7 Books to Add to Your Kids’ Book Collection

I love children’s books. Discovering that has been one of the fun, unexpected pleasures of being a mom for me. I had no idea how much I would enjoy books for the under-five set. But, even if they’re good ones, there are some books that I just can’t read One. More. Time. My son’s babysitter and I used to hide “Pat the Bunny,” because we just couldn’t face another round of “Now you put your finger through Mummy’s ring,” and all the rest of it. If, like me, you sometimes get a little desperate for some variety in your reading repertoire, here are a few of my favorite board books and picture books for very young kids.

Fun to Read Aloud Books

Bear Snores On  – by Karma Wilson
I love the rhythm and cadence of this one. There is a whole series of Bear and Friends books, but this one is the best. Lots of animals come out of the forest into a cave where a bear is hibernating. They have a party and wake him up, and bear is sad that he missed out on the fun, until they tell him he can join the party. He outlasts them all.

Hippos Go Berserk – by Sandra Boynton
What’s not to love about 45 hippos (and a beast!) having a party? With lines like, “All through the hippo night, the hippos played with great delight, but at the hippo break of day, the hippos all must go away,” it’s just good fun to say the words and the pictures are pretty hilarious.

Click Clack Moo – by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
Unionized typing cows.  Do I need to say more? Plus you get to say ‘Click Clack Moo, Click Clack Moo,’ over and over again.

Rainbow Rob – by Roger Priddy
Rob the penguin wants to be a more colorful fellow, but decides in the end he likes himself just the way he is.  It’s got fun rhymes like “a pink flamingo from San Domingo” and a lot of neat touch and feel things that kids enjoy.

Raising little book lovers! This is my big girl (age 5) reading a story to my little girl (age 2).
Raising little book lovers! This is my big girl (age 5) reading a story to my little girl (age 2).
Great Collection of Books

The HarperCollins Treasury of Picture Book Classics is one of my favorite books because it has so many good stories in it. There are really well known ones like “Good Night Moon,” “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” (which I LOVE), and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” And, it introduced us to other really fun stories that I’d never heard of, like “Pete’s a Pizza,” about a family that pretends to make their son into a pizza to get him out of his bad mood, and “Crictor,” about a heroic pet snake that catches a notorious robber.

Sweet and Sappy Books

Hush Little Baby – by Silvia Long
This version of the song is so different than hearing about all the things that “Mama’s gonna buy you” in the original. This one talks about all the things Mama is going to do with you – looking for a shooting star, playing music, listening to the crickets. The illustrations are beautiful and sweet and I think it’s a lovely take on the old song. I’ve rocked with each of my babies and sang this version of the song to them.

You Are My I Love You – by Maryann Cusimano Love
This sweet story uses simple phrases and beautiful pictures to show how mom and dad are their child’s safe haven and kids are their parents’ best adventure. I will admit that I get choked up when reading this to my little ones. But, I’m kind of an easy crier. I’m sure you’re tougher than me.

Have any favorites that you just love? Add them in the comments – I’d love to add a little more variety to our bookshelves, too. With book showers being popular for new moms these days, Pin this list and you’ll have a ready-made shopping list!

Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


  1. Will have to look sone of these up! I always loved ‘The Color Kittens’. Something about ‘and in all that brown the sun went down…’ And their dream starts just gets me.


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