5 AMAZING Children’s Books that aren’t the Traditional “Classics”

A post about children’s books may not seem “retro,” but with technology taking over, and kids being read to less and less, I really feel like reading and storytelling is becoming a lost art. Also, children’s books are freaking awesome! I love them! It’s probably worth noting that I hold a Masters degree in Library Science (focusing on early childhood and elementary school)…SOOOOOO from time to time you’ll read me going on and on about children’s book, activities to go with them, tips for reading to kids, etc. Please bear with me 😛 

Ok, every single time I Googled “amazing children’s books” to get new ideas, I always got the same list: Where the Wild Things Are, Cat in the Hat, The Polar Express, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom…you get the idea. These are absolutely amazing books. But when they’ve been read to your class, to your kids, or by you over and over and over again, you (like me) may be looking for some fresh ideas that are still amazing. HEEERRREEE I COME TO SAVE THE DAAAAAAAY!! That may be a bit pretentious, but I do have some good ideas. And here they are:

  1. Dancing Dinos Go To School by Sally Lucas – Great for kids ages 1 through beginner reader (K or 1), this book gets big laughs from kids. It also rhymes, which younger readers really enjoy! Reading Tip: make the noises and act out what’s happening with the book…when it says “school bell rings,” make a school bell noise. When it says that the dinos swing higher and higher, swing the book higher and higher.
  1. Vincent Paints His House by Todd Arnold – Such a creative book about colors! This book is perfect for ages 2 through elementary. Even though it is simple and the theme repetitive, it introduces new color names and shades beyond the basics. Kids enjoy seeing what animals/insects pop up and what their favorite colors are. Reading Tip: have the child repeat the color names after you and point to them. Ask the child what their favorite color is, and what color they would paint their house.
  1. See, Hear, Feel by Emmanuelle Giumelli – I always preach about unplugging and getting outside and being in the moment…well, here’s the book to help kids do just that! You go through Charlie’s day, experiencing what he does through the senses. This book teaches kids how to slow down, take deep breaths, and really experience life. One of my favorite parts of the book is the pages at the end. The authors give mindfulness activities to try as well as instructions on how to make a calming jar. Great for all ages! Reading Tip: Do what Charlie does in the book. When he says he puts his hand on his belly to feel his breath, have your child try it. When he “puts on his hawk eyes,” imitate Charlie and do the same. This is a great book at bedtime! After reading it, do the body scan with your child in bed.
  1. Hair by Leslie Patricelli – Leslie Patricelli is a big hit in our house. She’s great for babies and toddlers! This book is all about, you guessed it, hair. It’s a simply written book about a baby getting a haircut. The best part of this book (and all of Leslie’s board books) is the last page. She always draws silly pictures relating to the story. In this book, she draws all different kinds of hairstyles. Cracks my 2 year old up every time! Reading Tip: At the end of the book, ask your child which hairstyle is their favorite. Ask them to “cut” your hair for you. Talk about what it’s like to get a haircut.
  1. Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan – I wanted to end the list with a beautiful bedtime book. Srinivasan uses poetic type language to tell the story of a little owl who loves the night and has his mom tell him stories about day when he wants to go to sleep. Children will love the animals that make appearances, and parents will love the gorgeous language used in the narrative. Reading Tip: Snuggle close with your child and enjoy this wonderful bedtime story. 😉

What did you think of the list? What are some of your favorites that aren’t traditional “classics?” Let’s talk! 



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