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

I have experienced a few challenges during the past month that have kept me from blogging — my wee son enthusiastically ripped two-thirds of the keys off my computer keyboard, my camera suddenly stopped working, and marathon training season began. However, I am back and ready to share five more of my very favorite picture books with you.

You can find my entire list of not-to-be-missed picture books here: 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books.

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson. A beautiful, simple story of a boy’s unwavering faith that the seed that he plants and cares for will grow into a carrot. Ages 1+


Vera’s Baby Sister by Vera RosenberryVera’s Baby Sister does a great job of accurately depicting the negative feelings that can accompany the birth of a younger sibling, has a heartwarming ending and stars a bean tent. If you enjoy this book, look for Vera Rides a Bike and other books featuring Vera. Ages 3+

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. I Want My Hat Back is a brilliantly crafted story that reminds me of the carefully worded and illustrated stories of Leo Lionni, without the deep messages. Instead, I Want My Hat Back delivers humor. Ages 5+


Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen LeedyLoreen Leedy has devoted her writing career to creating picture books that introduce kids to a range of challenging topics, from fractions to energy to maps. Leedy has written a handful of nonfiction picture books that are true gems. Mapping Penny’s World is one of those nonfiction picture book gems, clearly and engagingly introducing kids to maps. Ages 5+

Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. A giant panda named Stillwater befriends three children and shares three short stories with beautiful messages. Ages 5+

  • 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 — Ruth Krauss, Vera Rosenberry, Jon Klassen, Loreen Leedy or Jon Muth — that you particularly like?

I look forward to hearing from you!

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8 Responses to 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books (May)

  1. Perogyo says:

    I’ve only read I Want My Hat Back and we loved it.

    I am really interested in Mapping Penny’s World, my kids and I love maps

    • Amy says:

      We have read lots of books about maps. Mapping Penny’s World was my son’s favorite book when he was about 5. It turned him and my daughter into little mapmakers.

  2. PragmaticMom says:

    I love Zen Shorts so very much! I have heard so much about I Want My Hat Back … I must get my hands on a copy! I love those Harold books so will check out the carrot one that I missed. Thanks! Good luck with marathon!

    • Amy says:

      Me too! Of course, given that I came up with this list, I feel that way about all 60 books on the list. It’s great that Muth created a character (Stillwater) that my kids want to read about again and again and incorporated stories with great messages that I hope will stick with them as they grow up.

      Thanks for the marathon wishes! I had my first DNF at Boston in April which has inspired me to train a little harder for an upcoming June marathon.

  3. Vanesssa says:

    We have “I want my hate back”. Such a cute story with wonderful simple illustrations. I found it very humorous.

  4. unfortunately i’ve never seen the carrot seed one!! would love to!! have to look up!! being a foodsitter and blogger for children and ludic eating habits i guess that would be a cool book!! :)
    and anyhow i love your work here!!

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