Our family is on the cusp of leaving picture books behind as our son mostly wants to read or listen to chapter books. Before it fully passes, I wanted to document our favorite books and book series.
The Berenstain Bears
For some reason the Berenstain Bears books mean the most to me. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia since I had them as a kid or the fact that these books are as much for the adults as the kids, but I am desperate to hold on to them for a couple more years. Most everyday life issues are written about in one of their books. If your child is dealing with something, there is probably a Berenstain Bears book that can help discuss the topic.
I am partial to the originals by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The newer ones are written by their son, Mike Berenstain and have a different feel to them.
I have so many favorites, including Week at Grandma’s, Messy Room, In The Dark, and Too Much Vacation. My son also has his favorites – Double Dare, Too Much Junk Food and No Girls Allowed. They are timeless with evergreen topics.
Mother Bruce, a book about a grumpy bear who is the adopted mom of geese, has become a family favorite. The first book is the best, but the other ones are cute, too.
Pig The Pug
The Pig the Pug series always makes my kid laugh. Pig is a very poorly behaved dog that seems to have all the worst qualities. In the end, he usually gets what’s coming to him. He appears to learn a lesson….but never seems fully reformed.
Elephant & Piggie
Elephant and Piggie is a series by Mo Willems. The books focus on the friendship between these two animals who have different personalities. The books always feel really sweet and ultimately ends with them being the best type of friends.
I Really Like Slop is our family favorite. That’ll be the one I tuck away and save for my future grand kids, but they are all really good.
Laugh Out Loud Picture Books
Many of the books above make my son laugh out loud (Elephant & Piggie, Pig the Pug), but we have a handful of others, too.
I Need a New Butt: I saw this on Instagram and purchased it when B was 4. He laughed at it and we still occasionally read it, but I think it would have been a bigger hit when he was a year or two younger.
Winnie the Pooh: Okay, I think I cheated including Winnie-The-Pooh here. It’s technically a series. Never the less, it’s funny. Our favorite story is when Pooh get’s stuck in a hole.
What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: We first borrowed this from the library and my son loved it so much we ended up buying a copy.
Aliens Love Underpants: This is one of those books that I did not have high expectations for, but B always wanted to read it and laughed frequently at it.
How to Catch A Monster: Okay, technically this is part of a series, too. However, I’ve never read the other ones. This book has ninja and fart references …and I think that was enough for B to love it.
Have you ever randomly bought a book on a whim and it turns out to be really good? Well these are the books that fall into this category.
Little Wombat: We purchased a book with four Little Wombat stories (here’s the link to it) and, to my surprise, it became one of our most read books when B was younger. Night after night he would bring this into bed and we would read all four stories. Swim, Little Wombat, Swim was a particularly fun one for him, especially when he was younger (2-3 years old). This book fully retired when he was 5, but it had a good run in our family.
What Do You Do With a Chance? I don’t know why, but I felt drawn to this book (and the series in general). The author makes things that are abstract (a chance, a problem) into a physical objects and describes the emotions you have when dealing with it. I personally think it’s great, but B never picks it up by himself. It has a great message and makes more sense as the child gets older. Still a good pick and one I hope to keep in rotation a little bit longer.
Dino Dung: B brought this home from the library one day and when we read it that night, he belly laughed AND learned some interesting facts. Ya’ll, I also know what a coprolite is now.
There’s an Alligator Under My Bed: This also came in a book with two other stories (here’s the link). This book, like Little Wombat, was in heavy rotation from 2 – 5 years of age. All three stories have to do with things that typically scare children when going to bed (a noise in the attic, a fear of the closet and something under the bed). In all the stories, the child overcomes the obstacle and is no longer scared. Maybe it’s comforting for children to hear this message before going to bed? I’m not sure, but B loved it.
The Luckiest Leprechaun: B’s grandma gave this book to him when he was 3 or 4. It’s about a grumpy Leprechaun who begrudgingly becomes friends with a dog.