Picture books spark a tremendous amount of enjoyment in our house and are a staple of our bedtime routine. Each of my boys has a favorite story (or two or three), and some of the most raw and candid conversations have come to light after reading a picture book together. While there are some expected picks in our house of boys, I am proud to say there are some unexpected best-loved characters as well. Here is a list of 11 stories that capture the attention of my boys each and every time we read.
1. No, David! by David Shannon
Whether your children have begun asserting their independence or not, this book is sure to ignite a conversation about good behavior. No, David!, a household favorite, is a wonderful resource after a challenging day, as the boys can rethink their choices and parents are reminded of just how crazy kids can get.
2. Circus Ship
by Chris Van Dusen
Circus Ship is an all-time favorite, with stunning illustrations and a captivating story. My boys are taken on a somewhat magical adventure through the written word and can really interact with the story, as the pictures pull them in to interpret more than what we read.
3. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
With a house of boys, you are sure to have a collection of truck books, yet Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site goes beyond the stereotypical tough-truck tale and enhances any bedtime routine with a gentle story of a weary crew of construction trucks.
4. If I Built A Car
by Chris Van Dusen
In the spirit of creativity, the rhythmic story in If I Built a Car is a household favorite because of the incredible ways one young boy dreams big when it comes to creating his very own transportation. After all, who doesn’t want a pool and ice-cream bar in their very own car?
5. Iggy Peck, Architect
by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
Regardless of whether or not you dream of buildings, Iggy Peck, Architect‘s tale of young Iggy Peck is sure to spark an interest in thinking big and nurturing a child’s inherent interest. My boys love the unique ways Iggy creates his fine structures. Why wouldn’t it be a good idea to construct a great sphinx out of dirty diapers?
6. Dragons Love Tacos
by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
What preschooler doesn’t love a little dragon humor? And why wouldn’t a dragon love a taco? Well, maybe it has something to do with the spice factor. Dragons Love Tacos keeps my boys giggling as they think about foods they like and what it would be like if they ate something too spicy.
7. Ladybug Girl
by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Ladybug Girl is just the beginning. This entire series is on repeat in our house, as the boys are in love with Lulu and the adventures she imagines while wearing her ladybug costume. Other characters are introduced throughout the series, including Bumblebee Boy and an entire bug brigade.
8. Giraffes Can’t Dance
by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
The rhyming story of Giraffes Can’t Dance has my boys eager to see Gerald succeed at dancing. We’ve even tried to dance like a giraffe ourselves, imagining what it would be like to have such long legs.
9. Oh Dear, Geoffrey!
by Gemma O’Neill
Sometimes fitting in is hard, but it’s best to find friends by just being yourself. This is the message found in the wonderful Oh, Dear, Geoffrey! as kids read about clumsy Geoffrey and his search to become friends with other animals.
10. “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”
by Patricia Thomas and Wallace Tripp
This story keeps our entire family in stitches with its rhythmic tale and silly animal antics. As the entire animal kingdom is up in arms over Elephant’s need to sneeze, there’s one small friend who might be able to help. Or can he?
11. Room on the Broom
by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
It doesn’t have to be Halloween to enjoy Room on the Broom‘s tale of one witch who is willing to share some space on her broom with what turns out to be a caring crew of friends. My boys love the repetitive text and the friendly nature of the witch and her pals.