Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Top Picks for Favorite Picture Books

It's the last week of celebrations over at Wordsmith Studios and today we discuss what we are reading.

I read picture books.

There. I said it. I am a grown woman, a health professional, a triathlete, a married mother of two tween boys, and my favorite books are picture books.

After a full day of discussing the cause and effect of bacterial plaque and the prevention of periodontal disease to my patients, running/biking/swimming for an hour or more, chauffeuring my kids here and there, re-learning trigonometry to help with my freshman son's homework...all I want to do at the end of the day is relax with a short, funny book that I can finish in the night without having to fall asleep midway through the first chapter. Picture books.

I love picture books. I write picture books. I read picture books.

It's May and I've already read 113 books this year!

Since I go through picture books like it's candy, I'm going to share with you my favorite[s]. Yes, plural. I have so many favorite picture books that I can't pick just one. So I'm going to share with you my top 10!

Looking at my list, I can tell you that I gravitate towards humorous books that are on the quirky/goofy side, but with heart.

In no particular order:

Planet Kindergarten Planet KindergartenPlanet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

PLANET KINDERGARTEN is a fun, engaging story that is told from the unique perspective of a child. The MC imagines his school is in outer space and experiences an exploration of his lifetime. Author Sue Ganz-Schmitt manages to capture the authentic emotions that children experience on their first day of school.

The MonstoreThe Monstore by Tara Lazar

What's not to love about a Monstore- a store that sells monsters! Tara Lazar's language and word choice are superb. It makes a fun read aloud. Illustrator, James Burks, did an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life. Kids will have a field day thinking of the monsters they'd like to have.

Prudence Wants a PetPrudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly

Prudence wants a pet so badly that she even goes so far as to get one on her own- a branch, a twig, an old shoe, etc. This book is so funny you can't help but laugh out loud. Cathleen Daly did a wonderful of characterizing Prudence as a sweet and clever child that you can't help but empathize and fall in love with her.

 CarnivoresCarnivores by Aaron Reynolds

I adore this book! Aaron Reynolds did a fantastic job of instilling in our hearts the importance of self appreciation. I love the message that sometimes others can be misunderstood in a hilarious way.

A small note of warning: Not ideal for the sensitive reader. A few characters do get hurt in the story-telling of this book. On a side note, it makes for good discussion and lesson about ecology and the nature of things.

Sophie's SquashSophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

A delightful story about a little girl named Sophie who takes a friend, Bernice, wherever she goes. But Bernice happens to be a squash, which makes this story hilarious, yet endearing. Sophie's positiveness is infectious. I also love the subtle lesson on the cycle of life that is intertwined with the story.

Creepy Carrots!Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Twilight Zone meets The Shining in this hilarious picture book by Aaron Reynolds. I've always been a fan of the Twilight Zone series so this one grabbed and sustained my attention throughout the reading. In Creepy Carrots, a rabbit fears that his favorite food is after him. You will never look at a carrot the same way again.

Mr. Tiger Goes WildMr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter  Brown

Mr. Tiger, sporting a top hat, coat and tie, is a proper tiger. Unhappy with his mundane life, he decides to let loose and follow his animal instincts. With sparse text and lovely illustrations, this story conveys the universal message, be yourselves, in a brilliant and humorous way.

The Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

This is one of those books I wished I could have written. Duncan wants to color, but when he opens his crayon box, he finds letter after letter from each colored crayon protesting about the unfairness that goes on in the coloring box. It is original, clever, fresh, and oh, so FUNNY!

The last two books are not humorous picture books, but they stood out to me as beautifully written picture books that pulled my heart-strings.

City Dog, Country FrogCity Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

A poignant story of friendship between a dog and a frog written with beautiful language and eloquent style. It is also about loss that is told in a sensitive manner that children can comprehend. The four seasons depicted in the story brilliantly brings us to another emotional level.

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting DownSit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Wow! Picture books are difficult to write, let alone a historical nonfiction story. In a few word, author Andrea Pinkney, writes a powerful poetic story of four college students staging a peaceful protest by sitting at an all-white diner counter. A civil-rights story of courage and equality.

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Again, it was difficult for me to narrow my list to top 10 so I'm going to share with you five more as Honorable Mentions:

This Is a MooseThis Is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

 MapleMaple by Lori Nichols

I Don't Want to Be a FrogI Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty

 This Orq. (He Cave Boy.)This Orq. by David Elliott

The Three Ninja PigsThe Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz

Hope you get a chance to check out these books. There's nothing like a picture book to melt your stress away.

"Writing is like a vacation. I get to travel anywhere my imagination takes me" ~Romelle Broas

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

My name is Romelle and I read picture books! 

To see what other Wordsmith Studio Members are reading, join the blog hop below:


  1. Romelle, I'm so glad you shared this. It's great to get your recommendations. You're not alone -- my Goodreads numbers were spiked with picture and middle grade books this spring, as I was working through a study of diverse kids' lit. Not from that, necessarily, but two of my favorites are The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, and Crazy Hair (Neil Gaiman), and the middle grade novel Becoming Naomi Leon. Kids' books address such universal and sometimes intense topics. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for sharing your favorite PBs with me Elissa! I'm going to add yours to my to-read list! Talk about universal and intense topics. I also recommend Maddi's Fridge- a picture book about hunger/poverty.

  2. Great list. My all-time favorite is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I read it first in a bookstore and started to cry. Hard. I was so embarrassed, I had to leave without buying it b/c I was crying so much. Went back the next day and bought it without looking at it.

    1. Oh, I love that book too! I focused my favorite list on more recent PBs. You had me chuckling when I read your comment because it's true. Love You Forever is that good! Made me teary-eyed too.

  3. Thank you for sharing your list, Romelle. I know a grief support counselor who opens his groups by reading a picture book.It's very effective.

    1. Wow, that's terrific! What a great example of the power of picture books. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle!

  4. What a fantastic list!! I often find myself enjoying pictures books more than my daughter :) Thank you for sharing these with your readers. Seeing that you go through picture books like candy I thought I would recommend one for your reading pleasure. The book is called "The Little Brown Animal" by DiMari Bailey ( It's the first book in the "Tales of the Deep Forest" series and it not only teaches children some wonderful life lessons but it promotes story-telling and sparks the imagination. The book follows a little brown animal who doesn't feel like he fits in with his forest companions. He goes on a journey that teaches him just how special he really is. A feel good book for sure and one that my daughter and I reread quite regularly together. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and perhaps it will make it on a future list!

    1. Thanks, Deborah, for that recommendation. I will look for it. Funny, that you find yourself enjoying PBs more than your daughter.

  5. I'm in awe of all that you do and still manage to write! Great list...I've read all but 3 of those books, most of them are well-worth re-reading. :) Hope you're having a nice weekend. Sorry I'm so late to the party.

    1. You are never too late, Teresa. I'd love to hear about your favorite picture books. Sometimes I think it says a lot about who we are as well.



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