Bookbloom: Top 10 Picture Books

After spending seven years working as a librarian, Miranda is now a stay-at-home-mom, foodie, and traveler who enjoys reading aloud to her daughter and throwing parties that involve pie. She shares a love for picture books and talks with us about some of her absolute contemporary favorites below! Be sure to check out her blog here, and follow her over on instagram!

"First, a little backstory. When I was pregnant with my daughter we decided not to find out her gender. Which meant we were graciously gifted with 30+ board books to start her home library. And although I’ve collected children’s Christmas books since college, I only had a handful of non-holiday picture books ready to read after we’d memorized all the board books. Luckily, picture books have had a beautiful resurgence in the last several years, which means there are an abundance of books that feature both stunning design and compelling stories. Shortly after my daughter turned one, I decided it was time to start purchasing some of our favorite vetted library books. Books that we had read repeatedly and loved, but would never have to return. Each of the books on this top 10 list* resonated with me on the first reading and were published in the last 20 years. I hope you’ll enjoy them for yourself or with your favorite little ones."

Image by Amy Rau

Image by Amy Rau

Mrs. Meyer, the Bird by Wolf Erlbruch (1997) — Mrs. Meyer worries about everything. But when she finds a lost bird egg she suddenly discovers a new mission, wherein she learns to nurture, let go, and eventually gains the ability to soar without the weight of worry.

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (2015) — An ordinary excursion to grandmother’s house turns into a strange and delightful party of woodland creatures, all eager to welcome a stranger in their midst. Confirming my belief that pie brings people together.

Rain! by Linda Ashman (2013) — When the world of an exuberant young girl collides with that of a curmudgeonly old man, the power of a gesture and smile are passed on in a most contagious manner.

Bonjour Camille by Felipe Cano (2014) — Armed with her battledress (a tutu and tophat), Camille conquers her to-do list which gusto. A list that consists of eating all the cherries, hiding umbrellas, and choosing a new favorite color.

The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan (2014) — A refreshing account of how Henri Matisse was nurtured by his mother’s own creativity; and how, later, he became the inspiring artist he was, a master of color and form.

I Met a Penguin by Frank Asch (2015 originally published in 1972) — Lion lives on an island with other creatures. One day, after a slight confrontation, he goes out to sea to think and ends up drifting away to the South Pole. There he meets a Penguin and after some time falls in love. The story is a little heartbreaking, in the way that children sometimes understand best.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli (2013) — Answering the age-old question of children everywhere. Not Where do babies come from? but rather Will a watermelon grow in my belly if I accidentally swallowed the seed?!

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (2004) — A little girl finds a red book and is transported to the world of another little child, who sees her through his found red book. A wonderful example of the power of wordless picture books.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming (2010) — Young Jack, ever the optimist, is invited to the Princess’s birthday party and makes a double layer cake to take to her. Along his journey he encounters various obstacles that all manage to whittle away his precious gift until he has just a plump strawberry left. Luckily, his story impresses the Princess more than any other offering.

Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer (2016) — Penguin is grumpy for no reason. He takes off his grumpy coat, pants, boots, hat, and underwear in an effort to shed his mood. After a bath, a book, and a good sleep, he knows by tomorrow his grumps will have washed away.

* Honorable mentions go to Secret Tree Fort and The Lion and the Bird. Two books I can't endorse enough.

Thanks so much Miranda for sharing! Be sure to follow her over on instagram as well as on her blog