Picture Books that Parents Enjoy Too!
As much as I enjoy reading with my children, I don't always enjoy their book choices. I find it hard to fake enthusiasm about fire trucks, or how bunny learns to share.
Parenting means reading thousands of stories. I have found that my sanity requires storytime books to educate me, move me or make me laugh. If you feel the same, this list is for you.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems. The illustrations combine Willems' cartoons with black and white photography. I can relate to the accurate drawings of overtired parents. If you like Knuffle Bunny as much as I do, don’t hesitate to read all three Knuffle Bunny books.
All the World by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee. This is one of my favourite picture books. I admit to feeling a little (OK, a lot) jealous of the characters. They live in a vibrant utopia where everything is within walking distance. All the World inspires me to be a better neighbour.
The books of Shinsuke Yoshitake. These books are hilarious! In fact, I might like them more than my kids do. Entertain yourself and try a few.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. What a gorgeous, classic work of children's literature. Sigh. It's based on a true story to boot! Get comfortable, read a while, and think about how you can make the world more beautiful.
The Little Red Hen has been retold by multiple authors. Call me evil, but I derive great pleasure from reading a book that tells my child that they're not going to get any bread if they don't help cut the wheat.
Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee. Introduce your child to the poetry of Canadian Dennis Lee. Then give yourself a pat on the back for adding some culture into your child's life. The catchy rhythms of Lee's poetry never get old. "Give away the green grass, give away the sky, but don't give away my alligator pie!"
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. "A Gruffalo? What's a Gruffalo?" This book is so much fun to read. Let loose and give each character its own unique voice.
Finally, I recommend you check out some of our amazing biographies for children. This decade has been a boon for highly interesting picture book biographies!
Here are a few to get you started.
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
Trombone Shorty by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Bryan Collier
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant and Boris Kulikov
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter
Go ahead, put some of our recommended books on hold. Then, "accidentally" slip your least-favourite truck book behind your child's dresser.
Parents, we want to hear from you. Which picture books do you enjoy reading? Share your favourites in the comments below and help a fellow parent out.