Favourite Picture Books

I've been thinking about picture books a lot lately. Every other Saturday, I'm the storytime librarian for the library's drop-in session: 30 minutes of straight storytime for kids of all ages. This means selecting a wide variety of books for any age of children that may show up that morning. I've been doing this for going on 9 months now(!) and have gotten acclimated to a number of picture books in our collection this way.

And so: a list! A list of my favourite picture books lately. Sometimes its the idea behind it, other times its the humour, and still other times its the illustrations. Whatever it is, these books have captured my attention and affection - and hopefully have done the same for the children I read them to.

LMNO peas / Keith Baker
I think I love everything about this book. From the grand illustrations of the peas doing something different on each page, to the absurd and different things that the peas become as the book navigates through each letter of the alphabet. This is a great book to help young ones learn the alphabet, and even if they already know it, it's still cute to see what the peas are going to be on the next page.

Mr. Tiger goes wild / Peter Brown
I really love the message behind this story which is, be yourself and don't worry what others think. The illustrations provide a great contrast between Mr. Tiger and the rest of the town, and above all, I just love the idea of a tiger being very prim and proper in a suit for the first half of the book. Definitely one of my new favourites!

The very hungry caterpillar / Eric Carle
An absolute classic! I love a lot of Eric Carle books, but I always come back to the caterpillar. It's a must for any age, I think, and it's always great to see the kids' reactions to how much the caterpillar eats. It's just plain great.

How to train a train / Jason Carter Eaton
This is a new book, but I immediately fell in love with it when it arrived at the library. I'd say it's more appropriate for older children as it's a little long and has some extended passages on a page. But, the concept behind it is absolutely worth it - it tells the story of how you would go about training a train, if a train could be a domestic pet. The idea and execution is absolutely hilarious, and guaranteed to be a hit with adults too!

The tiny king / Taro Miura
This is a simple story of a tiny, lonely king who meets and has a family with a Big Queen, ultimately learning that everything is better when you have someone in your life to share it with. What really gets me in this story are the illustrations - I love the simple geometric shapes used side by side with the a magazine-cut-out style. It provides a high contrast and it ultimately works really well.

The paper bag princess / Robert Munsch
Another absolute classic children's book. Robert Munsch books are always stars during storytime, but I particularly have a soft spot for this one about a princess who takes care of herself and saves the day.

Steam train, dream train / Sherri Duskey Rinker
Yes, I know: another train book. This one is great for the toddler/pre-school age group as it has rhyming verses. I love that it's essentially about teaching you about the many different kinds of train cars that exist. I'll say this: I sure learned a lot reading this in storytime, because I had no idea of the specific names for all those various cars. This is always my go-to book if I need just one more in my pile for storytime.

The cow loves cookies / Karma Wilson
With all due respect to Wilson's Bear series, this book is probably my favourite of hers. This has always been a crowd pleaser due to its repetitiveness and the sheer silliness of a cow eating cookies with the farmer. The rhyming verses and traditional illustrations also add to the loveliness of it.

Do you have any favourite picture books that you go to when storytime rolls around?

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