The Best Children’s Books On Our Shelves

We read a LOT of children’s books at our house, which is a wonderful thing. I’ve always been a bookworm, and so I love that Maggie is always down to snuggle up and read a book or three.

In all our children’s book reading, Kevin and I have a few that really rise to the top as favorites for us. (Maggie loves all these as well!) They top the list for Kevin and me because they teach a good lesson or are especially clever or have characters we love (and some of these books check ALL those boxes). Interestingly (but not surprisingly), I realized after putting this list together that three of our top books were gifted to us by our amazing librarian friend, Kristen. Thanks for helping to fill our bookshelves with such wonderful children’s books, Kristen!

Here’s the Keller family’s list of top children’s books in our collection:

Carla’s Sandwich: We were first introduced to this book via Storyline Online, a website we love featuring children’s books read by actors, and it was read by Allison Janney. She’s a favorite actress of mine, so I was already pretty pumped, and then Maggie, Kevin, and I all quickly fell in love with the book she’d chosen as well. After watching it online again and again and again and AGAIN, we knew we needed to add a copy of the book to our library, so now it’s a go-to read at our house. It focuses on the importance of creativity, and of being okay with doing your own thing when it feels like the right thing for you — no matter what others think. (It also focuses on eating a variety of interesting foods, even when other kids might think it’s weird, which is a big priority for us!)

Love The World: All books by Todd Parr are good ones, but this one is a particular favorite for us. The theme is around gratitude and about loving ourselves as well as one another, all the while celebrating the differences that make us unique. (His illustrations are always so colorful and fun, too!)

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea: Based on a true story about our Vice President and her sister, this book empowers kids to create change right in their own backyard by working together — and by being persistent.

Babies Don’t Eat Pizza: If you’re preparing for a second baby to join your family, this book is a must! It’s in depth in an age appropriate way, helping big sisters and brothers to be learn about the things that are happening during pregnancy as well as what to expect once a tiny baby enters their world.

How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids: Looking for a helpful way to illustrate kindness for your kiddos? This book is so wonderful in that regard! It uses a great analogy of “filling someone’s bucket” to talk about being kind — and teaches about how being kind to others not only fills THEIR buckets, but our own bucket, too.

The Sandwich Swap: Yes, another sandwich-themed book made our list! This one centers around being open to trying new things and to embracing differences — even when we think those new things are GROSS before we try them.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me: Kevin bought this book for us just before Maggie was born, and it was actually the first book I read her. There’s less of a life lesson in this book, but it’s fun and playful, and it’s one adults will love reading as much as kids will. (And if you haven’t watched Marcel the Shell on YouTube yet, be sure to do that. It will make reading the book even better because you’ll hear his voice in your head as you read!)

Ada Twist, Scientist: This fun-to-read rhyming book helps kids learn why asking questions is so important — not to mention FUN — helping to unlock the curious scientist in every child.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: This book is a classic, and yet it’s one most adults should read every now and then. It’s such a good reminder of, well, LIFE and the way it works. It ebbs and flows, and we also have a bit of a say in how we deal with things along the way.

Birdie’s Happiest Halloween: Come along with Birdie as she tries to figure out the perfect Halloween costume so she can celebrate with her friends. She lands on just the right thing — and it’s wonderfully empowering!

Yay, You! Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On: Change is inevitable, and it can feel scary to achieve a goal and then wonder, “What’s next?” This book guides kids through making choices in life by listening to who they are inside and letting those interests and traits guide their path.

Where Happiness Lives: As it turns out, the love in a home is more important than how impressive the home itself is, and this book is a beautiful reminder of that truth.

The Freddie’s Amazing Bakery series: If you also have a child who’s getting into chapter books, this is an awesome series to start with! As Kevin says, he loves reading the Freddie books with Maggie because none of the characters are mean to each other, and it’s been fun to draw out a storyline with her over several bedtimes as we make our way through each book…

Fellow toddler/preschool parents: What are some of the most-loved books at your house?

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