60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books (March)

It is time to reveal five more of my favorite picture books! I do not know about you, but I have been enjoying this. I have been enjoying making a point of reading my favorite picture books with my kids and sharing these books with you.

We now have a nice little booklist developing, which you can see here.

As previously mentioned, you are invited to read these books along with us.  Feel free to read all five books or only those that look interesting to you each month. This will be most fun if you stop back after you have read the books and let us know what you think.

Spring is Here by Taro GomiI am a fan of Taro Gomi’s illustrations in general. Of Gomi’s books, Spring is Here stands out because it features a clever and beautifully executed concept. In addition, the spare text describing the change of seasons is a joy to read aloud. Ages 3+

Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin and Ana JuanAna Juan’s illustrations are captivating. In Elena’s Serenade, Juan’s illustrations transport readers on a magical journey where a girl can pass as a man, animals can be tamed by pipe music, and blown glass creations can take flight. Ages 3+

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems. Knuffle Bunny Too is the second is a series of three stories about a girl Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. While the stories of Trixie’s attachment to her stuffed animal are familiar, Willems’ tellings of them are not. Willems’ humor — aimed at parents as well as kids — is spot on. His illustrations — a mixture of black and white photographs and colorful cartoon drawings — are fresh and fun. Ages 3+

Press Here by Hervé TulletAn innovative, interactive book that is sure to delight kids. Press Here is perfect for the four to seven-year-old set who are old enough to follow the directions in this book and young enough to have the capacity to suspend reality for a bit. Ages 4+

A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban. A wonderful story written by a wonderful storyteller. A Birthday for Frances is chalk full of material to satisfy kids: a protagonist grappling with feelings of jealousy, mild misbehavior, amusing dialog, and descriptions of birthday party preparations. A Birthday for Frances not only withstands, but truly gets better, with repeat readings. Ages 4+

  • Which of these books is your favorite, and why?
  • How have children you have shared these books with reacted?
  • Is there another book by one of these authors or illustrators — Taro Gomi, Mo Willems, Ana Juan, Hervé Tullet, or Russell Hoban — that you particularly like?

I look forward to hearing from you!

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22 Responses to 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books (March)

  1. PragmaticMom says:

    Or maybe I should say, all are Delightful Children’s Books! You rock!

  2. PragmaticMom says:

    My first grade son just read A Birthday for Frances to me and it brought such happy memories for me as I loved this series when I was little. I read these books excessively to his older sisters and his oldest sister wandered in during his reading and said, “Oh, I love that book.” She stayed for the rest of the book.

    We all love the little songs and make up our tunes. Thanks for the great selection of books! All are keepers!!!

    • Amy says:

      The Frances books are some of my favorite books, esp. A Birthday for Frances and Best Friends for Frances. I know that not everyone is as smitten with them as I am. It’s great to hear that you and your kids enjoy them as well!

  3. I love your reading nook :) I will have to look up Taro Gomi’s books.Sharing on my FB page.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have three of these nooks in our attic. When I saw the house, I immediately thought of having a reading nook for each kid. I keep meaning to make these nooks a little more enticing to read in…hence my reading nook Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Teresa Hill says:

    Love Mo Willems. I love the Knuffle Bunny books, Elephant and Piggie books, and the Pigeon books. (For some reason I didn’t like Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.) My absolute favorite is Leonardo, The Terrible Monster! He does have a great website for older kids to visit!

    I think I am going to have to pick up Press Here for my 2 1/2 year old. She is really getting into more interactive books and I think she would really dig it. Intriguing!

    I also have a soft spot in my heart for russell hoban. When I read Bedtime for Frances to my two older boys both commented on France’s dad threatening to spank her. They weren’t shocked but it opened the door to talk about how parenting has changed. Also, I think Frances is one of the forerunners to strong female child characters such as Ruby (of Max and Ruby) and Olivia.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for the tip on Mo Willems website. Humor is such a matter of personal taste. Willems’ pigeon books aren’t particularly funny to me, but my oldest son thinks they’re hilarious.

      The Frances books vary in quality and how well they’ve stood the test of time. In Bedtime for Frances, in addition to the spanking threat, Frances’ dad smokes a pipe as he gives Frances a piggy back ride to bed. I agree with your comment about Frances. Throughout the series, Frances is a wonderful, fully-developed character with complex feelings and opinions that kids can related to.

  5. Camille says:

    I LOVE Press Here. So fun and interactive – I especially love it for the 2 year old audience. Knuffle Bunny is a fun one as well – although I like his Elephant and Piggie books more. I haven’t heard of the first two and am going to have to check them out – and I need to re-pick up the Frances books!

    • Amy says:

      I think it takes a more skilled reader to read Press Here to a two year old. You have to smoothly encourage the two year old to press the right dot and then the left and then tap a dot five times. My two-year-old does request the dot book just like his older siblings.

  6. Anya says:

    Elena’s Serenade looks great, will check it out for sure. We love Taro Gomi’s Doodles, will have to look at the spring one.

    • Amy says:

      Taro Gomi’s doodle books look neat! We don’t generally buy coloring books, but Gomi’s doodle books encourage kids to be creative and look great.

  7. We have Press Here from the library right now and find it appealing (it’s one of the Cybils finalists, and we’re trying them all). We owned and read A Birthday For Francis because I remembered the Francis books from my childhood; the kids liked them but didn’t crave them. The Knuffle Bunny book are more my speed than the boys’ — they are too young to be one audience and too old for the other (fifth and seventh grades, but I still bring home picture books sometimes).

    I also admire Taro Gomi’s work but that one didn’t stick out. And now I want to try Elena’s Serenade since it’s the only unfamiliar one in this illustrious list. I’m putting Press Here as our current favorite, since it met with universal approval and also charmed the younger siblings at a recent birthday party.

    • Amy says:

      Excellent! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. When I first read The Knuffle Bunny books, I wasn’t sure that my kids would like them. The humor seemed aimed more at adults of young kids than at kids, but all three of my kids (ages 2, 4 and 7) love them. I read Knuffle Bunny Too five times this morning. I am curious what your favorite Taro Gomi book is.

  8. I love, love, love Mo Willem’s Knuffle Bunny. The illustrations are great. He is a very gifted author and illustrator.

  9. My kids love the Knuffle Bunny Series! You can’t go wrong with these books. Is their a child that doesn’t find them hilarious? I don’t think so!

    The other four books are new to me. Thanks for sharing the new titles!

  10. I have read one of the Knuffle Bunny books and it was pretty funny and cute. I have not read the others. I will have to add them to the list of library books to check out.

    • Amy says:

      You do not sound like you love the Knuffle Bunny books, which is fine. I am always aware when I recommend humorous books that what I find funny will be very different from what another person finds funny.

  11. Robyn says:

    love love love the Knuffle Bunny trilogy! I adore Mo Willems (last month over at my blog http://www.penpalsandpicturebooks.com we dedicated the whole month to him. We picked up press here earlier in the year, very cool. I’ll be on the look out for the others!

    • Amy says:

      We are appreciating Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books right now. My daughter is learning to read, and Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books are arguably the most entertaining early readers ever written.

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