Lucy's book list

Here is a list of some of Lucy's (and now Jonah's) favorite books. I try to make sure she is exposed to high quality literature and not "twaddle" (Ex: The real A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh not the Disney board books, etc) but we don't reject modern books just because they are modern. I happen to be a big fan of Mo Willems even though I know some purists reject him. And be sure to check out my super-long note on my divisions and ages below. 

Baby/Board Books 

Almost anything by Sandra Boynton. Our favorites include Moo Baa La La La, The Going to Bed Book Barnyard Dance and But Not the Hippopotamos

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
A classic. I loved it from the start. Lucy took a while to warm up to it but soon loved it too. Craig doesn't like it at all but he isn't really the target audience, is he?

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Aimed at toddlers/preschoolers but it was a favorite of Lucy's from early on and is still requested frequently.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
Weird illustrations but loved by Lucy.

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
The design is not as sturdy as one would hope but I've just resigned myself to the fact that each kid will need a new copy although I've heard of people getting it rebound at Kinkos. Even with that flaw, it's a must in our house. Lucy still enjoys "reading" this one to herself.

More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams

Great unless your kid doesn't have ten of each. Its one of the books I find myself suggesting to Lucy. 

I didn't even realize this was written by the same author as above because it is so very different, but Lucy loved it too.

Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
Obviously an alphabet book but it doesn't have to wait for that. The cadence is great for babies and tots too.

When Papa Comes Home Tonight by Eilleen Spinelli


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose illustrated by Scott Gustafson
I think I looked at 10 different versions of Mother Goose books before buying this one. It has a good selection, there were only a few I didn't recognize and we ended up liking those. The illustrations are wonderful and nothing feels crowded like many other versions. The only negative is that not all of the verses are written but it still beats out any others I've seen by far.

Toddlers/Preschool Picture Books

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
A favorite for both of us. I think Sal seems oddly similar to another ragged haired, half dressed little girl in my life.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

A Day in Maine by Robert McCloskey
This is long and I didn't think Lucy would be able to handle it but she can and requests it often. I guess that is good but it really draws out the bedtime story time. (I tend to root for The Going to Bed Book :-)

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I got this for Lucy when she was a baby and I thought it was cute but until she was 20 months old, she hated it and would throw it if I suggested it. Then one day, it became her favorite. Kids!

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
One of my favorites growing up, Lucy likes it but kinda misses the point. She gets upset when Ferdinand "has" to leave the festival :-)

Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Destined to be a classic, this is a newer book with an older feel.

Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Repetitive for mommy and daddy but well loved by the younger crowd.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (and most other books by Ezra Jack Keats)

The big green pocketbook by Candice Ransom
A girl and her mom go shopping. The words are good but we have just as much fun "reading" this book by talking about the pictures. Great detail for a more cartoony style book.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Who doesn't love Madeline? There are also several sequels but Lucy only likes the more concrete ones such as Madeline's Rescue, Madeline in London and Madeline and the Bad Hat. Madeline's Christmas is just weird and Madeline and the Gypsies is creepy - who is this old Gypsy women and why is she kidnapping children? Shouldn't Madeline's parents have been informed of this? Also, has anyone else noticed the illustration errors in Madeline (at the end when Madeline is still in the hospital, there are 12 girls brushing their teeth? And Madeline's bed moves from the door to the window and back) But I'm weird about things like that)

Three Cheers for Catherine the Great by Cari Best
Aimed at older kids but Lucy still enjoys it. Would be excellent for rowing.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Little Bear
I normally avoid "early readers" but Lucy found this and asks for it all the time and has taken to acting out some of the stories herself.

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends  by James Marshall
Three hundred plus pages of George and Martha stories and Lucy and I finished it in less than 2 days. That's some serious George and Martha love. Some of the stories are a bit odd but Lucy always picks this book up and says "Oh, George and Martha, so funny"

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion (and other Harry the Dog books)
A favorite of mine from when I was a kid, Lucy likes it just as much.

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Big Red Barn by Margret Wise Brown

Night-shift Daddy by Eileen Spinelli
We had read and enjoyed this before Craig became a "night-shift daddy" himself but now that Lucy understands what the girl is doing when she tucks her daddy into bed, she loves it even more.

Silly Tilly  by Eileen Spinelli

The Little House by Virgnia Lee Burton or any book by this author

McDuff Series - McDuff Moves In is the first I believe and so far my favorite but both kids like them all.

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

A-Hunting We Will Go by Steven Kellogg

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone

The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone

The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook by Shirley Hughes - or anything by Shirley Hughes really. Everything I've read by her has been a sweet simple story that seems to really resonate with a preschoolers life. And of course, anything that features a Dalek is okay in Craig's book.

May I Bring a Friend by Beatrice de Regniers

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman

Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai  - So sweet. Would probably make a good early reader (around same level as Frog and Toad) but we love it as a mommy read.

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer

Have You Seen My Duckling by Nancy Taffuri

Dance at Grandpa's by Laura Ingalls Wilder (as well as the other My First Little House (Picture) Books)

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books by Maj Lindmon - We have almost every single one of these and have read them each countless times. They tell every day stories of three swedish triplets. I believe these were originally published in the 1930s and you can tell - not many little girls these days would be allowed to roam around picking strawberries, baking cakes and helping neighbors all by themselves but at least Lucy can live vicariously through them.

Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice Provenson - A great "living science" book for young kids that also makes me laugh.

The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alica Provenson - More Maple Hill Farm Fun! Not quite as funny and witty as Our Animal Friends but still enjoyable. Great for talking about seasons and months of the year along with farm yard basics, this is what a non-fiction children's book should be!

Brambley Hedge books by Jill Barklem

Anything by Beatrix Potter

Classic Fairy Tales illustrated by Scott Gustafson

Where the Wild Things Are

Night Kitchen - A bit of cartoon nudity but don't let that deter you, it's a fun book!

Chapter Books

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
She is probably more attached to this book than any other. It is the only book she's ever fought me about taking back to the library and the only reason she stopped hugging it and saying "keep keep" at the drop box was because I promised her we would go right in and get the other copy they had. 

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Now We Are Six and When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
These are knows as the pink poem book and the blue poem book and are almost a nightly read. So really, just save yourself the trouble and buy the A.A. Milne 4-pack, you won't regret it.

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Lucy's first real "chapter book" in that each chapter builds on the next. But it's still good for little ones because the chapters are very short and very funny. We always reviewed what had happened the last time we read but past the first three, if you doesn't completely remember what happened in the previous chapter, you won't be completely lost. We actually finished this in two days and as soon as we finished Lucy wanted to read it again. Luckily there are two more in the series. I consider myself to pretty well verses when it comes to children's literature but I hadn't heard of this until recently which is a shame so read it and help me spread the word.

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web  by E.B. White

The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner - The first one! The others are quite different. The rest of the original series is a perfectly fine mystery series for older children but I won't be reading it to Lucy for a while. Steer clear of the newer ones by a different author (they will often say "inspired by" or "created by" Gertrude Chandler Warner which is not the same as being written by her)

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Brisley

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The Children of Noise Village by Astra Lindgren. Not nearly as famous as the Pippi ones but we liked it even more than those.

The Teddy Robinson Storybook by Joan Robinson - Part corduroy, part Winnie-the-Pooh. All delightful.

Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore

The Eskimo Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins (Free online)

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
I'm really going to have a full separate review of this book but the short story is - awesome!

Betsy-Tacy Series by Maud Hart Lovelace

My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Early Readers

Getting a Sibling Books

Baby Brother by Tanneke Wigersma - This was a Lucy selection that turned out to be great. Lovely illustrations and cute story. Mia is writting a letter all about how her cat was acting funny and ended up having kittens while you see mom preparing for a new arrival herself and actually having a home birth (not at all graphic though, don't worry). We checked this out pre-Dewey but I think I'll make sure we check it out again several times before September.

A New Barker in the House by Tommie DePaulo - This isn't about the birth of a new "puppy" like I thought it was when I picked it up but instead is a cute book about how the Barker Family (there is a whole Barker series) adopts a 3 year old from another country. I don't have any first hand experience but I think this would be a great book for any "waiting siblings" or anyone hoping to expose their little ones to the idea of adoption in a positive way - which should be every family!

Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats

Seasonal Books


Owl Moon by Jane Yolen - Wonderfully descriptive and great illustrations. 

The Mitten by Jan Brett - There are several versions of this. I've only read this one but want to check out the others. 

Bright Snow, White Snow by Alvin Tresselt - Poetic and sweet but still fun with it's description of the first snow from the viewpoint of adults, children and even rabbits. 

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathon London - A silly treat for anyone who thinks underwear is funny. It's a bit repetitive but it's not so bad to read as long as you are willing to make the fun sounds.

Winter Days in the Big Woods - Picture book based on the original Little House In the Big Woods book. It uses much of the same wording and similar style pictures. We read a couple of these before moving on the original. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed these and I think they work well for introducing the characters without interfering too much with a child's imagination when it comes time for the full story.

Katy and the Big Snow




Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip Stead

In November by Cynthia Rylant

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger


The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene

A Cranberry Thanksgiving

Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra

Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child - There are many different versions/illustrators but we've read several and enjoyed them all.


Who is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate

Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Christmas in the Big Woods

Christmas in the Barn by Margret Wise Brown

The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Keats

Saint Nicholas The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegmeyer

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler's Sons by Ruth Sawyer

Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy

Valentine's Day

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

Day it rained hearts by Felicia Bond Short, sweet, fun.


The Bird's Gift: A Ukrainian Story by Eric Kimmel The story of a Ukrainian girl who inspires her family and town to rescue birds trapped in the snow one winter. Her "father" lets them use the church as a place to let God's creatures rest. Eventually the birds are ready to leave but come Easter morning, the villagers find a special surprise. We don't do Easter Bunny stories here so this is a nice fun story for easter time.

A Child's Easter by Patricia Pingry - I can't find this one on Amazon but judging from the comments it is not the Easter Story by Patricia Pingry that is listed there. It tells the story of a small boy who meets Jesus and then he and his family follow him through Palm Sunday, Last Supper, the Crucifixion, Resurrection and eventually meet him again on the road to Emmaus. I like how it hits all the points of the story and doesn't skirt around the issue but isn't too intense either - the family is scared when the sky turns black and is sad at Jesus' death but we don't see dripping blood. Each page ends with a bolded type statement from the boy's point of view. Most are good but several I skip because I am uncomfortable with the tone...his Father tells him how the disciples fell asleep so the boy's statement is about how he would stay awake for Jesus. Nothing major but slightly annoying to me. 

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