Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins

Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017
Drew Daywalt is the two-time Goodreads Choice Award winner in Best Picture Books for The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. His latest book, The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, tells the fantastical story behind the school-yard game.



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"I never loan books. I always just give them away, partly because they never come back, but mostly because I like to see the book continue its journey of impacting people. I also love to buy books as gifts because it's like giving someone a piece of your mind (without getting punched)," says Daywalt.

"So when the fine folks at Goodreads asked me if I'd like to make a list of my favorite picture books to give as gifts for this holiday season, I was psyched to oblige. Enjoy!"


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"Nothing goes together quite like funny and scary, and this one by Seuss has been one of my all-time favorites since I was like, I dunno, five? The concept that I could be a little bit frightened and also laughing at the same time came directly from reading this book. And the absurdism of What Was I Scared Of? went right into my DNA as a storyteller."




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"Nothing satisfies a kid like finishing a story and knowing that everyone got what they deserve. And this crocodile is such a jerk. When he finally gets his at the end of the book, it couldn't be more pleasing (and funny). Thank you, Mr. Dahl, for thinking so far out of the box—and an even bigger thank you to the publisher brave enough to publish it."




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"Technically this isn't a picture book, but it has pictures and it's a book, so…ya know. Anyway, when I was a kid, I'd read this one with my mom, and we'd howl with laughter. Bill Watterson has always been one of my literary heroes, and I think it's great to read him with my kids."




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"Bob Shea is the funniest person I know. Literally. I wait for his books to come out like a dog under the table waiting for scraps. Only I don't lick his hands. That'd be weird. What I'm trying to say is you should go buy this book, not hide under Bob Shea's dining table."




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"At six years old, I didn't know I loved messages about anti-consumerism and the pointlessness of the eternal class struggle—but I did. And I still do. Also Sneetches are super cute. And this Dr. Seuss guy, he really has a future in picture books. Keep an eye on him. He's gonna be huge."




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"Jory John is the funniest person I know. I know I already said that about Bob Shea, but I really mean it about Jory. I meant it about Bob, too, but I mean it about Jory just as much. Maybe more. I dunno. We should maybe put them in a cage and let them funny it out and see who emerges victorious. Anyway, nothing is better than penguins…except maybe complain-y penguins."





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"I hate picture books with overt lessons…I really do. And so do kids. But I love books about brats who get eaten by lions. And so do kids. So go buy this. You're welcome."




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"Okay, this book has it all—Jory John's words, Benji Davies' pictures, a grumpy bear, an insomniac duck, and dialogue so angry and frustrated that you can just feel the swearing under the surface. This one's a winner with kids in the same way that watching Daffy Duck rage against the machine always was."




What picture books would you recommend for young kids? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages
Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 2: by Kazia (new)

Kazia These are all delightful titles, but it's really disappointing to see that this list is entirely made up of white men. I get that these are faves, but YIKES!


message 3: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Dangerously Ever After is a great book about a princess who is anything but the normal pink princess!


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