best picture books, bear feels scared

Favorite Picture Books from a Bookstore Owner

Best Picture Books for Kids

Please welcome my guest author, Bola of, with her list of favorite children’s picture books for 2011. I am managing to make this into a short series of posts. I’ll continue with other guests’ favorite kid and young adult lit of 2011 until I run out of volunteers. Bola runs an online children’s bookstore so she is VERY qualified as both a bookseller and a mom. Please check out her eStore and her blog  too!

Any one else want to email me with their list of favs for 2011? I’d love it! Or just please leave a comment of the books you and your kids have enjoyed last year. Thank you!


May I start with a disclaimer? This is not meant to be a list of Newberry Award contenders, they are merely a list of my Top 10 – My Favorite children’s books for 2011. My kids are younger than 5 so I naturally interact more with books appropriate for this age group. So here we go.

10. If You Give a Dog a Doughnut by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

Some folks have complained about the lack of innovation from Laura Numeroff but I loved this picture book just as much as I loved the first in the series: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Maybe it’s nostalgia but it is a good read for a beginning reader.

9. Ladybug Girl Loves by Jacky Davis

Another published picture book that was partly an adaptation of the original. I guess the concept was to make a board book for the younger readers. This is a chick lit for sure and makes for a good read aloud book for little girls.

8. Spot Goes to the Library by Eric Hill

This is a Short and sweet one that I love for those tired nights or when I get the pleas to read just one more book. The character ‘spot’ is adorable beyond words.

7. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

The illustrations are vivid and captivating in the Eric Carle style. There is not much of a story here but I would say this, on those nights when I am almost asleep on my feet and my son pleads to be read to, I pick this picture book up because I can be done quickly and I know the illustrations keep him engaged.

6. Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson

Simple picture book to teach a toddler or a preschooler about winter. Living in Southern California does have it’s downsides: My kids have never seen snow. Mouse’s First Snow piqued their interest for that reason.

5. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

I am a sucker for the Bear series by Karma Wilson, maybe because my preschooler just loves them. Bear Stays Up for Christmas emphasizes friendship like the other titles in the series but also highlights the Christmas traditions.

4. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

This is a thanksgiving book with lessons that hold true year round. This book touches on what thanksgiving is about and de-emphasizes turkey as the main attraction of thanksgiving.

3. Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson

Did I mention that I love the Bear classics by Karma Wilson? Friendship is a central theme in her picture books. The bear titles are excellent for reading aloud.

2. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods by Sandra Boynton

This is one book a toddler can memorize easily and read along with you as you read. It will bring out the animated part of you as you dramatize the different moods and animal sounds. Sandra Boynton just gets kids!

1. Ilama Ilama, Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney

If you have ever had to stay home to care for a sick child you would most certainly relate with this book. The rhymes are delightful and we have read this book so many times, my preschooler knows when I miss a page. My son asked me what animal llama llama was, I could not give him an answer. Finally he decided it was probably a kangaroo without a pouch.

Bola Ajumobi is a mom of two boys under 5 who love to read. Good thing she also owns an online children’s bookstore, where you can find delightful books for young children.

Please click on any image of book to view at Amazon.

best picture books, bear feels scared

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Ann

    We’ll have to check some of these out – especially the new Eric Carle book! I am a big fan of Sandra Boynton – didn’t really get it at first but my kids love and it grew on me! This years books… I couldn’t help but love Bumbleardy , Questions, Questions by Pfister, Press Here, I know there were more, have to look through my library log but those 3 are on my list to buy!

    • To Ann,
      I’m so glad you liked SlimyBookworm’s picks. She knows her stuff! I keep hearing about Press Here but I haven’t read it yet… now I feel the need to track it down.

  2. Same here, heard a lot about “Press Here”, certainly on my to-get list. “I want my hat back” has gotten a lot of buzz too.

  3. Wow, Great list. As we are abroad and the books for kids are limited, I don’t keep up with all the new books. We love a lot of these series: if you give a mouse, spot, llama llama etc. Fortunately, I am back stateside for awhile and can pick up some of these great reads!


  4. “I want my hat back” was written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. I believe it was published by Candlewick Press.

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