June 22, 2015

8 Picture Books to Read a Million Times

I hadn't really realized that kids grow out of the "let's read this book 10,000 times in a row" stage.

For the last year or two, Ella is much more interested in reading a whole stack of books, one time each, instead.

But Ani is right in the thick of the repeat-reading stage and so, when it's just the two of us reading together (generally after naps or when she wakes up in the morning), we usually only read a single book.

But we read it three or four times in a row.

Also, let the record show that I'm always the one who has to put an end to it. She'd happily let me re-read the same book fifteen times in a row (or more possibly, but I haven't been willing to see how many times she'd let me reread it).

These eight books are ones that I don't get tired of too quickly either:

Great picture book pics from a mom and librarian - you won't mind reading these over and over again!

The Skunk by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell - This is Ani's current favorite book, and she takes it to bed with her every single night and nap time. I always like Mac Barnett's quirky sense of humor and this one, about a tuxedoed man who walks out his front door to discover a skunk who won't quit following him, doesn't disappoint. My favorite line is from the old woman sitting next to the main character at the opera who, when he tells her there is a skunk on her head, replies, "“Hush. This is my favorite part. So strange and so sad."

Where's the Pair? A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup - My girls seriously love spotting and finding books like I Spy or LMNO Peas, and this one, where you have to find the matching pair on each page of animals, is surprisingly tricky. It was a big hit and I've already requested her other book, The Odd One Out. Cross your fingers that it comes in before we head out at the end of the week.

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems - I always feel like a fraud recommending Mo Willems because he's so wildly popular that you don't need a librarian or blogger to tell you about them. But then I think, "If even one person hasn't been introduced to his excellent and super-hilarious books, I need to mention them." This book was one I had to sneak back to the library because my girls loved it so so much.

Dear Panda by Miriam Latimer - Flo is not thrilled about moving to a new house and a new school, so she writes all her fears in a letter to the panda who lives in the zoo across the street. As they strike up a friendship, she decides to invite him to come to school with her for show-and-tell. And he agrees!

Froodle by Antoinette Portis - Little Brown Bird is terribly tired of all the animals making the same noises day after day. So she takes it upon herself to shake things up. The other birds are not amused. But then some of them think it might be fun to do something different. Perfect for reading aloud because there are so many nonsense words to say at various volumes.

Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K. G. Campbell - Over the weekend, we were running errands and, while Bart drove, I read this one aloud to the girls in the backseat. By the end, both Bart and I were snorting with laughter over this story about a bear who crashes a tea party by pretending to be a stuffed bear and then has to endure all sorts of indignities in order to get the promised cookies at the end.

Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Gray Olson - What is it about ninjas that are so appealing? Especially when they have long bunny ears. This ninja works alone and doesn't need any help from anyone. Until his carrot thieving goes awry and he might need to make some new ninja rules.

Go to Sleep, Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Chris Neal - I love a quiet bedtime story, and this one is definitely in the vein of Goodnight Moon or Big Red Barn. Sweet and sleepy, this book has been read almost every night for the past week or two (and Ani always points out the chicken sitting on the moon).

P.S. I share more book recommendations every day or two on Instagram, so if you're looking for more suggestions, feel free to follow along! Or check out 100 Picture Books to Read This Summer - this list has been super popular. It even got shared by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which was basically the highlight of my librarian life.


  1. How have I only ever heard about one of these books? I'm requesting all of them from our library right now.

  2. The Skunk sounds like just the kind of book my boys will love.

    And I actually had to buy Should I Share My Ice Cream? because I was so tired of sneaking it back to the library. :-)

  3. Froodle sounds so cute! It reminds me of The Cow That Went Oink, which you totally need to read if you haven't!

  4. I think I might have to check out 'Goodnight Farm.'

  5. Thanks for more recommendations...and for the news that the read the same book a zillion times stage actually ends one day :) If your girls like books where they have to look for things they might like an older Australian picture book by Alison Lester called Imagine. It has lots of very detailed pictures of animals in various settings to find. Fortunately there is a key at the end as there are some obscure animals and dinosaurs named. Not sure if it will be a in US library system but thought I'd suggest it in case!

  6. We have read Froodle about 5 million times, and even though it's been a few months since we've checked it out at the library, my 2 year old still repeats the "caw, coo, chip, peep" part! Obviously I remember it too : )

  7. Thanks for this! My daughter is about Ani's age, and we are definitely in the read-it-a-zillion-times-in-a-row phase. I'm always on the lookout for more books for her.

  8. I don't know if anyone has read my award-winning children's books, but many parents have let me know that The Magic Word is not only read multiple times, but their child also insists on taking it to bed with them!


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