More Children’s Books That Totally Rock

When you’re a mom to little ones, is there a more ultimate outing than going to the library? It costs nothing and it’s almost always open. There is an area dedicated entirely to children. Plus, you can almost always find at least one other mom with exhaustion in her eyes, looking for companionship.

In my family, there is one downside. {Other than forgetting to return books in time and owing the library money.} Just when I’m patting myself on the back for having a good, wholesome outing with no TV or video games… they find book version of their favorite TV shows and video games. My children zero in on the Look & Find books {which I refuse to “read” to them during reading time} or the Barbie book version of their favorite Barbie movie.

Forget about that pat on the back.

But even if I have to redirect my wayward offspring toward some non-pop culture reading, at least they’re reading. And in case you’re stuck in this same rut, here are some of our favorite go-to books that have nothing to do with Barbie. Or My Little Pony. Or *shudder* Little Einsteins.

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming & Boris Kulikov

This is a favorite in our house mostly because I do crazy accents when I read it. But the repetitions mean that my kiddos can chime in, and they love that! I especially love that it’s about inventiveness and creativity, and that it’s based on a true{-ish} story.

In our household we are also having an issue with sticktoitiveness {read: not giving up at the first oops}, and Papa’s trial-and-error persistence is something I really want to showcase for my children.

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Epossumondas by Coleen Salley & Janet Stevens

First thing: a possum in a diaper, with a pacifier. Will this make your children squeal? {It makes me squeal!}

After you’ve convinced your children it is neither safe nor sanitary to bring marsupials inside, continue to read about this little guy’s shenanigans. He is hilarious! And if you can’t get enough of him, there are several more Epossumondas books to enjoy!

As an added bonus, if you are at all familiar with Cajun accents {or hail from the bayou yourself}, Coleen Salley makes reading this with a little twang all too easy. I love it!

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Chances are, if your child is learning to read, you are familiar with Elephant and Piggie from Mo Willems’s adorable Elephant and Piggie series. Even if you have never heard of this guy, look into him. He’s hilarious! And thank goodness someone finally brought up the question of Goldilocks’s lack of adult supervision.

{Old Mo Willems  veteran tip: Look for the pigeon somewhere in each book. Willems wrote another great series starting with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and the pigeon likes to make cameos.}

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman & Marla Frazee

We found this book at the library on vacation and I fell in love. It is a rare example of beautifully-written verse: the cadence and rhythm actually work and it makes my heart so happy! You won’t be stumbling to add or remove a syllable because it doesn’t quite fit.

I also love the story of poor Mrs. Peters and her picky eaters — mostly because I have a few of my own. And the illustrations are so detailed and rich and beautiful.

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

I’m Not a Baby! by Jill McElmurry

This is another book that pretty much begs for funny accents. From the Leotardi family’s melodic names to the crazy Victorian-style illustrations {complete with the nanny wearing Converses}, it’s a joy both to read it aloud and to examine the pictures.

Plus, kiddos love to exclaim, “I’m not a baby!” over and over again. Sound familiar?

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton & Tom Lichtenheld

My boy thinks this book is a scream! It brings to mind my husband and his brothers arguing over which outlandish animal battle would be the best to watch. When are a shark and a train going to meet? Well, look no further than this book for your answers.

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy & Sue Heap

Did you ever wonder what Red Riding Hood would have been like as a bossy, tantrum-throwing toddler? I am a huge fan of variations on familiar fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and this one is amazing. It’s silly and crazy and goofy — and at the end, sweet.

{In case you want more fairy tale toddlers, Heapy & Heap have also released Very Little Cinderella and Very Little Sleeping Beauty!}

More Children's Books That Totally Rock

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri

We were at a friend’s house, and she whipped out this book to read to all of our feisty children, and I was bowled over. What a hilarious concept! The way it’s written is genius. This book is just the addition you were looking for on Taco Tuesdays.

You might be tempted to go bury your spicy salsa in the backyard when you’re done, just so you know.

{PS: If you like Dragons Love Tacos, wait until you find out there’s a Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel!}

What would you add?

My crew is always looking for new titles to discover at the library. What’s been a big hit at your house lately?

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