OK, now that Books for Big Kids are covered, here are some of our favorite picture books, great gifts for your little ones. As always, these books and more recommendations can be found in the Media Macaroni store.
Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea
Unicorn thinks he’s pretty great. Well, that’s how it seems to Goat, anyway. Goat thinks Unicorn is pretty great, envying his ability to fly to school with a trail of sparkles behind him and turn stuff into gold. Well, when Unicorn gets a load of what Goat can do, the tables are turned. They’re both pretty great. I couldn’t love this book more than I do.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
This one’s not just for little kids. Every person I’ve shown this book to has loved it. See, Duncan’s crayons have had it. Purple wants him to color inside the lines. Black wants to be used for more than outlines. Orange and Yellow are fighting over who is the rightful color of the sun. And Pink hardly gets used, except by Duncan’s little sister. Enjoy these hilarious letters to Duncan from the crayon point of view. [Read my review.]
Everything Goes: By Sea by Brian Biggs
Really, I’d like to recommend all Brian Biggs books here. They’re Ozzie’s favorite right now. They’re like the Where’s Waldo of vehicle books. Our most-read one at the moment is Everything Goes by Sea where a little boy and his family take a ferry ride and enjoy all the other things in the water. We love obsessing over the pictures, finding little things like birds with hats, cats in boats, babies that have wandered off, and the hidden numbers 1 through 100.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustratred by Jon Klassen.
Do I really need to say more than Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen? Probably not, but I’ll tell you how marvelous this book is. We experience a boy in a house, playing toys as the Dark comes. There are no other people that we see, so this is very much about this boy overcoming his fears on his own, and I often find myself thinking about Where the Wild Things Are when I read this book. If you like Sendak, I suspect you’ll like The Dark.
A Baby’s First Book of Zombies written by Justin Reich, illustrated by Marc Scheff
This was one of my great finds at Comic Con this year. Have you ever noticed how much babies and zombies are alike? If not, this book points out likenesses, like how babies and zombies are up all night, how they both like to bite stuff, how they both hate bath time and more. An excellent primer on both babies and zombies, this book is fun for both kids and new parents.
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
This beautiful, tactile book is wordless, letting you add your own story as you go inside and peek through the windows outside, and go outside to peek through the windows outside. All of the windows are cut out, so you really are looking though them. I love the change of seasons throughout the book, starting and ending with winter.
Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Dan Santat
Get ready, I’m going to hit you with a one-two Dan Santat punch. He may well be my favorite illustrator at the moment, even given tough competition (see: rest of this list). And this one’s written by Michael Buckley! Kel Gilligan is like a mini Evel Knievel, tackling such stunts as Using The Potty! Eating Broccoli! Taking a Bath! This is a great book for toddlers who are battling for their independence. [Read my review.]
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat
Don’t tell Ozzie, but he’s getting this one for Christmas. A lion, a great white shark, and a timber wolf are not so ferocious that they can’t get their feelings hurt. It hurts that everyone says mean things about them, just because, you know… they tend to eat all the other animals. The three meet and decide to go vegetarian, which they found to be quite difficult. What’s hilarious is that this book isn’t about them changing their carnivore ways, it’s about them accepting themselves as carnivores. Note: do not buy this book for vegetarians.
The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer
No one believed Tim when he said it was a ninja who at the last slice of cake, or an astronaut who took dad’s hammer, or a squid who ate his homework, so Tim started fessing up for the crimes of these others. But owning up for the crimes can’t go on forever, so Tim invited them all to a party, where his parents could learn that he was telling the truth all along.
Digby Differs by Miriam Koch
Not only does Digby the sheep differ, with his bold red stripes, but so, too, does the book itself. This is a super long book with narrow spreads that go on forever, creating even more of a feeling of loneliness for this poor little sheep while he figures out where he belongs. When his adventures take him to a lighthouse with stripes that match his own, Digby finds a home.
Dig, Dogs, Dig by James Horvath
This cute “construction tail” shows dogs hard at work in a construction site, driving all the big rigs you’d expect to see. It’s a great book for any kid that has to stop and gape at a piece of construction equipment. Of course, the moment Ozzie hears Dig, Dogs, Dig, he also needs to read Go, Dog. Go!. You’ll need that one, too, so that the dogs can party after working all day.
Dot to Dot by Malcolm Cossons, illustrated by Neil Stevens
Dot is a girl living in London, and she is missing her Grandma Dot in New York. She tries to find all sorts of ways to get to New York, from springs on her feet to a tunnel under the ocean, but nothing works. But then, her Grandma Dot arrives in London to surprise her on their shared birthday! It’s a sweet story, but the best part is that you then flip the book over and get the same story from Grandma Dot’s point of view, as she travels the globe picking up family members for their birthday surprise.
Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Bob Staake
I love the rhyming verse of this new Little Golden Book all about robots. The illustrations by Bob Staake give the whole thing a retro vibe as we look at our charming future with our robot overlords.
More 2013 gift guides:
Books for Big Kids!