Reading this Summer – Picture Books

This is not a typical post, but one that I wanted to do for fun prior to the beginning of summer.  I love reading, and I love reading to my kids.  I keep hoping that someday, because of my avid reading, my kids will love to read.  I have most definitely surrounded them with lots of good books.  I have a read aloud time each day during homeschool with my littles.  I read to all but my oldest at bedtime.  

Starting a book collection doesn’t have to be costly.  I buy my books at secondhand stores, garage sales, and at abebooks.com.  Rarely, do I buy a new book.  These links are provided so you can see the book and its synopsis.  This is a random listing of some of our favorites.  Happy Reading!

Claymates: Petty, Dev, Eldridge, Lauren: 9780316303118: Amazon.com: Books

Meet the claymates: two balls of clay that can become anything–even best friends!

What can you do with two blobs of clay? Create something amazing! But don’t leave them alone for too long. Things might get a little crazy.

In this photographic friendship adventure, the claymates squish, smash, and sculpt themselves into the funniest shapes imaginable. But can they fix a giant mess before they’re caught in the act?

Brambly Hedge Collection Jill Barklem 8 Books Set (Autumn Story, Spring Story, Summer Story, Winter Story, Poppy’s Babies, Sea Story, The High Hills, The Secret Staircase): Jill Barklem, Autumn Story By Jill Barklem 978-0001837393, 0001837397, 9780001837393, Spring Story 978-0001839229, 0001839225, 9780001839229, Summer Story 978-0001839236, 0001839233, 9780001839236, Winter Story 978-0008241186, 000824118X, 9780008241186, Poppy’s Babies 978-0008282813, 0008282811, 9780008282813, Sea Story 978-0008252670, 000825267X, 9780008252670, The High Hills 978-0001840867, 000184086X, 9780001840867, The Secret Staircase 978-0008269142, 0008269149, 9780008269142: 9789123522330: Amazon.com: Books

These books remind me of Beatrix Potter, but we enjoy them more!  They have fun, whimsical pictures and are about the adventures of a little village of mice. 

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (Pigeon, 9): Willems, Mo, Willems, Mo: 8601400583050: Amazon.com: Books

The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

Mouse Says “Sorry” (Hello Genius): Dahl, Michael, Vidal, Oriol: 9781404867895: Amazon.com: Books

Mouse is late for supper. He has to hurry home, but he won’t get there without using his manners. This sturdy board book helps toddlers understand when and why to say sorry.

A Perfect Day: Smith, Lane, Smith, Lane: 9781626725362: Amazon.com: Books

Today is a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel.

Cat is lounging among the daffodils. Dog is sitting in the wading pool, deep in the cool water. Chickadee is eating fresh seed from the birdfeeder. Squirrel is munching on his very own corncob. Today is a perfect day in Bert’s backyard.

Until Bear comes along, that is. Bear crushes the daffodils, drinks the pool water, and happily gobbles up the birdseed and corncob.

Today was a perfect day for Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel. Now, it’s just a perfect day for Bear.

Lane Smith uses perfect pacing and vibrant illustrations to emphasize the power of perspective in this hilarious picture book about the goings-on in Bert’s backyard.

Touch the Art: Count Monet’s Lilies: aa: Amazon.com: Books

We have this book and one other in the series!  Each book contains famous paintings along with things that kids can touch, keeping children engaged.  There is also a simple, rhyming text in each book.  I love that it introduces kids to real art. 

Amazon.com: I Need a New Butt! (0800759787999): McMillan, Dawn, Kinnaird, Ross: Books

A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations. Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it!

Note: this book is a little much since it does have drawings (obviously) of butt cracks and farts.  Despite that, my younger kids think it’s hilarious.  It’s probably not for everyone though. 

Good Night, Gorilla: Rathmann, Peggy: 9780399230035: Amazon.com: Books

Good night, Gorilla.
Good night, Elephant.


It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe.
Good night, Hyena.


Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

Amazon.com: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books) (9780689815812): Oxenbury, Helen, Michael Rosen: Books

Beloved for more than 30 years, this award-winning classic from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury celebrates the joys of an afternoon outdoors with family.

We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.

Will you come too? Join a father and his four young children as they cross a field of tall, wavy grass, wade through a deep, cold river, struggle through swampy mud, find their way through a big, dark forest, fight through a whirling snowstorm, and enter finally enter a narrow, gloomy cave. What will they find there? You’ll have to read on to find out!

For more than thirty years readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favorite. Now fans of this timeless story from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury can treasure and share this Classic Board Book edition that has an updated, colorized cover.

Good Night Mountains (Good Night Our World): Gamble, Adam, Jasper, Mark: 9781602190900: Amazon.com: Books

Designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for natural and cultural wonders, this delightful story features a multicultural group of people visiting waterfalls, glaciers, alpine lakes, the Rocky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Ozark Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, the Appalachian Mountains, volcanic Mount Saint Helen, and Mount Washington in New England. Guiding children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of mountains, this board book also highlights the activities associated with such destinations, including skiing, hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, and rock climbing.

Note: This is a series.  We have at least one other.  (Maybe the ocean/beach one?)  I like that it can help the kids remember a special vacation, and it’s also calming because it says “Good night” over and over.  I find this helpful with my youngest who is always difficult to calm down at bedtime. 

Audrey Bunny: Smith, Angie, Brookshire, Breezy: 9781433680458: Amazon.com: Books

From best-selling women’s author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She’ll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

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