’d miss you choosing
dots on top and stripes below 
If I could keep you little
I’d cut your bread in shapes.
But then I’d miss you finding
“Hey! I like ketchup with my grapes!”

Dream Big Little Big

Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi

Poppy is a waddling, toddling pig with big dreams. She wants to be a star! But she soon discovers that’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s only when Poppy feels the magic of gliding and sliding, swirling and twirling on ice that our most persistent pig truly believes in herself: Poppy, star of the rink!

Kristi Yamaguchi is an ice-skating Olympic gold medalist and world champion who knows how to make dreams come true. Through her picture book debut, Kristi inspires children of all ages to dream big!


Carinvores by Aaron Reynolds

The lion is king of the jungle!
The great white shark is sovereign of the seas!
The timber wolf is emperor of the forests!

But…it’s lonely at the top of the food chain. It’s difficult to fit in when plant eaters can be so cruel–just because you ate a relative of theirs that one time! What’s a carnivore to do?

Aaron Reynolds’s roaringly funny text is perfectly paired with Dan Santat’s dynamic illustrations, creating a toothsome picture book that’s sure to stand out from the herd


Dusk by Uri Shulevitz

One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature’s lights go out, one by one, city’s lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores.

Fall Ball

Fall Ball by Peter McCarty

Bobby and his friends wait all day for school to end and for their chance to play outdoors in the fall weather. Flying leaves, swirling colors, and crisp air make the perfect setting for a game of football with Sparky the dog.

The kids are surprised by how quickly it gets dark, and even more surprised when it begins to snow. But there’s no need to worry—the chilly nights ahead will mean watching football on the couch with family, tucked under a cozy blanket.

A Moose That Says Moo

A Moose that Says Moooooooooo by Jennifer Hamburg

Chaos ensues when a child imagines a zoo filled with animals doing the unusual and the unlikely.

When It Snows

When it Snows by Richard Collingrigde

When everything grinds to a halt because of the snow, one small boy and his teddy bear refuse to allow the weather to spoil their fun. They embark on an amazing journey in which they ride a polar bear and meet huge snowmen, an ice queen, fairies, elves, a giant reindeer and Father Christmas.

And at the very end of the story, in a wonderfully cosy and festive fireside scene, there’s a clever twist – he has simply become immersed in the magical scenes of his favourite book.

The Snatchabook

The Snatchabook by  Helen Docherty

Where have all the bedtime stories gone?

One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town.

It’s bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook

The Bear Song

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

“Sweet” has new meaning in this richly illustrated, immersive picture book about two bears on a big-city adventure. Papa Bear is searching for Little Bear, who has escaped the den. Little Bear is following a bee, because where there are bees, there is honey! When the quest leads both bears into the bustling city and a humming opera house, theatrical hijinks ensue, culminating in a deliciously harmonious reunion.

If you are looking for new books to add to your bedtime story collection. The following two stories are sure-fire tales that you do not want to pass up!

Steam Train Dream Train

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker

The team behind the #1 New York Times bestseller Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site returns with another fabulous book for bedtime! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, bouncy kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls. Sweet and silly dreams are guaranteed for any budding train enthusiasts.

How Does Sleep Come

How Does Sleep Come? by Jeanne C. Blackmore

In her picture book debut, Jeanne Blackmore continues her grandfather Roger Duvoisin’s tradition of creating beautiful books for children. Through her poetic and deceptively simple text, Blackmore has created an ideal sleepy time tale:
“How does sleep come?” Jacob asked his Mama as he climbed into bed. Jacob’s Mama tucked the covers all around Jacob just so, and then she told him. “Sleep comes quietly. Like a snowfall that blankets a meadow on a dark starry night, and lays down a soft white canvas for rabbits to leave footprints.” 
Jacob closed his eyes.
And the snow fell.
And the fog rolled in.
And the clouds drifted.
And the cat purred.
And quietly, silently, softly, peacefully, gently, Jacob fell asleep.

Whether you are looking for new books to add to your growing library collection or you are looking for gift ideas, I highly recommend checking out the above-mentioned titles! Each book delivers an outstanding message. One that will get your child’s mind running wild. The illustrations in each book are timeless, and nothing short of beautiful! The illustrations alone are sure to draw your child in for a snuggle while they enjoy being in your company reading.

All the titles I have shared with you today are perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 7. Mind you – I have no doubt that any child below the age of 10 would enjoy these tales. Heck – I still remember vividly playing school way back in the day, and reading aloud some of my favourite childhood stories to my imaginary class!

It’s classic books like the ones mentioned that we remember and carry with us as we grow.

Disclosure: I received review copies of the above-mentioned books from Raincoast Books. All opinions are those of my own.

1 Comment on 13 Awesome Children’s Picture Books that are Worth Adding to your Collection

  1. Brandy
    December 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm (4 years ago)

    We did the book advent calendar a couple years ago. It was so fun! A great way to spend time together and an awesome tradition to pass along.


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