I absolutely judge a book by its cover when I'm just browsing at the library, and when it comes to children's books, I think there's nothing wrong with that. We've found some great books this way! We find an author or illustrator we like, and we tend to devour all of his/her work.
I thought I would share a few of our favorites because I truly enjoy spreading the book love.
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
Lillie absolutely adores this book. When we checked it out at the library, we kept it for nearly nine weeks. I knew I had to buy it.
Jasper loves carrots, but the carrots don't love that he loves carrots. The carrots devise a plan to scare Jasper out of his carrot-snacking ways.
There are a handful of reviews on Amazon claiming this book isn't appropriate for kids because it's just too scary. It is definitely a little on the dark side (with carrots hiding in sheds and under beds), but it's all in good fun. Also, my kids love Monster House and Halloween, so this story is perfect for them.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
If you have a child that's afraid of the dark, this book might help. Laszlo is afraid of the dark, so he visits it every day in the hopes that it won't visit him. One day, though, the dark comes to his room for a visit.
My girls like it because they think the artwork is cool, but they also like that the dark talks back. I don't think they're particularly afraid of the dark, but this book really helped them realize that it's not as scary a thing as they may have imagined.
Angelina at the Fair by Katharine Holabird
We've read nearly the entire original Angelina Ballerina series, and Lillie and Dani both love this one. It's got rides and a scary house and balloons! (Plus, Angelina is a ballerina, and that's a total win right now.)
Angelina doesn't want to take her younger cousin Henry to the fair with her, so instead of listening to what he wants to do, she drags him on every ride she wants. They get separated, and Angelina realizes that she can have fun while Henry's having fun too.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald is clumsy and falls over himself, but when he finds the perfect music, he floats on air.
The girls love the story and like seeing all the animals dance. I love the beautiful illustrations and the wonderful message about being yourself.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Warning! The bear eats the rabbit. Some parents may not like to read a story to their children in which the bear eats a rabbit. I am not one of those parents. Plus, this story is hilarious! I probably laughed harder than the girls.
It's quite simple. The bear misses his hat, and he wants it back. The rabbit took it.
The illustrations remind me of Oliver Jeffers, which is probably why I picked it up in the first place. They're simple and add to the humor.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I grew up with this book, and it was one of the first books I put on their wishlist for Christmas. I started reading it to them when they were very little, but not until the last year or so did they start asking for it.
They love Peter (A Letter for Amy is another favorite), and they absolutely love to watch him play in the snow.
OK. Wow. I could go on for awhile on this list. I think I may need to do another one soon!
I'm wanting to get into some longer books with the girls soon. We've read Charlotte's Web, and even though they didn't grasp the entire story, they both listened. Dani enjoyed it more than Lillie, but I think Dani likes to hear me read while Lillie is more about pictures right now.
What books do you recommend? What is your book-picking strategy at the library or bookstore?