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Favorite Children's Picture Books

There are so many great children's books available nowadays, but there are definitely some that separate themselves from the pack. For every family those special books are different, which is something to be celebrated that different books spark joy for different people. Having Lydia has opened me up to some of the newer children's books out there that are gorgeous and have wonderful messages to them, and wanted to share some of our favorites with you!

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I know that for myself, the stories I tend to gravitate towards most to buy or borrow from the library for Lydia are classic, any times set on a farm or traditional setting, or are characters that she seems to connect with. For instance, she loves bears like Winnie the Pooh and Paddington, so bear books are definitely a trend in our home. She also has taken after me with her love of sheep (I could not be more proud!) and loves reading books about "sheepies."

Some of the books I have listed are books that I greatly enjoyed as a child and could not wait to share with Lydia, but others are new books that have come out in recent years and are so delightful! What is so fun about kids books is that even as an adult, there are so many wonderful stories that I also find entertaining and educational. It makes the experience of reading together even more special because we are both invested in the story and form a bond in reading it with one another!

I have divided this list of some of our favorite children's books into categories to make it easier to decipher and see which books resonate most for your family. I did not list all of our favorites, since that is quite a numerous list, and some of our favorites are in board book form rather than picture book form. If you want to see some of our favorite board books, check out my blog post on those here. Let's see if some of our favorites are some of your favorites, too!

Classics (at least, for my childhood!)

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb by James Herriot

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale

These books are a literal handful of some of the classic books from my childhood, but they were unique and definitely loved by myself and my brother. It has been so sweet to introduce Lydia to these books and see her enjoy them as well!

I think of all five of these, Ten in the Bed is her favorite because we will read that book before bed some nights, but we make it a full body experience! We will read it and bounce Lydia on our knees, or tip her over to either side as we read, "Roll over! Roll over!" which just makes her giggle uncontrollably. She loves this book and it is usually read multiple times in one night because of how much she loves it.

Any book by Jan Brett, in my opinion is going to be beautifully illustrated and have an interesting story to it. I grew up loving Annie and the Wild Animals and The Mitten best by her, but other greats from my childhood would have to be The Hat, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Town Mouse Country Mouse, and Armadillo Rodeo.

Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb was also a book that I loved reading over and over again because I love sheep, but Lydia also really enjoys the book! She loves the illustrations and does repeat "sheepie" all throughout the story, which I feel really adds to it haha! It is also just a sweet story about a lost lamb and a little girl who finds the lamb and nurses it back to health before being able to return the lamb to her classmate. Very sweet, very cute, highly recommend.

And then there is The Little House, which I only recently read to Lydia for the first time and fell in love with it instantly. Since we have a small house, this book felt like a lovely reminder that sometimes small houses are great houses! I also love that it is a house that realizes it appreciates the simpleness of living a country life, which is definitely how Aaron and I feel and want to raise our children to appreciate.